And Austrian forward Arnautovic made Chelsea pay nine minutes into the second half when he volleyed expertly past Asmir Begovic on his return to the Britannia Stadium.
The victory was, of course, not without its controversial moment; Loic Remy found himself clipped by Jack Butland as he rounded the Stoke goalkeeper five minutes from time. Instead of going to ground, the Frenchman opted to stay on his feet and, off balance, tried to score, to no avail. Referee Anthony Taylor, in initially allowing play to continue, decided against awarding Chelsea a penalty.
An international break looms, the traditional sacking window for Premier League owners, and Jose Mourinho will have to wait to see whether Roman Abramovich considers him fit to continue when we resume.
On Saturday he wasn’t there of course, banned for his rant at referee Jon Moss two weeks ago but his presence was everywhere, from the Mourinho masks to the loud support from the Chelsea travelling fans.