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Blues Cruise Into Third

Chelsea boosted their hopes of a top four finish as they eased past Stoke City with a 4-0 victory at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Two own goals from Jonathan Walters coupled with a Frank Lampard penalty and an Edin Hazard strike lifted the Blues up to 41 points and third place.

John Terry was included amongst the substitutes and played 12 minutes as he made his return to the side following a two-month absence due to a knee injury.

There was early pressure from the Potters as Peter Cech found himself having to make several saves. On the half-hour the Blues made a rare foray into the Stoke half and nearly opened when Lampard’s shot drew a fine stop from Asmir Begovic.

Just before the break Chelsea took the lead when Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross was headed by Jonathan Walters into his own net.

The second half started with Chelsea applying far more pressure and found themselves 2-0 up just after the hour mark and again it was the unlucky Walters who turned the ball into his own net.

Two minutes later the Blues wrapped up the game when Juan Mata was illegally brought down in the area and awarded a penalty. Captain for the day, Lampard, stepped up and stroked the spot-kick home.

With seventeen minutes remaining on the clock, Rafael Benitez’s men further showed their talent when  Hazard unleashed a screaming shot to make it a comprehensive 4-0.

Terry's return to the side was not all successful as he gave away a penalty in the dying minutes following a trip on Walters. However, the Potters man's nightmare day continued as he skied the spotkick into the stands.

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