Hiddink has had a huge impact since answering Chelsea’s SOS in December after Jose Mourinho’s side crumbled.
No manager has gone 12 unbeaten matches at the start of a single spell at a Premier League club.
With Diego Costa injured, he ignored the experienced Loic Remy and gave Bertrand Traore his home debut. Result? The Burkina Faso forward, 20, struck a wonderful opening goal that evoked memories of legend Peter Osgood, whose death ten years ago last week was poignantly marked yesterday.
Eden Hazard has started working for a living once more while Chelsea’s Boys from Brazil – Willian and Oscar – were constant thorns in Stoke’s tough and unrelenting defence.
The trio moved the ball swiftly, often cheekily, but failed to get a response from colleagues around them.
But Stoke are a dogged side. They make you fight to earn the right to play and can also play themselves.
Ibrahim Afellay forced a great, full-length 20th-minute save from Thibaut Courtois when it looked as if Chelsea had taken control of the game.
Stoke proved masters of the counter-attack and Xherdan Shaqiri, Afellay and Marko Arnautovic were always menacing and Chelsea’s defence could not afford to sleep.