Belfast Telegraph

Stoke v Chelsea - story of the match

Chelsea continued to show there is life after Diego Costa with another Premier League victory at Stoke, with Alvaro Morata scoring a hat-trick in a 4-0 win.

Morata, the club record signing bought to replace Costa, was on the scoresheet within the opening 90 seconds before Pedro extended the lead on the half hour mark.

Morata then struck twice in five minutes late on to add some gloss to a scoreline that reflected harshly on Stoke.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

"First Chelsea hat-trick. Take a bow, @AlvaroMorata!" - Chelsea's official twitter feed (@ChelseaFC) after the final whistle.

STAR MAN

Morata. In the week it was confirmed Costa was set to rejoin Atletico Madrid, Morata looked more comfortable than ever in the role as his successor as Chelsea's main striker. Almost notched another couple of goals in addition to his hat-trick.

DATA POINT

Morata scored three times with his feet here - the three Chelsea goals he had netted prior to this had all been headers.

POTTERS PUNISHED

The goals they conceded saw Stoke repeatedly being made to pay for slack play. Morata slotted in his opener after the hosts' makeshift defence - featuring two full-backs playing in central positions in Glen Johnson and Erik Pieters - was slow to react to a long ball forward. Pedro then struck having claimed the ball when Darren Fletcher chested it back towards his own goal, and Morata's second came after ex-Blues player Johnson lost possession. It will have been particularly galling for Potters boss Mark Hughes given that otherwise, his men performed reasonably well for much of the contest.

ALONSO LUCKY?

Moments after collecting a yellow card early in the second half following a challenge on Joe Allen, Chelsea's Marcos Alonso provoked loud appeals for a red from Stoke fans as he brought down Mame Diouf. The calls went unheeded, with referee Mike Dean awarding a free-kick but keeping his cards in his pocket, and Alonso, who may well have been feeling fortunate, was then substituted soon after, Antonio Conte perhaps sensing the wing-back might otherwise be making a swift exit by other means. Dean subsequently made himself even more unpopular with the home supporters as he dismissed Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's claims for a penalty after the forward went down in a tangle with Alonso's replacement Gary Cahill.

RATINGS

Stoke

Jack Butland 6 (out of 10)

Glen Johnson 5

Bruno Martins Indi 5

Erik Pieters 5

Mame Diouf 5

Darren Fletcher 5

Joe Allen 6

Ramadan Sobhi 6

Xherdan Shaqiri 7

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting 6

Jese Rodriguez 6

Substitutes

Peter Crouch (for Jese, 61) 6

Ibrahim Afellay (for Martins Indi, 76) 5

Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois 6

Cesar Azpilicueta 8

Andreas Christensen 7

Antonio Rudiger 7

Victor Moses 6

Tiemoue Bakayoko 7

N'Golo Kante 7

Marcos Alonso 6

Willian 6

Pedro 7

Alvaro Morata 9

Subs

Gary Cahill (for Alonso, 59) 6

Cesc Fabregas (for Pedro, 68) 7

Eden Hazard (for Willian, 72) 6

WHO'S UP NEXT?

Stoke v Southampton (Premier League, September 30)

Atletico Madrid v Chelsea (Champions League, September 27)

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