Álvaro Morata

Stoke City 0-4 Chelsea: Clinical Morata buries Potters

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  • Morata scores in 2′
  • Pedro doubles lead
  • Stoke give away chances

Alvaro Morata scored his first Premier League hat trick as part of a dominant display as Chelsea punished mistake-ridden Stoke City 4-0 at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

Pedro scored the Blues’ other goal, and Chelsea moved third in the league with 13 points.

Stoke sits 15th with five points, one ahead of the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It was a ruthless start from the Blues, with Tiemoue Bakayoko starting a charge with N'Golo Kante that led to Alvaro Morata 1v1 with an indecisive Jack Butland. There was only one result, as the saying goes, with Morata sliding a clinical finish beyond the splayed Butland in the second minute.

Stoke didn’t shrink away, though, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was again a threat for the Potters.

Pedro made it 2-0 off a miscue from Potters’ skipper Darren Fletcher, who chested the Spaniard through on goal.

Stoke had a chance to answer back when Bakayoko gave away a foul atop the arc, but Xherdan Shaqiri‘s effort hit the wall and went out for a corner.

Mame Biram Diouf missed an overhead kick in the 43rd minute as the Potters kept searching for a way back into the match.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Stoke fans were living when Marcos Alonso nearly took a second yellow card in the 53rd minute, let off the hook by Mike Dean.

But Morata took his next chance very, very well, forcing a turnover and racing past Fletcher before making a difficult finish look simple. His hat trick goal was much easier, a tap-in past Butland.

PL AT HALF: Morata scores as Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City lead (video)

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Mauricio Pochettino says he’s in love with Harry Kane, and we’ll wait to see if Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho and Chelsea gaffer Antonio Conte feel the same about their star strikers after goals in two of Saturday’s six 10 a.m. ET kickoffs in the Premier League.

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Manchester City 1-0 Crystal Palace  – NBCSN [STREAM]

Wayne Hennessey is certainly being tested, and Scott Dann didn’t give him much help when Leroy Sane worked a 1-2 with David Silva to make it 1-0 just before halftime.

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea – CNBC [STREAM]

Alvaro Morata found himself 1v1 with Jack Butland, and made it look like a shooting drill to give the visitors a lead. An uncharacteristic Darren Fletcher giveaway cued Pedro up for Chelsea’s second.

Swansea City 0-1 Watford  – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Unfortunate defending and/or communication from Swans led to Andre Gray with the ball on the doorstep. That is rarely a good thing for the opposition.

Everton 0-0 Bournemouth  – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Simon Francis bloodied Wayne Rooney with an elbow to the eye inside the 18. The call? Nothing.

Southampton 0-1 Manchester United  – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

It’s Romelu Lukau who’s scored at St. Mary’s, as United looks ready to continue its fine unbeaten run. The Belgian’s header off an Ashley Young cross was saved by Fraser Forster, but the rebound dropped right to the star striker.

Burnley 0-0 Huddersfield Town  – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Nothing going to separate two early season top half surprises.

Chelsea condemn anti-Semitic song about Morata by own fans

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LEICESTER, England (AP) Chelsea ordered its fans to stop singing a song about striker Alvaro Morata containing an anti-Semitic lyric that was heard during Saturday’s game at Leicester.

[ PL ROUNDUP: Premier League’s big boys score big on Saturday ]

The chant references Chelsea supporters’ loathing of Tottenham and features an offensive term to describe Jewish people that they use as a derogatory alternative name for the north London club.

Morata headed in Chelsea’s first goal in a 2-1 victory at Leicester.

“I don’t think Antonio was aware of the song,” Chelsea spokesman Steve Atkins said. “The club and the players appreciate the fans’ passionate support away from home, of course. But the language in that song is not acceptable at all.

“We’ve spoken to Alvaro after the game and he does not want to be connected to that song in any way, and both the player and the club request that the supporters stop singing that song with immediate effect.”

[ SUNDAY PREVIEW: 4 PL sides in desperate need of early-season points ]

A post-match tweet from Morata, who joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in the offseason, vaguely alluded to the outcry about the chant.

“Since I arrived, I have been able to feel your support every single day, you are amazing,” the Spaniard’s Twitter account read, “and I’d like to ask you to please respect everyone!”

English soccer’s anti-discrimination body welcomed Chelsea’s swift condemnation and called for a criminal investigation.

“There is no place for such disgusting chants at football matches and in wider society,” Kick It Out said in a statement. “The organization expects Chelsea FC to ban any supporters who are identified as indulging in such abusive conduct and expects the police to take action against any identified perpetrators.”

Leicester City 1-2 Chelsea: Blues hang on to win

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  • Morata opens scoring
  • Kante scores vs. old mates
  • Vardy draws, converts PK

Alvaro Morata and N'Golo Kante staked Chelsea to a two-goal lead, and the Blues held on tight for a 2-1 win over Leicester City at King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Chelsea goes third with the win, nabbing nine points since an Opening Day loss to Burnley.

Jamie Vardy won and scored a penalty kick for Leicester, which sits 17th with three points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Riyad Mahrez played Jamie Vardy through to trouble Thibaut Courtois with a 25th minute shot that dragged wide of the diving keeper and the far post.

Alvaro Morata had a 34th minute chance blocked by a sliding Wes Morgan as Chelsea bid to take an away lead.

N’Golo Kante has sprung a few counters at the King Power Stadium, but it was his Chelsea giveaway sprung a three-man counter for Leicester. Riyad Mahrez slid the ball to Islam Slimani, but Thibaut Courtois made a terrific stop.

Morata scored moments later, rising over Morgan to meet Cesar Azpilicuta’s cross with a header beyond the reach of Kasper Schmeichel.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Schmeichel will have wanted to do better with Kante’s goal, hit low and across goal from 25 yards.

Thibaut Courtois’ sliding clearing attempt cleaned out Vardy, who converted a penalty kick chance to bring the Foxes back within one.

Harry Maguire was fortunate not to concede what might’ve been a knockout blow PK with an 82nd minute handball.

Willian had a late shot smothered by Schmeichel, as Leicester remained alive into four minutes of stoppage time.

Morata gives Spain’s No. 7 shirt back to David Villa

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When a country’s leading scorer returns to the national team fold, that star is going to get a lot of respect.

When that player is the all-time leading scorer for Spain, and won a EURO and a World Cup with the side, well, even more so.

[ REPORT: Chelsea in for Rafinha ]

David Villa is back in Spain camp this week ahead of a massive 2018 World Cup qualifier against Italy, his first time with La Furia Roja since the 2014 World Cup.

Villa has 59 goals in his Spanish career, 15 more than second-place Raul. So when Julen Lopetegui name Villa to the squad, Chelsea and Spain striker Alvaro Morata knew what he had to do with his current squad number.

The No. 7 belongs to Villa,” Morata is reported to have said.

It’s no small gesture. The No. 7 shirt in Spain is a big deal, and Morata is one of the most important players in the side. It’s a class move from Morata, who is far more critical to Spain’s 2018 World Cup hopes.