Romelu Lukaku scored two goals as Chelsea resumed their unbeaten start to the season with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa.
Lukaku’s double and another goal from Mateo Kovacic secured three points for the Blues, putting the club in second place behind Manchester United in terms of goal difference, with the former scoring for the sixth straight Premier League against Villa.
The two teams started at a frantic pace and it was Chelsea who came closest to goal within nine minutes when Callum Hudson-Odoi missed a corner kick against everyone.
Chelsea eventually found their breakthrough thanks to Lukaku’s first goal for the Blues at Stamford Bridge. Mateo Kovacic’s brilliant throw-in from behind sent the Belgian away, the club record breaking Axel Tuanzebe before scoring a low finish.
Villa responded well in an entertaining opening when Ollie Watkins’ weak attempt forced an immediate save against the brilliant Edouard Mendy.
Watkins saw Villa’s most likely option to score and came moments later, only through a brave block from Thiago Silva, who gaped the gate after going around the goalkeeper.
Villa continued to threaten set pieces, soon forcing Mendy into a double save, with Tyrone Mings stabbing the Senegalese international in the palms of the hands before Konsa’s successor was parried to the corner.
Thomas Tuchel opted to get Jorginho in place of debutant Saul Niguez at halftime, with the midfielder helping the European champions exercise some degree of control.
The good work of Villa’s first-half game was undone just four minutes into the second period when Kovacic clung to Mings’ embezzled back pass to lift a finish above Jed Steer and double Chelsea’s lead.
Villa brought in Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore to create even more creativity and goal risk, but the latter – a former Chelsea man – failed to make a comeback with a distance defense over the crossbar.
Marcos Alonso’s single-minded goal was close before Lukaku’s second goal – a emphatic finish to the top corner – crowned a professional performance for Chelsea, who had settled in well after the break.
Despite the defeat, there was positive news for Villa as Dean Smith’s side worked tirelessly and recorded more shots than any other Premier League game this season.
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