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Egypt's Sobhi makes first Premier League start in Stoke's 4-0 rout by Chelsea

Ahram Online , Reuters , Saturday 23 Sep 2017
File photo: Stoke City's Egyptian midfielder Ramadan Sobhi controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Stoke City and Swansea at the Bet365 Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England on October 31, 2016. (AFP)
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Egypt winger Ramadan Sobhi played full 90 minutes for the first time in the Premier League this season in Stoke City's thumping 4-0 English Premier League defeat at the hands of reigning champions Chelsea at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

Making his first start for Stoke, the 20-year-old played as a left wing-back in Mark Hughe's 3-4-3 formation against Chelsea, who had in-form striker Alvaro Morata to thank for scoring a hat-trick after joining in the summer.

It is the fourth game for Sobhi in the Premier League, having made three substitute appearances so far - the last of which came against Newcastle United last week.

Having taken four points from home games against Arsenal and Manchester United, Stoke could hardly have anticipated their terrible start when they conceded on 83 seconds to a neat finish from Morata, his fourth goal of the season and first with his boot.

But without three defenders including Kurt Zouma, Stoke struggled to stifle Chelsea's counter-attacks and conceded again after half-an-hour when Darren Fletcher mistakenly chested the ball into the path of Pedro, whose right-foot shot gave keeper Jack Butland no chance.

Stoke stayed in the game until Morata finished them off with goals in the 77th and 82nd minutes, first dinking the ball over Butland and then tapping in to take his season's tally to six. Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois suffered an injury after falling heavily but played on.

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