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Summary

  1. Terry header & scuffed Fabregas shot
  2. Chelsea enjoy three-point Christmas lead
  3. Stoke 13th with 19 points

Live Reporting

By Neil Johnston

All times stated are UK

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Happy Christmas

That's a wrap. Chelsea have won the race to be top of the Premier League tree at Christmas. But do they have the quality to stay there until May? There's still a long way to go and no doubt many more twists and turns before the destiny of the title is decided once and for all. We're back on Friday with all the action from a packed Boxing Day football programme. Have a great Christmas Day!

Manager reaction

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes to Sky Sports: "We were frustrated to concede so early on. That's what you want to avoid. But to be honest I think we gave it a real go. We got on the ball, asked questions of them and we gave a good account of ourselves. We had to commit, the onus was on us to get back in the game. Before their second goal I thought we had them under pressure. All in all we've had a go against the team that many feel will win the league this season."

Manager reaction

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
PA

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho to BBC Sport: "These victories mean more than three points, to win and get three points the players need the right spirit and mentality, to win here they must be a really very good team with the capacity to adapt to Stoke's style of play.

"At that time [when Phil Bardsley tackled Eden Hazard] I felt the tackle was a bad one but if it was a bad one it was the only one. If the referee decided not to give a red and lost control of the game it is a problem but he kept control and we reacted well. At the end of the day it was a fair game, a typical English winter game.

"Now we have to focus on the three matches we still have until the end of this period. Playing against Big Sam is a hard job for us, we have to cope with it. The three point lead we have is a little advantage, it is a little pillow we have to protect us - we go home happy and pleased with what we did."

Clarke Carlisle in hospital

Breaking news elsewhere in football and former Professional Footballers' Association chairman Clarke Carlisle

is in hospital after being involved in a serious road accident on Monday. More on this developing story on the BBC Sport website.

What next for Stoke?

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Stoke could have climbed above Liverpool, Everton and Aston Villa into 10th in the table with a win over Chelsea. Instead they enter the festive programme 13th. Their next game is Everton away on 26 December followed by West Brom at home on 28 December.

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Independent chief football writer

Sam Wallace: Diego Costa booed by every home stand at the Britannia. Which, you imagine, is just the way he likes it.

Times chief football correspondent

Oliver Kay: Very good team performance from Chelsea at Stoke tonight. Matic was particularly impressive, but there was no hint of a weak link anywhere.

Player reaction

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

John Terry celebrates at full-time
PA

Chelsea skipper John Terry on Sky Sports: "It is a very tough place to come but the goal early on gave us a platform to build on and from then on we were in control of the whole game. Man City have come from nowhere and the good teams around us can put a run of games together. So it was an important win for us tonight. We are taking it game by game.

"Matic has been different class, he breaks the play up and goes on those bursts as well. He sits there, wins every header and tackle. He has been a revelation for us this season. This team needs to go on and win trophies but we are building the right foundations.

"It is important to look after myself and remain fit. We have a great squad, I am fit and playing well and I am delighted at the moment."

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Conor McNamara

BBC Radio 5 live commentator at the Britannia Stadium

"Diego Costa: 12 Premier League goals. Cesc Fabregas 12 Premier League assists. Chelsea have spent a lot, but unlike some others you could mention, they've spent it very well."

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Chris Waddle

BBC Radio 5 live at the Britannia Stadium

"Chelsea put their stall out very early and got the goal. Stoke were very poor. They had a decent 15 minutes but that was it. Very poor. Mourinho can start Drogba and play him for an hour with Costa on the bench over this busy period. You've got Oscar and Schurrle, who came off the bench tonight, and Filipe Luis - so there's a lot of options there."

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

So, what next for Jose Mourinho's men? It's a London derby when West Ham United visit Stamford Bridge on 26 December before an away game at Southampton 48 hours later.

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Chris Waddle

BBC Radio 5 live at the Britannia Stadium

"You can't bully this Chelsea team. Teams that win trophies can play all forms of football and they battled with Stoke tonight."

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Premier League table
Other

This is the fourth time Chelsea have been top of the Premier League at Christmas. On the previous three occasions - 2004, 2005 and 2009 - the Blues went on to win the title.

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Chris Waddle

BBC Radio 5 live at the Britannia Stadium

On Chelsea's chances of winning the quadruple...

"Chelsea haven't really suffered injuries like Manchester City have, they've got two difficult games in the Champions League home and away - they've got to play Liverpool home and away (in the Capital One Cup). There's a long way to go and it's very difficult.

"Chelsea have been very good but Stoke haven't just thrown in the towel, they've stuck at it. Chelsea look very fresh, I know people keep saying he's playing the same team but they do look fresh."

FULL-TIME

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

John Terry celebrates at full-time
Getty Images

Bojan flashes a chance just wide. And it's all over. Chelsea are three points clear at the top of the Premier League at Christmas.

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Oussama Assaidi wins a late, late Stoke corner but Chelsea's defending is good as it has been most of the night.

SUBSTITUTION

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Eden Hazard has had a tremendous game but his evening ends in discomfort as he is replaced by Kurt Zouma after receiving treatment for Jonathan Walters' yellow-card challenge.

YELLOW CARD

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Clumsy by Jonathan Walters as the Stoke man is booked after catching Eden Hazard's left heel. It's a booking for the Stoke man. Five minutes of added time.

Join the debate at #bbcfootball

Karl Bristow: May as well hand Chelsea the title now if home teams put in such tame, lacklustre efforts. Stoke play good football now? Pah!

Sean: If Costa can 'look after himself' why does he whinge like a baby to the ref EVERY game after he dives on the floor?

Mike Hall: Cesc Fabregas to Mark Hughes (probably): This is still not Barcelona football!

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Chris Waddle

BBC Radio 5 live at the Britannia Stadium

Diego Costa of Chelsea is held by Marc Muniesa
Getty Images

"Chelsea have done what they've need to and been by far the better side. Their weight of passing and movement has been excellent."

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Didier Drogba wants a goal. The ball lands at his feet 30 yards out and he has only one thought. Unfortunately for Drogba and Chelsea, his effort comfortably clears the Stoke bar.

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Decent chance for for Stoke but Thibault Cortois makes a superb low save to deny Oussama Assaidi. Suddenly, end to end.

SUBSTITUTION

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

That's the end of Diego Costa's night. He walks off, replaced by Didier Drogba. Costa has been very busy. The king of niggle tonight, a bad-tempered battle with the Stoke back line.

Chris Waddle

BBC Radio 5 live at the Britannia Stadium

"Chelsea really should have scored there. That was a great chance for Diego Costa."

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Huge chance for Chelsea to gift wrap these three points. Andre Schurrle lays off to Diego Costa, but Asmir Begovic saves low down.

SUBSTITUTION

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Stoke react to falling further behind by sending on Oussama Assaidi. He scored a dramatic winner in the corresponding fixture last season. He's not going to do that tonight.

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Cesc Fabregas celebrates on his knees
PA

'Jingle Bells' rings out among Chelsea's fans. Cesc Fabregas so often the provider of goals has one for himself.

Join the debate at #bbcfootball

Rian Hoskins: Well done Fabregas. The second goal we needed. He'll get the headlines for the goal and assist but Matic has been magnificent.

Sho: Really happy that Fabregas found a club that doesn't hold him back (Arsenal), or use him as a scapegoat (Barca).

Jared Maobe: Special players are required in special circumstances.

SUBSTITUTION

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Willian off, Andre Schurrle on. Jose Mourinho looking very relaxed now on the sidelines.

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Chris Waddle

BBC Radio 5 live at the Britannia Stadium

Cesc Fabregas scores
Reuters

"Well that's game over. Fabregas will be glad that went in the net because it wasn't the contact he wanted. Fabregas goes to volley it but he scuffs the shot and it trickles in."

GOAL

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea - Cesc Fabregas

Cesc Fabregas celebrates
Getty Images

Game over. Stoke had been showing signs of getting back into this when Cesc Fabregas collects the ball in the area, his shot into the ground catches Asmir Begovic wrong footed as the ball squirms into the far corner. Scruffy. Lucky. Mis-hit. Chelsea don't care. They're heading for the Christmas No 1 slot.

Stoke City 0-1 Chelsea

Neat move involving Charlie Adam and Phil Bardsley results in a chance for Marko Arnautovic but his attempt is horrible. Mark Hughes gets out of his seat and claps in encouragement. I'm sure he is muttering something under his breath about Arnautovic.

Stoke City 0-1 Chelsea

Chris Waddle

BBC Radio 5 live at the Britannia Stadium

"It was good pressure high up the field, Stoke are asking questions. Charlie Adam has added something they did not have until he came on - he gets on the ball and tries to pass it. He can create something. Chelsea should have scored more than one goal, they've dominated throughout. They should have two or three."

CLOSE!

Stoke City 0-1 Chelsea

This game isn't over! Substitute Charlie Adam has a clear sight of goal after Steven Nzonzi rolls the ball across the edge of the penalty area but Adam's first-time shots flashes agonisingly wide. Suddenly Stoke's tails are up.

Stoke City 0-1 Chelsea

Into the last 20 minutes. Should the score stay like this then it will be Chelsea's fifth clean sheet in six Premier League games. That's the form of champions.

Text us on 81111

Lisa, nervous and stressed Chelsea fan: This is driving me crazy. There is no point to dominate a game if you don't penetrate . Can see Stoke getting an equaliser when we could have pushed on and put this to bed.

SUBSTITUTION

Stoke City 0-1 Chelsea

The clock is ticking and Charlie Adam enters the action. The game has gone flat but Chelsea don't care. They're well in control of this. Stoke need inspiration. And quickly.

Stoke City 0-1 Chelsea

Chris Waddle

BBC Radio 5 live at the Britannia Stadium

"Stoke had that spell in the first-half for 15 minutes but Chelsea have been in total control throughout.

"Stoke just aren't getting any pressure on the ball and Chelsea are getting the ball in the wide areas where Hazard can just attack with ease."

SUBSTITUTION

Stoke City 0-1 Chelsea

Peter Crouch leaves the field
Getty Images

Peter Crouch hasn't had the best of nights. The Stoke forward will complain about the service but his evening is finished. Mame Biram Diouf is on.

Join the debate at #bbcfootball

It all goes a little Rudyard Kipling here....

Conor McMeekin: If John Obi Mikel is a starting player in a team that wins the league then I really worry for football. He is horrendously bad.

Joseph Pickering: If Stoke can just refine their passing a bit, they've got a very good chance of snatching an equaliser.

Stoke City 0-1 Chelsea

Marc Muniesa brings down Nemanja Matic 30-yards from goal and Willian's deflected effort fizzes narrowly wide. Crises of 'Diego' from Chelsea's travelling fans as Costa takes his place in the box but the corner comes to nothing.