Cesc Fabregas inspires Chelsea to win at Stoke

Chelsea are three points clear at the top of the Premier League at Christmas after a fiery 2-0 win at Stoke City.

The Blues went into the clash level with Manchester City but settled any nerves thanks to John Terry’s second minute header as Jose Mourinho’s men made a supercharged start at the Britannia.

The visiting skipper marked his 650th club appearance in style as he rose brilliantly to power Cesc Fabregas’ corner into the net.

Diego Costa could and should have added to the advantage but dragged wide late in the first half before Fabregas capped his return from suspension in style with a miscued finish 12 minutes from time.

Stoke rarely threatened with long-range drive from substitute Charlie Adam and Bojan the best they could muster, and they were also lucky not to lose Phil Bardsley to an early red card when he thundered into a reckless challenge on Eden Hazard.

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Hazard was a constant menace throughout but picked up an injury late on following a foul by Jon Walters that saw him hobble off. It was the one sour point on a night when the Blues came out on top in a real physical encounter.

The result sees Chelsea sitting at the summit at Christmas for the fourth time in Premier League history and the omens are good for Mourinho and his troops, as they have been crowned champions on the three previous occasions.

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