Peter Crouch’s goal just prior to the break seemed to spur on Stoke and deflate Chelsea, as shortly after the restart the hosts were in front for the first time of the afternoon—Stephen Ireland beating Petr Cech to the far post with a delightful, left-footed effort.
Andre Schurrle brought the guests back to level terms only three minutes later with a thunderous half-volley, but the Blues were never convincing and Stoke only grew from strength to strength as the second half wore on.
Finally, in the final minute of normal time, Oussama Assaidi cut inside Branislav Ivanovic and released an impressive, curling shot that beat Cech to the far corner as Stoke claimed a memorable 3-2 win at Britannia Stadium.
Cech: Went walkabout on the corner-kick that led to Stoke's equalizer.
Ivanovic: Finding Arnautovic to be a handfull.
Cahill: Some uncharacteristically misplaced passes.
Terry: Should have done better on that fateful corner.
Azpilicueta: Starting ahead of Cole once again.
Ramires: Missed a trio of decent goalscoring opportunities.
Mikel: Found Schurrle with a good pass to set up the opener.
Mata: Has touched the ball 49 times and completed 100% of his passes.
Schurrle: Delightful, solo effort on his goal.
Hazard: Finding Cameron and Walters are doing a better job on him than Sunderland.
Torres: Only 20 touches of the ball - hardly involved.
Cech: Was at fault for the Crouch goal, but was helpless for the other two.
Ivanovic: Beaten badly by Assaidi on the winner.
Cahill: One of his poorer matches of the season.
Terry: Talked himself into a booking late on following an Arnautovic challenge on Azpilicueta.
Azpilicueta: Was fouled by Walters in the lead-up to Ireland's goal.
Ramires: Passing was off and was a passenger during much of the second half.
Mikel: Was replaced by Lampard with 20 minutes to play.
Mata: A solid effort (he completed 90% of his passes) but probably not enough to keep Oscar out of the side.
Schurrle: Scored a pair of sensational goals.
Hazard: Looked dangerous at times but was handled well by Cameron and Walters.
Torres: Did he even play?
Lampard: Completed just 69% of his passes.
Ba: Did well to earn a pair of fouls that put Chelsea in decent space on set-piece situations.
Eto'o: Managed only eight touches of the ball.