Chelsea can celebrate Christmas as Premier League leaders after beating Stoke 2-0 on Monday night.
John Terry scored just 95 seconds into the game with Cesc Fabregas finishing off the Potters about 13 minutes before the end.
That means Chelsea move three points clear of Manchester City again ahead of the next round on Boxing Day.
Things could not have started better at the Britannia. Chelsea won a corner from our right side just a minute into the game and Fabregas curled in towards the face of the goal.
Captain Terry took matters into his own hands and got his head on the ball to put Chelsea in front.
It was a hard-fought match but the opening goal was calming for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Stoke full back Phil Bardsley got frustrated by how the game developed and was lucky only to see yellow and not red when he clipped down Eden Hazard before 20 minutes were played.
Minutes later, Thibaut Courtois, who returned from injury to face Stoke, made his first save of the game. Steven Nzonzi fired from range and the shot took a deflection on the way.
Courtois had to readjust but made a solid save to what was Stoke’s best chance in the half.
Diego Costa should have doubled the lead just before the interval when Fabregas played him through on goal.
The striker’s effort breezed past the far post as he approached Asmir Begovic’s goal and it stayed at just 1-0 at the break.
After the break it was a lot of battling on the pitch and few chances until Charlie Adam tested his left foot on 70 mintues. The midfielder’s shot had a nice curl to it but luckily for Courtois it failed to hit the target.
Chelsea looked content with the lead but knew that another goal would kill off Stoke and put the game to bed.
A couple of half chances were not taken, but when Hazard and Fabregas combined on 77 minutes we finally got our second.
Costa made a clever distracting run to open up the Stoke defence for Fabregas. The Spaniard received the ball from Hazard, took a touch to control it and found the bottom corner with a wobbling effort inside the area.
Overall it was a professional win by Chelsea – a typical Mourinho effort. The only drawback from the win was Hazard’s injury in stoppage time when he had to be substituted after taking a knock to his ankle.
Next up is West Ham at the Bridge on Boxing Day. Until then, Merry Christmas!