Friday 13 December 2019

Walters gives Stoke the blues

Eleanor Crooks

REPUBLIC of Ireland striker Jonathan Walters had a nightmare day at the office yesterday, heading twice past his own goalkeeper and missing a penalty as Chelsea routed Stoke 4-0 at the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke had more than matched Chelsea during an even first half and it looked like they would reach half-time all square until Jonathan Walters powered a header into his own net in injury-time. It was the striker's 100th Premier League appearance but it was emphatically not his day.

In the 62nd minute, he repeated the trick with another header past Asmir Begovic, and Chelsea made it three goals in 11 minutes through a penalty from Frank Lampard and a long-range strike from Eden Hazard.

To cap off Walters' nightmare he missed a penalty in injury-time after being felled by John Terry, who made his first appearance since suffering a knee injury two months ago as a 79th-minute substitute.

The result marked the end of Stoke's long unbeaten Premier League run at the Britannia Stadium, which stretched back to February.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis insisted Walters would recover from his horror show, saying: "Jon's fine. We look after people at the football club. It wasn't our day today, it was Chelsea's day."

Pulis felt the scoreline was harsh on his side and was unhappy with referee Andre Marriner's decision to award a penalty to Chelsea after Robert Huth was deemed to have fouled Juan Mata.

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