Chelsea took an early lead when Andre Schurrle was afforded the freedom of the Stoke half to run at the hosts’ defence and plant a shot into the bottom corner past the despairing reach of Asmir Begovic.
But, despite all their territorial advantage, Chelsea stuttered through the rest of the half and were punished on the stroke of half-time when Peter Crouch shot through a crowded penalty area to equalise after Petr Cech had wandered needlessly off his line from a corner.
The match exploded into life after the break with Stoke edging ahead when Stephen Ireland curled past Cech but Schurrle equalised moments later with a tremendous hit from the edge of the area.
Both sides spurned chances to win it with Schurrle inches away from a hat-trick as his rasping effort struck the bar before Ireland somehow blazed over from inside the area.
And it was Stoke who grabbed a famous win as Liverpool loanee Assaidi cut inside onto his right foot and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner to dent Chelsea's title charge.
9’ – GOAL: Stoke 0-1 Chelsea: Schurrle picks the ball up inside the Stoke half, attacks the home defence before shifting it onto his left foot and firing into the bottom corner. Exactly what the Blues needed.
42’ – GOAL: Stoke 1-1 Chelsea: Cech attempts to come for the corner but gets nowhere near it. It bobbles around on the floor, breaks to Crouch who turns and manages to squeeze a shot past three blue shirts into the net. Well, that was unexpected.
50’ – GOAL: Stoke 2-1 Chelsea: Walters gives Azpilicueta a cheeky shove but the referee's whistle remains unblown. The Stoke man charges down the right before passing inside to Ireland. Can he finish? Yes he can! Wonderful curling effort past Cech. This seemed ridiculous just half an hour ago, but Stoke lead!
53’ – GOAL: Stoke 2-2 Chelsea. The visitors pump a free-kick into the mixer. It's cleared but only as far as Schurrle who lashes a tremendous effort past Begovic. Stunning response.
57’ – CROSSBAR: Schurrle turns superbly on the edge of the Stoke box before curling a cracking effort from the edge of the area which strikes the bar. So close.
67’ – SITTER: The largely anonymous Steven N'Zonzi flings a cross in from the left which Crouch takes down expertly in the middle. Instead of shooting, the 6'7" striker plays in Ireland who somehow curls his shot over the bar. Stoke should be ahead.
90’ – DRAMATIC WINNER: Stoke 3-2 Chelsea: Eto'o carelessly loses possession in the middle of the park and Stoke bomb forward. Assaidi picks it up on the left flank, cuts inside and unleashes a wonderful shot into the top corner. The Britannia explodes! What a goal! What a second half!
Stoke have beaten Chelsea for the first time in the top flight since April 1975. (Infostrada)
Chelsea have conceded three or more goals in successive Premier League away matches for the first time since April-May 1998. (Infostrada)
TALKING POINT: Can Stoke fend off relegation? After their 4-0 trouncing at Everton it looked set to be a long season for Potters fans. But they have responded in superb fashion with a point in midweek before today’s incredible antics. Stoke are four points clear of the drop zone and, if they can replicate their second half performance, can be confident of avoiding the Championship.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Glenn Whelan: Put in a real shift in midfield before being warmly applauded off by the home fans. His work in the first-half prevented Chelsea grabbing a second goal which would have killed the match as a contest.
Stoke City: Begovic 6, Cameron 6, Shawcross 6, Wilson 6, Muniesa 6, Walters 7, Nzonzi 5, Whelan 7, Adam 5, Arnautovic 6, Crouch 6. Subs: Ireland 6, Assaidi 7, Palacios 6.
Chelsea: Cech 4, Ivanovic 6, Cahill 6, Terry 6, Azpilicueta 5, Ramires 6, Mikel 5, Hazard 6, Mata 5, Schurrle 7, Torres 5. Subs: Ba 6, Eto’o 5, Lampard 6.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET