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Football | Barclays Premier League

Walters powers Chelsea into top three



Chelsea ended Stoke City's unbeaten home record with a 4-0 win thanks to two Jon Walters own goals, a Frank Lampard penalty and a sensational strike from Eden Hazard on Saturday.

Stoke forward Walters headed past his own goalkeeper either side of the break before Lampard fired in a penalty to become Chelsea's second-highest all-time goal-scorer with 194 goals.

The goal of the game rightly capped off the result as Hazard belted an effort home from 25 yards to give Chelsea interim coach Rafael Benitez a much-needed three points despite enduring more boos from the Blues support.

Stoke had not lost at the Britannia Stadium in the Premier League since February – a run of 17 games – but they were up against a fired-up Chelsea side.

It was almost two years to the day since Stoke turned down the chance to sign Demba Ba over concerns about his medical.

And the striker replaced Fernando Torres up front to make his first Premier League start for Chelsea as one of four changes to the team that started their 2-0 home defeat by Swansea City in the League Cup in mid-week.

After two home defeats on the trot and with the Chelsea fans again turning their anger on Benitez, the Spaniard would have been relieved to get away from Stamford Bridge and back on the road.

The Blues exerted the early pressure but it was the hosts who had the first real chance.

Andy Wilkinson's deflected shot fell into the path of Kenwyne Jones in the seventh minute but he slid the ball wide from inside the area.

In the 23rd minute, Chelsea turned on the style amid a chorus of whistles from the home fans, who seemed annoyed as the visitors retained possession with slick passing play.

The whistles turned to gasps when Hazard played a short ball to Ba, who stretched to turn it into the path of Lampard, but the Chelsea midfielder's low strike was blocked by the foot of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Lampard showed his passing ability after the half-hour with a ball over the top that Ba got on the end of, but again Begovic was equal to the shot and Wilkinson made a last-ditch tackle to block Ramires' follow-up effort.

Begovic was beaten right on the stroke of halftime but by one of his own players as Cesar Azpilicueta crossed and Walters put a diving header into his own goal.

At the other end, Petr Cech was kept warm at the start of the second half by a powerful strike from Stoke midfielder Steven Nzonzi before Robert Huth headed wide from the resulting corner.

Stoke then thought they had won a penalty just before the hour when referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot after Azpilicueta brought down Matthew Etherington, but assistant referee Sian Massey had her flag up for offside.

Then, another calamity in the area from a Mata corner resulted in Walters heading past his goalkeeper again in the 62nd minute.

And the game was put to bed three minutes later as Marriner handed Chelsea a penalty when Mata went down under a challenge from Huth and Lampard struck the spot-kick high into the net before running to celebrate with the Chelsea fans.

In the 73rd minute, Hazard let fly from long range to give Begovic no chance and seal a win that moved Chelsea back up to third in the Premier League table.

Chelsea captain John Terry made his return from injury as a second-half substitute but he gave away a late penalty when he brought down Walters in the area.

However, the Irish international's horror day was made worse as he fired the spot-kick off the bar and over.

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