Salomon Kalou celebrates after scoring Chelsea's first goal
By Chris Bevan
Salomon Kalou's hat-trick helped a rampant Chelsea thrash Stoke and return to the top of the Premier League.
Kalou headed home Didier Drogba's cross before Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen sustained a dislocated elbow as Kalou slid in to score his second goal.
Lampard made it 3-0 from the spot after Robert Huth fouled Kalou, who then ran clear to complete his hat-trick.
Lampard hooked home a fifth and Daniel Sturridge's cool finish and a Florent Malouda tap-in completed the rout.
Chelsea move a point clear at the summit with two games to go and their performance was an emphatic response to last week's defeat by Tottenham that had given Manchester United renewed hope in the title race.
United had beaten Spurs on Saturday to overhaul the Blues at the top of the table but, before they faced Stoke, Carlo Ancelotti's side still knew that they would win the Premier League for the first time since 2006 if they won their three remaining matches.
If the Blues felt the pressure, they did not show it; pouring forward from the start.
And, while next weekend's visit to face Liverpool at Anfield is seen as Chelsea's most problematic fixture, the Potters are not known for being easily rolled over so the manner in which Ancelotti's side went about their task was even more impressive.
Ashley Cole, making his first appearance since suffering an ankle injury on 10 February, came close to breaking the deadlock early on, following up after Sorensen had pushed away Lampard's 25-yard effort but seeing the Dane keep out his snap-shot.
Title in Chelsea's destiny - Ancelotti
Sorensen produced an even better stop to save Drogba's near-post header from Paulo Ferreira, before Drogba fired wildly over after he had taken the ball around the Potters keeper.
It seemed just a matter of time until Chelsea made the breakthrough, and their opening goal duly arrived on 24 minutes.
Drogba brought down Malouda's cross-field pass with a brilliant touch and sent over an inviting cross from the right for Kalou to stoop and head home from close range.
A second goal quickly followed but there was controversy over the way Kalou followed up Lampard's first-time shot to put the ball in the net, with Sorensen taken to hospital after being caught by his wild challenge for the loose ball.
Stoke could also be unhappy about referee Steve Bennett's decision to let Lampard extend Chelsea's lead from the spot before the break, as Huth tangled with Kalou outside the box but the winger stayed on his feet until he got inside the area.
With the game all but won, there was an element of lethargy about the Blues at the start of the second half and it appeared they were happy to save their energy for that crunch clash with Liverpool on 2 May.
Stoke had 'backsides slapped' - Pulis
But the final 21 minutes saw a glut of goals which reflected the home side's complete dominance and could also prove crucial should the title come down to goal difference.
First Lampard released Kalou, who cut in from the right and fired home the rebound after Stoke's replacement keeper Asmir Begovic saved his first effort.
Malouda then somehow failed to convert Nicolas Anelka's cross despite being virtually on the goal-line and he was also denied by Begovic's instinctive save.
There was no stopping Chelsea, however, and Sam Hutchinson's superb cross from the right was brilliantly turned in by Lampard at the far post, for his 20th league goal of the season.
Before the end, Drogba set Sturridge free to round Begovic and slot home his first league goal since joining Chelsea.
And with the Stoke defence in pieces, Malouda met Joe Cole's low cross to score number seven from close range and round off a stunning victory.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis:
"Chelsea were very good but we turned up and one or two were complacent, we've got to be 100% to compete in this company and we weren't.
"They were far the better team, we were lucky to get nil. We had our pants pulled down and our backsides slapped.
"The team means 11 players having a go not five or six, we were poor we didn't make it very difficult for them."
90:00+0:52 Sam Hutchinson produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
88:49 Joe Cole provided the assist for the goal.
88:49 GOAL - Florent Malouda:Chelsea 7 - 0 Stoke Florent Malouda finds the net with a goal from close range to the top right corner of the goal. Chelsea 7-0 Stoke.
87:59 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Didier Drogba by Ryan Shawcross. Didier Drogba produces a shot on goal direct
from the free kick.
86:43 Didier Drogba provided the assist for the goal.
86:43 GOAL - Daniel Sturridge:Chelsea 6 - 0 Stoke Daniel Sturridge finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Chelsea 6-0 Stoke.
85:30 Centre by Sam Hutchinson, Asmir Begovic makes a save.
84:35 Shot from deep inside the area by Frank Lampard clears the bar.
84:05 The ball is swung over by Joe Cole, Robert Huth makes a clearance. Branislav Ivanovic takes a short corner.
80:59 Assist by Sam Hutchinson.
80:59 GOAL - Frank Lampard:Chelsea 5 - 0 Stoke Frank Lampard scores a goal from close range to the top right corner of the goal. Chelsea 5-0 Stoke.
80:57 The ball is delivered by Sam Hutchinson,
79:38 Foul by Joe Cole on Rory Delap, free kick awarded. Dean Whitehead restarts play with the free kick.
77:23 Substitution Nicolas Anelka leaves the field to be replaced by Daniel Sturridge.
77:23 Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Asmir Begovic makes a save. Florent Malouda takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic. Corner
taken by Florent Malouda from the right by-line.
76:42 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tuncay Sanli by Sam Hutchinson. Glenn Whelan takes the direct free kick.
76:25 Shot on goal by Michael Ballack from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
75:48 Florent Malouda takes the free kick.
75:48 Booking Robert Huth goes into the referee's book.
75:36 Robert Huth gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Cole.
71:50 Substitution Sam Hutchinson replaces Paulo Ferreira.
71:50 Shot from close range by Florent Malouda misses to the left of the goal.
70:11 Free kick taken by Alex.
70:11 Substitution Joe Cole on for Salomon Kalou.
70:11 Glenn Whelan challenges Michael Ballack unfairly and gives away a free kick.
67:55 GOAL - Salomon Kalou:Chelsea 4 - 0 Stoke Salomon Kalou finds the back of the net with a goal from close range to the top right corner of the goal. Chelsea 4-0 Stoke.
67:50 Salomon Kalou takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic.
66:34 Michael Ballack concedes a free kick for a foul on Tuncay Sanli. Free kick taken by Matthew Etherington.
65:02 Nicolas Anelka has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
64:09 Ricardo Fuller concedes a free kick for a foul on Branislav Ivanovic. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.
63:40 Branislav Ivanovic concedes a free kick for a foul on Ricardo Fuller. Direct free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.
63:01 Ricardo Fuller produces a cross.
60:53 Booking Dean Whitehead receives a yellow card.
59:00 Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Alex.
59:00 Booking Glenn Whelan goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
58:53 Glenn Whelan challenges Didier Drogba unfairly and gives away a free kick.
58:07 Substitution Dave Kitson leaves the field to be replaced by Tuncay Sanli.
57:12 Rory Delap takes a shot. Blocked by Branislav Ivanovic.
56:30 Ricardo Fuller is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Michael Ballack takes the indirect free kick.
55:58 Salomon Kalou concedes a free kick for a foul on Glenn Whelan. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
55:21 Unfair challenge on Paulo Ferreira by Dave Kitson results in a free kick. Paulo Ferreira takes the indirect free kick.
53:52 Alex gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ricardo Fuller. Glenn Whelan delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed
from left wing.
51:38 Salomon Kalou takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.
51:22 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Matthew Etherington by Salomon Kalou. Matthew Etherington restarts play with
the free kick.
50:46 Unfair challenge on Ricardo Fuller by Frank Lampard results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Ricardo Fuller.
49:16 Unfair challenge on Ricardo Fuller by Branislav Ivanovic results in a free kick. Matthew Etherington delivers the ball from
the free kick left-footed from right channel.
45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
45:00+7:23 The match has reached half-time.
45:00+6:47 A cross is delivered by Florent Malouda, Unfair challenge on Danny Higginbotham by Didier Drogba results in a free kick. Indirect
free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
45:00+4:23 The ball is delivered by Dean Whitehead, Rory Delap produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
45:00+3:26 Matthew Etherington sends in a cross, Alex manages to make a clearance.
45:00+1:13 Frank Lampard crosses the ball, Unfair challenge on Ryan Shawcross by Didier Drogba results in a free kick. Indirect free
kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
43:35 Salomon Kalou provided the assist for the goal.
43:35 GOAL - Frank Lampard:Chelsea 3 - 0 Stoke Placed penalty scored by Frank Lampard. Chelsea 3-0 Stoke.
42:35 Foul by Robert Huth on Salomon Kalou, Penalty awarded.
40:46 Florent Malouda takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross. Corner taken left-footed by Florent Malouda from the left by-line
to the near post, clearance by Danny Collins.
39:43 The ball is sent over by Ricardo Fuller.
39:11 The ball is crossed by Ricardo Fuller, Alex makes a clearance.
37:26 Foul by Branislav Ivanovic on Ricardo Fuller, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed left-footed by Matthew Etherington from
right wing, clearance by Didier Drogba.
36:43 Didier Drogba produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.
34:10 Substitution Asmir Begovic on for Thomas Sorensen.
30:52 Frank Lampard provided the assist for the goal.
30:52 GOAL - Salomon Kalou:Chelsea 2 - 0 Stoke Salomon Kalou grabs a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 2-0 Stoke.
30:47 Frank Lampard takes a shot. Thomas Sorensen makes a save.
30:15 Florent Malouda sends in a cross, clearance by Danny Collins.
28:33 The ball is crossed by Frank Lampard, save by Thomas Sorensen.
28:00 A cross is delivered by Salomon Kalou.
26:48 Dave Kitson takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Ballack. Free kick awarded for a foul by Glenn Whelan on Ashley Cole. Indirect
free kick taken by Petr Cech.
25:16 Frank Lampard takes a shot. Save by Thomas Sorensen.
23:19 The assist for the goal came from Didier Drogba.
23:19 GOAL - Salomon Kalou:Chelsea 1 - 0 Stoke Salomon Kalou finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Chelsea 1-0 Stoke.
22:53 Michael Ballack takes a shot. Blocked by Danny Higginbotham.
21:33 Shot from deep inside the area by Didier Drogba clears the crossbar.
20:38 Unfair challenge on Ashley Cole by Dave Kitson results in a free kick. Ashley Cole takes the indirect free kick.
19:37 Ashley Cole produces a cross, Didier Drogba takes a shot. Save by Thomas Sorensen. Corner taken by Frank Lampard, Nicolas
Anelka produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
18:14 Corner taken short by Frank Lampard. Didier Drogba takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.
17:49 Unfair challenge on Michael Ballack by Dave Kitson results in a free kick. Michael Ballack restarts play with the free kick.
17:00 Paulo Ferreira delivers the ball.
15:42 Paulo Ferreira produces a cross, Robert Huth makes a clearance.
14:30 Paulo Ferreira gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Matthew Etherington. Indirect free kick taken by Danny Collins.
13:30 Dean Whitehead crosses the ball, clearance by Michael Ballack.
11:06 Frank Lampard takes a shot. Thomas Sorensen makes a save. Ashley Cole takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross. Corner taken
by Florent Malouda played to the near post, clearance by Dean Whitehead.
7:13 Dean Whitehead restarts play with the free kick.
7:13 Substitution Ryan Shawcross comes on in place of Abdoulaye Faye.
7:13 Unfair challenge on Dean Whitehead by Ashley Cole results in a free kick.
4:22 Didier Drogba takes a shot. Blocked by Abdoulaye Faye. Corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard from the right by-line to
the near post, Danny Collins manages to make a clearance.
3:56 Branislav Ivanovic fouled by Ricardo Fuller, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Petr Cech.
2:51 Handball by Ashley Cole. Abdoulaye Faye takes the indirect free kick.
2:23 Frank Lampard sends in a cross, Abdoulaye Faye makes a clearance.
1:00 Ricardo Fuller gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Cole. Petr Cech takes the indirect free kick.
0:24 The ball is swung over by Paulo Ferreira, clearance made by Abdoulaye Faye.
0:00 The game kicks-off.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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