Apr 5, 2014 at 5.30pm UK at ​Stamford Bridge
Chelsea
3-0
StokeStoke City
Salah (32'), Lampard (61'), Willian (72')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Live Commentary: Chelsea 3-0 Stoke City - as it happened

Stoke City's Welsh manager Mark Hughes gestures during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Stoke City at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, northeast England on December 26, 2013
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report of Chelsea's 3-0 win at home to Stoke City in the Premier League.

Chelsea moved back to the top of the Premier League table on Saturday evening with a 3-0 win over Stoke City at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues opened the scoring on 32 minutes when Mohamed Salah fired past Asmir Begovic following good work from Nemanja Matic.

It was 2-0 on the hour as Frank Lampard converted the rebound after seeing his penalty saved, and the points were sealed late on through Willian's spectacular strike.

Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to find out how all of the action unfolded in West London.


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4.30pmHello there and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of this evening's Premier League clash as Chelsea entertain Stoke City at Stamford Bridge. We should have some team news through in the next few minutes.

4.33pmThere are currently five other matches being played in the Premier League, all of which have seen goals. We'll bring you those full-time results as soon as they come through. Today's early kickoff saw Manchester City keep the pressure on Chelsea and Liverpool by beating Southampton 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium. You can read all about that match right here.

4.35pmSTOKE: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Odemwingie, Whelan, Palacios, Nzonzi, Arnautovic; Crouch

4.36pmSTOKE SUBS: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Muniesa, Adam, Guidetti, Walters, Etherington

4.38pmJust the one change for Stoke following last weekend's 1-0 win over Hull City as Wilson Palacios comes into the midfield in place of Stephen Ireland. Jonathan Walters and Charlie Adam are among those on the Potters bench.

4.42pmCHELSEA: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Lampard, Matic; Schurrle, Willian, Salah, Torres

4.43pmCHELSEA SUBS: Schwarzer, Kalas, Cole, David Luiz, Oscar, Hazard, Ba

4.46pmJose Mourinho has opted to make four changes after seeing his side slump to a 3-1 defeat away to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. Frank Lampard and Nemanja Matic return in midfield while Mohamed Salah and Fernando Torres have also been given the nod. David Luiz, Oscar and Eden Hazard all drop to the bench.

4.48pm

4.51pmThere are sure to be plenty of eyes on Fernando Torres this evening considering Jose Mourinho's repeated claims that he doesn't have any striker to work with. The Spaniard has scored just nine goals this season. A more worrying statistic for the Blues is that he has found the net just once in his last 11 appearances.

4.54pmThe full-time whistles are starting to go in today's five other Premier League fixtures. Here come those results...

4.56pmPREMIER LEAGUE RESULTS:

Aston Villa 1-2 Fulham
Cardiff City 0-3 Crystal Palace
Hull City 1-0 Swansea City
Newcastle United 0-4 Manchester United
Norwich City 0-1 West Bromwich Albion


4.59pmThose results don't have too big a bearing on this match tonight, though a win for Stoke would see them move to within three points of ninth-placed Newcastle United. What started off as a rocky season for the Potters is turning out to be a pretty decent one.

5.01pmRecent form in all competitions:

CHELSEA: WLWWLL
STOKE: LWDWWW


5.04pmIt would be unthinkable for Chelsea to lose this evening, making it three defeats on the bounce for the Blues. One thing is for certain though: Jose Mourinho will have his players pumped up for this. They usually react positively to losing and they will need to do that tonight if they want to keep their Premier League title hopes alive.

5.06pm

5.08pmUPDATE: It's worth noting at this point that Leicester City have been promoted to the Premier League this afternoon. The Foxes needed Bournemouth to beat promotion rivals Queens Park Rangers and that's exactly what happened at Dean Court as the Cherries won 2-1. Congratulations to everyone associated with Leicester.

5.11pmStoke City boss Mark Hughes speaking with reporters last week: "From our point of view, it is certainly the best time to be going (to Stamford Bridge), but what you find with top clubs is they bounce back very quickly.

"When questions are asked of them, more often than not, top teams and top players have the answers. We have got to be mindful of that and be ready for something of a backlash."


5.14pmChelsea manager Jose Mourinho: "I don't know if we are going to have a fantastic performance or not. Part of the stability of the top teams, of the teams full of people with experience, is exactly that - stability.

"We are the team that during the season we have ups and downs. We have players that were not capable to keep a platform of stability in their performances. We had a few players with these ups and downs."


5.17pmHEAD TO HEAD: As you might imagine, it's Chelsea who have the superior record when it comes to previous meetings between these two teams. The Blues have won 42 games compared to 24 for Stoke. The sides have also played out 19 draws. It was Stoke who came out on top last time out in the league, earning a memorable 3-2 victory at the Britannia Stadium back in December. However, Chelsea made amends the following month when they won 1-0 in the FA Cup fourth round.

5.19pmStoke have beaten Chelsea just once in their last 15 encounters, during which time the Blues have come out on top 12 times. The odds are stacked against the Potters this evening, but they will be heading to West London full of confidence thanks to their recent run of three consecutive wins.

5.21pm

5.25pmThe players are starting to line up in the tunnel at Stamford Bridge, awaiting the signal from referee Lee Probert to step out onto the pitch. There's a good atmosphere inside the stadium as the home fans expect their team to go back to the top of the table. However, will Stoke spoil the party?

1 minKICKOFF! The players are out, the pre-match handshakes have been done, and it will be Stoke to get us started. Here we go!

4 minChelsea have enjoyed more of the ball during these opening few minutes though they've hardly come flying out of the traps. Their best chance so far comes when Willian tries to thread the ball through to Torres, but Begovic is quick off his line to collect.

6 minA bit of danger in the Chelsea box there as Crouch heads Arnautovic's free kick back across goal. However, the hosts just about do enough to get rid of the threat. The hosts should expect a bit more of that from Crouch this evening.

9 minCHANCE! Close for Chelsea as Torres receives the ball about 25 yards from goals before firing an effort narrowly wide of Begovic's post. Prior to that, Ivanovic smashed an outrageous free kick from 30 yards high into the stand behind the goal. The Blues are starting to take control.

11 minAnother decent opening for the hosts the re as Ivanovic rises highest to meet Lampard's corner, but the Serbian can only head wide from close range. In his defence, he saw the ball late and had to re-adjust his body to make a connection.

14 minOne Chelsea player who hasn't seen too much of the ball so far is Schurrle. The German is playing on the left wing and is struggling to find his way in this match. That said, Stoke must be sure to keep an eye on him because he will cause damage if he's allowed to.

17 minThere's a bit of a flat atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge at the moment. The Chelsea fans haven't had too much to shout about in terms of chances in front of goal, and they're waiting for a bit of inspiration. Meanwhile, Stoke are defending doggedly and looking organised at the back.

18 minSAVE! That's a great stop from Begovic to deny Willian and keep the game goalless. The Brazilian tried to curl the ball into the top corner from about 25 yards, but Begovic was there to tip the ball away with his fingertips. He had to use his whole frame there.

21 minWe've already seen a few tasty challenges in this match, particularly involving the bigger players such as Crouch, Cahill, Terry and Palacios. No quarter given by either side so far.

23 minCHANCE! Huge opportunity for Chelsea as Pieters's header back to Begovic played Torres in. The Spaniard was able to take a touch inside the box, but the Stoke goalkeeper recovered to snatch the ball from his feet. That was so very nearly the opening goal right there.

26 minThe hosts won't be panicking just yet, but they are certainly being worked hard by Stoke. Credit to the visitors, they're showing a lot of energy and determination at the moment. The Potters aren't exactly causing too many problems in the final third, though Mark Hughes is likely to be pleased with what he's seen so far.

29 minJose Mourinho doesn't look very happy right now. Despite his team remaining on top in this match, the Blues are huffing and puffing a bit too much.

31 minGOAL! CHELSEA 1-0 STOKE CITY (SALAH)

31 minWe have the opening goal at Stamford Bridge and it goes the way of Chelsea! Matic did brilliantly down the left, creating enough space to cross for the Egyptian who fired a first-time finish past Begovic from about 15 yards. You can feel the relief inside the stadium.

34 minCHANCE! Almost a second goal for Salah, minutes after scoring his first! He was played in by Willian, but a heavy first touch allowed Begovic to rush off his line and gather the ball. Chelsea are starting to play with a bit of swagger.

38 minThis is a decent spell for Chelsea as they pin Stoke back. The killer pass isn't quite there, but that won't worry them too much. They've got the Potters right where they want them. Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho still has a face like thunder down on the touchline. Cheer up, Jose!

41 minNot long to play in this first half and it looks like Chelsea will be heading down the tunnel with their 1-0 lead intact. Stoke seem to have lost their adventure after posing a bit of danger early on.

42 minDISALLOWED GOAL! Chelsea think that they have their second goal of the game, but Ivanovic's header is ruled out for offside.

45 minTwo minutes of added time at the end of this first half...

45+2 minHALF TIME: CHELSEA 1-0 STOKE

6.19pmIt's not exactly a convincing lead, but it's a lead nonetheless for Chelsea who are beating Stoke 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. It was Mohamed Salah who made the breakthrough on 31 minutes, firing past Asmir Begovic after good work from Nemanja Matic.

6.22pmChelsea deserve to be ahead as they controlled much of that first half. Stoke rode their luck at times from a defensive point of view, though it must be said that they have also been disciplined and organised. However, it's difficult to see how they're going to get back into this match. It will most likely be curtains for the visitors if Chelsea score the next goal.

6.24pmAs it stands, Chelsea will be going back to the top of the Premier League table. You can take a look at the projected standings here.

6.27pm

6.30pmIt will be interesting to see if Jose Mourinho makes any changes in the second half considering that PSG will be coming to Stamford Bridge next week for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-finals tie. Eden Hazard and Oscar are both there in waiting, but will Mourinho want to risk them?

46 minSECOND HALF UNDERWAY! The players are back out and it will be Chelsea to kick us off for the second half. Stoke have made two changes during their interval, with Andy Wilkinson and Charlie Adam replacing Geoff Cameron and Wilson Palacios.

49 minBad news for Chelsea here as Schurrle goes down following a clash with Adam. It looked like the Stoke midfielder stepped on his opponents' foot, though there seemed to be little malice from substitute. The German is okay to continue for now.

52 minIt's been all Chelsea at the start of this second half, but they've done little to seriously threaten Stoke. As for the visitors, they're doing their best to nullify the hosts and keep them at arm's length.

55 minThere is absolutely no fluency to Stoke's play at the moment. They can't seem to hold onto the ball and are looking far more disorganised than they did during the opening 45 minutes. They'll need to start showing a bit more ambition soon.

58 minSUBSTITUTION: Chelsea make their first change of the match now as Eden Hazard replaces Andre Schurrle. Despite that collision with Charlie Adam earlier, it looks as if the German isn't too badly affected.

59 minPENALTY TO CHELSEA!

60 minGOAL! CHELSEA 2-0 STOKE CITY (LAMPARD)

60 minFrank Lampard scores to double Chelsea's lead, but only after his penalty had been saved by Begovic. The midfielder's effort from 12 yards was a poor one, though the Stoke goalkeeper could only push it right back into his path. The penalty was initially given after Wilkinson had tripped Salah.

63 minThat second goal has surely killed off Stoke now. The Potters have offered very little this evening and it would be verging on a miracle for them to get something out of this match with just over 25 minutes left to play.

65 min

67 minSomething of a half-chance for Stoke as Adam tries his luck from about 25 yards. However, the midfielder's shot is a tame one that Cech is able to gather with ease.

70 minSUBSTITUTION: A second change for Chelsea now as Frank Lampard is withdrawn for David Luiz. The Brazilian had a bit of a nightmare in Paris in midweek, but he's been given the chance to redeem himself.

71 minGOAL! CHELSEA 3-0 STOKE CITY (WILLIAN)

71 minOh, that it just wonderful from Willian to put Chelsea 3-0 up! The Brazilian toyed with the Stoke defence on the edge of the box, feigning to go one way then the other before curling the ball past the outstretched Begovic and into the far corner. Magical stuff from the little playmaker.

74 minThis is just a case of damage limitation for Stoke now. They've not really offered anything this evening, but it could become embarrassing for them if they switch off during the final 15 minutes.

77 minHe may have had a largely frustrating game so far, but Fernando Torres is trying his hardest to get on the scoresheet. The Spaniard continues to show little fear in running at the Stoke defence. Meanwhile, a final change for Chelsea sees Willian replaced by Ashley Cole. Remember him?

80 minChelsea are just going through the motions now as they look to close this match out. This kind of victory will do them the power of good ahead of Tuesday's showdown with PSG. A bonus would be to keep a clean sheet. Stoke don't look like they're going to jeopardise that.

81 minSUBSTITUTION: Jonathan Walters replaces Peter Crouch for Stoke, who have now made all of their changes.

84 minA rare opening for Stoke there as Adam hits one from about 25 yards, but the Scot's effort goes narrowly wide of Cech's left-hand post. Cue sarcastic whistles from the Chelsea fans.

87 minHis team might be 3-0 up, but don't expect to see Jose Mourinho crack into a smile any time soon. The Portuguese remains to have a face without emotion as we head into the final few minutes of this match. He may afford himself a grin when he sees that his side is at the top of the table.

90 minJust the two minutes of added time indicated by the fourth official...

90+2 minFULL TIME: CHELSEA 3-0 STOKE CITY

7.21pmLee Probert blows the full-time whistle and it's Chelsea who go back to the top of the table thanks to a 3-0 win over Stoke City. Mohamed Salah opened the scoring for the Blues before Frank Lampard and Willian sealed the win.

7.23pmThat's all from our live text coverage of tonight's game, but don't forget that you can keep up to date with all of the post-match reaction right here on Sports Mole. Thanks for your company, and we hope to see you again soon. Goodbye!

A dejected John Terry of Chelsea reacts after opening the scoring with an own goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on March 29, 2014
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