STOKE CITY FC 0 CHELSEA 4
Our fine unbeaten run at home disappeared in some style . Almost twelve months since our last league defeat at home, to Sunderland, on that miserable afternoon last February. Another cold one today at The Brit, and the stuff of nightmares for Jon Walters
He played his usual hyperactive part in this game,but he had one of those days when anything that could go wrong for him did go wrong,particularly at critical times.
Stoke had more than matched Chelsea in the first half,although Begovic had to pull off three smart saves.We had an early chance which Kenwynne Jones rolled just wide of goal. The first critical moment came a minute before halftime. Chelsea overlapped down the right ,the dangerous ball in across the six yard box was destined for Mata,who had a clear view of goal. The ball never reached him,as Walters dived full length to intercept,but only succeeded in heading bullet like into his own net. You would have described it as a spectacular effort if it had been at the other end of the pitch.
We made a very positive start to the second half,but the second critical moment took any chance of something from the match away from us. A Chelsea corner from the right ,dropped into our six yard box,never reaching the waiting Lampard,as it struck Walters on the back of his head, and found its way into the net. Facing away from the flight of the ball Walters knew little about it.
Thereafter Chelsea began to play some freer fancier football,one twos and triangles I think they used to be called. One such put Mata free in our box.The lightest touch on the shoulder by Huth caused the spaniard to collapse in a heap for a highly questionable penalty,converted by Lampard.
Hazard, who had a good game for the visitors, added to our misery with a fine shot from at least thirty yards out,which gave Begovic no chance as it found its way into the top corner of the net.
No further scoring by the visitors,but,on the occasion of his 100th appearance for us in the Premiership,Jon Walters afternoon of misery was not yet over. Sub Terry tripped Walters in the Chelsea box. Walters,great respect here, had the bottle to take the kick. He went the same route as Lampard had earlier,driving the ball hard at the centre of goal. Unfortunately the shot was a little too high, clipping the crossbar,before rocketing into the rafters of the Boothen Stand.
The home crowd remained supportive throughout the game, and for our unfortunate striker offered the 'Super Jonny Walters' chant in consolation toward the end.
Really funny moment for me was that the Chelsea fans responded with the identical chant!! They clearly recognised the importance of his contribution.