Morata scores first hat-trick for Chelsea

The day after Diego Costa flew to Atletico Madrid after sealing his 58 million pound move, his replacement, Alvaro Morata, scored a hat-trick in Chelsea's 4-0 rout of Stoke City to mark the dawning of a new era at the champions.

With eight minutes left, Morata completed his hat-trick when Azpilicueta chested the ball into his path.

Conte insisted, however, Alonso wasn't taken off because he risked a red card.

Morata's record after six games is six goals and two assists.

Although the Mirror suggest this difference may be down to Costa's behaviour while at the club, perhaps the Spanish worldwide will be afforded a lengthier farewell message when his departure to Atleti is finalised.

Chelsea will have the chance to close the gap on Manchester City when they come face-to-face next weekend at Stamford Bridge. Spurs ran out 3-2 winners but had to survive a scare as the Hammers capitalised on Serge Aurier's dismissal to reduce the deficit, but Mauricio Pochettino's men held on for a third straight away win.

Pedro scored Chelsea's other goal as Antonio Conte's side maintained its ideal away record in the league, keeping it within three points of United and City at the top of the table. Not only last season but in the period that he played for Chelsea.

"Today we started very well and then we started to suffer and it was important not to lose our composure, to always stay in the game". With or without him, Chelsea has so many options up front that the former champions are expected to take the initiative.

Antonio Conte is likely to start those players that were rested in midweek while players such as Gary Cahill who played the full 90 minutes may not start.

However, despite a disastrous start to the season, Chelsea have been flawless since the opening day.

Chelsea hasn't lost against Stoke since 2015 and scored a bucketful of goals against them both at home and on the road.

The days of Stoke operating with Rory Delap's long throw-ins are gone, but there is still a time and a place for the kind of approach which unsettles even the best teams.

"We have turned a negative situation into a positive one", he said.

Crouch is ungainly, awkward and not very easy on the eye, but he is effective and Stoke probably need to use him more often.

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