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)

Match Analysis: Chelsea 3-0 Stoke City

A general view of Stamford bridge is pictured before the start of the UEFA Champions League Group E football match between Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen on September 13, 2011
© Getty Images
Sports Mole casts its analytical eye over Chelsea's 3-0 win at home to Stoke City in the Premier League.

Chelsea returned to the top of the Premier League table on Saturday evening thanks to a 3-0 victory over Stoke City at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues made the breakthrough on 32 minutes when Mohamed Salah found the back of the net following good work from Nemanja Matic.

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

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the action between the two sides in West London.

Match statistics

Chelsea
Shots: 18
On target: 8
Possession: 51%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 8

Stoke
Shots: 4
On target: 2
Possession: 51%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 18

Was the result fair?

Anything other than a Chelsea win looked impossible as the hosts dominated with authority for most of the 90 minutes. Jose Mourinho's side could have even had themselves a few more goals while Stoke looked like they were just there to make up the numbers.

Chelsea's performance

The Blues took a while to get going in the first half, but once they did there only ever going to be one winner. A response was needed following two defeats in five days last week, and a response was what Mourinho and the fans got. The home side controlled proceedings with some slick passing and movement, pinning Stoke back and wearing them down. They showed great enthusiasm both on and off the ball, and always looked like they were going to keep creating chances in the final third. Normal service resumed, you could say.

Stoke's performance

Despite arriving at Stamford Bridge with three consecutive wins under their belt, Stoke performed like a team lacking in ideas and confidence. They went toe-to-toe with Chelsea during the opening 20 minutes, but after that they faded dramatically. The Potters struggled to keep hold of the ball and sat deep, allowing the hosts to come onto them and pick holes in their defence. This was extremely uninspiring stuff from Mark Hughes's men. A genuinely stodgy offering.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Willian: The Brazilian was a model of energy for Chelsea, running continuously while always looking to create something up front. His goal was also magical, curling the ball into the top corner past the helpless Begovic.

Biggest gaffe

Fernando Torres could have made life a lot easier for himself in the first half when he was gifted a chance by Erik Pieters. The Stoke defender's header back to Begovic was a weak one that Torres did well to anticipate, but a heavy first touch allowed the goalkeeper to recover. The Torres of old would have silkily taken that around the shot-stopper and slotted into an empty net.

Referee performance

The biggest decision that Lee Probert had to make was awarding Chelsea a penalty in the second half - a decision that he got right. Apart from that, the official gave a competent display out in the middle.

What next?

Chelsea: The Blues will look to overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit on Tuesday night when they entertain Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Stoke: The Potters are back in Premier League action next Saturday as Newcastle United make the trip to the Britannia Stadium.

Matchday scarves are sold ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on April 5, 2014
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