LONDON: Jon Walters had one of his ‘worst days at the office’ as Stoke lost 4-0 at home to a Chelsea side who put behind them the shock of a midweek home league cup defeat by Swansea.
Stoke’s worst home defeat since October 2006 saw Walters score the first two Chelsea goals – own goals – and miss a penalty opportunity for a late Stoke consolation.
Chelsea’s third goal was a penalty converted by Frank Lampard after Robert Huth pushed over Juan Mata. That was Lampard’s 194th goal for Chelsea, taking him to second in Chelsea’s all-time scorers’ list.
The three points lifted Rafael Benitez’s team above London rivals Tottenham after they could draw only 0-0 away to Queens Park Rangers.
That point, in Saturday’s early kick-off, lifted Harry Redknapp’s side off the bottom for only three hours. Later Reading overtook by coming from two goals down to beat West Bromwich 3-2 with three goals in the last eight minutes.
Romelu Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, scored both West Brom goals and had another disallowed.
Wigan climbed out of the bottom three with a 1-1 draw at Fulham, leaving Aston Villa to fall into the relegation zone on goal difference after a 1-0 home defeat by Southampton.
Defeat completed a bad week for Paul Lambert whose team lost 3:1 in midweek to fourth division Bradford in their League Cup semi-final first leg.
Lambert was unhappy with referee Mark Halsey for awarding Saints a controversial penalty even though TV replays suggested Enda Stevens had not touched Jay Rodriguez.
“The referee will be embarrassed when he sees that on TV later,” said Lambert.
Ex-Manchester City winger Adam Johnson proved his worth to struggling Sunderland by scoring their second goal in a 3-0 home win over West Ham.
Everton and Swansea ground out a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park while the clash between Norwich and Newcastle also finished goalless.
** England managers past and present – Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson – will share a discussion panel on Wednesday in London when the Football Association launches its 150th anniversary year celebrations.
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