Stoke City 0-4 Chelsea - Morata and Pedro goals seal an excellent win for the Blues.

An Alvaro Morata hat-trick and a goal from Pedro sealed three points from an impressive professional performance for Antonio Conte.  Th...

An Alvaro Morata hat-trick and a goal from Pedro sealed three points from an impressive professional performance for Antonio Conte. 

Them: Mark Hughes was vocal in reminding everybody that he didn't have any defenders today. Cameron out. I don't know who that is, but I'm going to assume he is a giant meathead. They couldn't use Zouma because he is our giant meathead. Shawcross was injured - and missed by the away support about as much as a dwindling pandemic of the Black Death. (Seeing as the world has gone mad, I'll get called a racist for that reference if the Daily Fail see it) 

Us: Christensen took up David Luiz’s spot in the centre of the back three, with Rudiger and Azpilicueta flanking him, meaning that Cahill had to settle for a place on the bench. Likewise Fabregas, as Bakayoko and Kante paired up in midfield. George Michael (Alonso) and Moses took up their wingback roles and our attacking force comprised Willian and Pesto (blah, autospell) behind Morata. Charly Musonda was rewarded for a blinding effort in midweek with a place on the bench. 

To plagiarise Stamford Chidge: a*se gravy is usually an accurate description of a day out at the Bet365 Stadium. I do like the away support being in one big section, for the atmosphere, and they've closed in one of the corners, which means that it is not quite so f*cking cold, but those are the only two nice things I can think of to say about this trip. Happily we got the perfect start. Alvaro Morata in scores with his foot shocker. A long ball from Dave to play in the striker, who stung the Stoke defence, or lack of it, and put us ahead after a minute. Bakayoko made that goal by tenaciously digging that ball out at the back.

On four minutes they wandered into the box, but it was put emphatically out by Dave. They aren't bad in midfield you know. After quarter of an hour they had played themselves into it. We actually had less possession and made less attacks than the home side in the first half. Could it be that they are breeding out Pulisitis finally? They were, however, a lot easier to push off the ball than you'd expect ordinarily and for all their effort they hadn’t really looked like scoring. And their fans were singing that Sterk-on-Trent was wonderful. OK, this isn’t quite as dire as days of old but let’s not push it. Just before the half hour mark it was time for Pesto the Poacher to cr*p on their efforts from a great height. He had been largely anonymous till then, but a stupid mistake by Darren Fletcher and it was 0-2. We played within ourselves as the half progressed. After all there is no sense taking any risks away from home when you are two up. Kante almost lobbed the ball to perfection for Pesto after a string of one touch passing, but at the other end, Morata was proving his defensive worth both with his head and his feet to maintain our clear lead. They were more excited at a corner than the Goons. The home side could have gone in only one down, but their best chance was squandered when one of theirs leapt like a directionally challenged salmon and ballsed up an overhead kick. Which apparently is only a horrific offence if you play for Chelsea. I was too busy laughing to see who it was. Not vintage. Two attempts, two goals. We’d basically made the most of a Sterk brain fart and sprung their defence with some quick thinking to put daylight between us at half time.  

Refwatch: Mike Dean. Was in petty mode today. Every time a Stoke player fell over his own feet he got a free kick. His finest (sarcasm) effort was when he ignored George Michael lying on the floor holding his head. You see him say to Dean as he sits up, that’s twice. Then when he took matters into his own hands and lashed out back, Dean booked him. Two minutes later he looked ready to send him off, but sense prevailed. Literally created a clusterf*ck out of nothing at all. You know the officials have been on the funny fags in their dressing room when you concede twice as many fouls as Sterk City. That’s about as comprehensible as the OJ Simpson verdict. But at the end of the day, he is less of a disaster than most of his colleagues so I won’t get too worked up. More ludicrous was the home support singing: “If he played for Sterk you'd send him off.” Yes because if he played for Sterk the chances are the tackle would have been studs up, nowhere near the ball and would have  come close to severing a limb. Then they moved on to: “Same old Chelsea always cheating.” Just as they are booing Willian for falling down having been dragged over by the throat. A timely reminder that even if they do play slightly more attractive football since Real Pulis left, they are still a sour bunch of moaning twats.

Anyway. Gary Cahill had sprung up as soon as the yellow came out for George Michael, because the last thing we need is another defender sent off and serving a suspension with City next week. Cahill went into the back three and the ever reliable Dave handed over the armband and went out to replace his compatriot. Hughes shuffled his pack. Every Chelsea fan’s favourite moment when they bring Crouch on, because it means you can start singing “Does the Circus Know You’re Here?” The home side were pressing, but the majority of their attempts were being shanked well over the bar. The natives were getting feisty with chants of “Wearesterk.” There was a shout for a penalty just after the hour mark. From the complete opposite end of the stadium I held my breath, as I’m pretty sure Cahill did too, but thankfully Dean’s blindness was getting less selective. If they had scored the third goal, I would have been convinced that we’d drop points with twenty minutes to go. 

Lots of boos for Thibaut for almost losing consciousness, which tells you all you need to know about them. They had done all they could, but Conte brought on Cesc and Hazard and from then on we just had too much for them. The first thing that the latter did was set off a forward run that only fell at the last when Dave’s cross went slightly high and long. Fabregas contributed half a dozen of his stunning balls forward. The tide began to turn and when Sterk lost the ball by the halfway line Morata was off. It was three on one when they gave it away, but none of them got near him. Past the lot he went before shooting from a tight angle and making Butland look like a total pratt. Hazard could have one, then Morata was back. Dave found the ball played to him in the box. He didn’t even consider having a shot, instead chesting it across to his mate to set him up for yet another goal. Hatrick. One more of them than a certain Mr. Costa ever scored for us. And actually Alvaro could have scored two of them today. Match of the Day conveniently excluded the Crouch tackle that should have been a red as the game wound down, but f*ck it. Job done.

So: This fixture was a pain in the a*se in the middle of a busy run. We were businesslike, clinical when the occasion arose and not a bit entertaining until they gave up after the third goal, not that you'd expect to be entertained in Sterk. Rudi is a beast, but I love Dave. It gives me actual warm and fuzzy feelings to see the acknowledgement of what he is to our club when he wears the armband. If you want someone to embody the work ethic and the attitude required, you couldn’t choose better. Not to mention the fact that Choupo-Moting scored twice against United but could get literally nowhere against Dave. Christensen commanded the centre of defence, bossing everyone around. I wondered how he’d stand up against a tougher team and yet again, not a foot wrong and completely assured. We couldn’t have done better than bringing him back from loan if we’d spent stupid money on a centre back. If you gave me the choice of him and Stones, I know which one I would want. As for Bakayoko, Conte is dead on when he says he has to improve when he has the ball. When he is going after it though, he is a monster. 

“What a tackle Bakayoko!" Said one of our number. 
His dad: "Do you think that is classed as racist now?"


The last two goals embellished the score, says Hughes. In case you missed it, he followed this up with: “the sky is blue” and “Gary Lineker’s ears are slightly large” as he voiced the obvious in typically bitter fashion. My day was crowned by watching a very good friend of mine chasing Carlo Cudicini’s car out of Stamford Bridge screaming his name. In front of her husband. It’s OK. Carlo knows her well, and is aware she is a lunatic. He loves her anyway. Just watched City on Match of the Day. Absolutely, must, not, concede, the, first, goal, next, week. But before that it’s a trip to Spain. I’m not at all jealous that I will be freezing my a*se off in a medieval siege tower when all of my friends are in Madrid. Enjoy. Gits. 


For more from Alex, check out her own personal blog here.

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