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Willian ran the show in the absence of Eden Hazard as Chelsea thrashed an abject Stoke City 5-0 to go provisionally second in the English Premier League on Saturday. "We have a lot of great games to face".

While both sides rotated their squads after a hectic series of fixtures, Chelsea maintained their quality on the pitch in a scintillating opening half-hour, racing into a 3-0 lead and effectively winning the match through goals from Antonio Rudiger, Danny Drinkwater and Pedro.

Yet the absences of Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Andreas Christensen in the interest of squad rotation went nearly unnoticed against a hapless Stoke. The Italian removed Victor Moses, N'Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata by the 71st minute.

"It is quite a big crisis for us", Hughes told a news conference on Friday. We wanted this. I'm very pleased with the performance and to finish another game with a clean sheet. If you compare this season with last season, we have conceded less goals.

The scoring slowed down a bit after that with Pedro adding another before the break and further second-half efforts from Willian and Davide Zappacosta making sure of the points.

"I don't know about the next game".

Hughes, already without his first-choice defence as Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi were injured and Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma ruled out, opted to rest Joe Allen, Xherdan Shaqiri and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

"I rested a number of players who have been carrying slight knocks so that they will be fresh and ready to go on Monday". At times they'll make mistakes and at this level you get punished.

When speaking after the win over the Potters, Drinkwater was full of positivity, understandably so having bagged his first goal fro Chelsea. If we can get the win we hope we will get against Newcastle, then this Christmas period will have been a good return.


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