EPL 2017/18: Stoke City 0-4 Chelsea; Player Ratings
Alvaro Morata proved his worth with an excellent, clinical hat-trick to make it a resounding 4-0 win for Chelsea over Stoke. The result was arguably very harsh on the Potters with the home side having seven more efforts on goal than the Blues, but Morata’s clinical finishing made it look an easy win in the end for the reigning Premier League champions.
Morata opened the scoring just two minutes in after a ball over the top from that man again, Cesar Azpilicueta. Then after 30 minutes, it was 2-0, as Pedro pounced on a Darren Fletcher mistake with an excellent strike from 20 yards.
Stoke had their chances as the game went on and could have got themselves back in the game when Fletcher missed the ball when it seemed likely he would score. This then allowed Chelsea to break on the counter. A wonderful run from Morata got his second as he dinked the ball over Jack Butland in the Stoke goal.
He would then seal his hat-trick with a poacher’s finish and give Chelsea a comfortable 4-0 win in a difficult away game at the Bet365 Stadium.
Also read: Stoke City 0-4 Chelsea, 5 Talking Points
Here are the player ratings from the game.
Jack Butland – 5
There wasn’t much more Butland could do about Pedro’s strike, Morata’s opener and his final two goals. As usual, the Englishman’s distribution was fast and excellent, but he did still let in four goals.
Mame Birham Diouf – 5
Diouf defended well and kept out Alonso quite comfortably, but he offered very little going forward.
Bruno Martins Indi – 5
Martins Indi defended well in patches but a lapse in concentration and allowing Morata to peel off him led to the first goal of the game. Additionally, he played in the centre of a back three that conceded four goals, so it was far from the Dutchman’s best afternoon.
Erik Pieters – 5
Despite Chelsea having just a few efforts on target all afternoon, he struggled to help keep Stoke out. He was part of a makeshift back five, but his team still shouldn’t have conceded four.
Glen Johnson – 4
Johnson struggled enormously at centre back. He, alongside Martins Indi, were split open and allowed Morata through for Chelsea’s first and gave him the ball in the lead up to his third goal.
Darren Fletcher – 4
Fletcher’s terrible decision to chest down backwards allowed Pedro to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead. Later on in the game he had an opportunity to get Stoke back in the game, but his poor headed effort meant the game remained 2-0. It was a miserable day for the Scotsman.
Joe Allen – 5
Allen, unlike usual, was barely involved throughout the game. Even though he was not the worst player for Stoke on a poor afternoon for the Potters, he found it difficult against Chelsea’s superior midfielders.
Ramadan Sobhi Ahmed – 4
Playing in a makeshift wing-back position, Sobhi Ahmed found it tough to get up and down with him mostly doing a defensive shift all afternoon. He did well to defend against Moses and keep him quiet but offered very little going forward.
Xerdan Shaqiri – 6
Shaqiri was one of Stoke’s most dangerous players and was trying desperately to make the breakthrough, but unfortunately it was not to be his or their day.
Maxim Choupo Moting – 6
Choupo-Moting was once again fantastic. He has played extremely well in games against Arsenal and Manchester United and he was just as good today.
The Stoke man caused havoc in the box and all that his performance missed was a goal. He could go on to become one of the signing’s of the summer if his form continues.
Jese – 4
This was Jese’s worst performance by far since his arrival in England, with the Chelsea defence standing strong against the Spaniard and quite comfortably dealing with his goal threat.
Peter Crouch – 4
Crouch should have been sent off for a horrific challenge on Fabregas and was lucky to escape with just a yellow. He did improve Stoke’s performance up until the challenge, but that would eventually star as his biggest impact.
Ibrahim Afellay – N/A
Afellay had little time to make an impact and came on at a time where Chelsea asserted their dominance and added to the scoring.
Thibaut Courtois – 7
It was a rather comfortable afternoon for Courtois, who saved Stoke’s best efforts and he also dealt with crosses extremely well. It was another confidence-boosting clean sheet for the Belgian.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 8
Azpilicueta put in another great performance and added to his assist tally once again, linking up with fellow compatriot Morata. He picked the ball up just one minute in, and firing an inch-perfect through ball over the top which Morata latched onto and buried to open the scoring.
He would later chest down for Morata and Chelsea’s final goal, earning himself his second assist of the game.
Andreas Christensen – 7
The young central defender did very well to keep out Stoke in a game where Chelsea’s opponents did have a number of opportunities. The young centre back continued to prove how talented he is.
Antonio Rudiger – 7
Rudiger, like some of his teammates, is quickly adapting to the league and put in another great performance to deal with Stoke’s threat comfortably.
Victor Moses – 6
Even though he was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet and an attack that scored four, Moses did not have his best afternoon for Chelsea, with him defending well but struggling to make an impact going forward.
Marcos Alonso – 5
Alonso did little going forward all game and it was far from his best afternoon in a Chelsea shirt. Additionally, he had a terrible two minutes by firstly play-acting and then making two fouls which could have earned him two yellow cards, before being taken off to avoid dismissal.
Tiemoue Bakayoko – 8
Bakayoko is beginning to acclimatise to the Premier League extremely quickly as he showed great power, passing and agility to round off a great midfield display.
N’Golo Kante – 7
Despite Chelsea lots of the game on the back foot, Kante did his job very effectively, cutting out Stoke attacks and passing the ball off quickly. It was as usual a strong performance from the Frenchman in the Chelsea midfield, who seems to also be building a strong partnership with Bakayoko.
Willian – 5
Willian is usually very consistent and one of Chelsea’s best performers, but his touch, dribbling and all-round game seemed to be off on one of his poorest afternoons in a Chelsea shirt.
Pedro – 7
Pedro pounced on a Darren Fletcher giveaway to make it 2-0 with a fantastic strike from outside the box. He would later come off, but it was an excellent performance from the Spaniard.
Alvaro Morata – 10
Some good movement got him one-on-one after just one minute, and it was a chance he took, sliding the ball past Butland. He then battled for most of the game, but got his rewards as he won the ball back deep, dribbled past two and floated the ball over the English keeper from a tight angle to make it 3-0 and seal the Chelsea win.
This was before he would round off a perfect 90 minutes with a poacher’s finish, and earn himself his first Premier Leauge hat-trick. The Spaniard is already comfortably paying back that £70 million transfer fee.
Gary Cahill – 6
Cahill could have had a penalty given against him as soon as he came on but luckily escaped. He did still look shaky in an otherwise very comfortable Chelsea defence. It will be no surprise to see Cahill on Chelsea’s bench for the near future.
Cesc Fabregas – 7
Fabregas played a delightful ball for Azpilicueta as he fed Morata through for his hat-trick but that was his only contribution late in the game.
Eden Hazard – N/A
Hazard looked dangerous as usual but only came on for a short amount of time which made it hard for him to have an impact.