Finally, after the fortnight of international football, Chelsea are back!
After the tough afternoon against Liverpool last time out, Aston Villa are this evenings opponents at Stamford Bridge.
The international break certainly took its toll on many Premier League sides, and after playing all three games for Italy and England respectively, Jorginho and Mason Mount are on the bench.
Saul Niguez comes straight into the side to make his Chelsea debut, and Callum Hudson-Odoi makes his 100th appearance for The Blues.
Romelu Lukaku leads the line looking for his first goal at Stamford Bridge in all competitions.
Aston Villa come to London without first choice goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, and £38m man Emi Buendia.
Both Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins are fit and line up together for the first time since Ings’ summer move to Villa.
A fairly open first 10 minutes, with both teams tactics clear to see. Aston Villa setting up in a 3-5-2 formation to combat Chelsea’s wingbacks.
Villa seem happy enough to let Chelsea have the majority of possession, and aim to counter through Watkins and Ings.
GOAL! 1-0 CHELSEA! 15 minutes into the game, and a terrific through ball from Kovacic sees Lukaku with just Axel Tuanzebe to beat, which he does with ease, and buries the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.
After a sloppy bit of play from Saul, Watkins has a mega opportunity to put Villa level, however the Englishman dilly dally’s too much, allowing Thiago Silva to get back and block the weak effort on goal. Should be 1-1.
Once again Aston Villa are parked in the Chelsea half. After a number of set pieces, Edouard Mendy comes to the rescue for The Blues. Firstly from Tyrone Mings and a then deflected effort from Ezri Konsa. Chelsea need to be careful here or they will end up being stung.
HALF TIME! Chelsea 1-0 Aston Villa – No major talking points at half time. Romelu Lukaku took his goal really well , and Chelsea are ahead thanks to the Belgian.
One noticeable observation from the first half is Saul Niguez. The Spaniard is having a stinker. After giving the ball away 7 times in 45 minutes, it really wouldn’t surprise me if Thomas Tuchel takes him off during the break.
As expected, Saul doesn’t return out for the second half, and the UEFA men’s player of the year – Jorginho comes on for the Spaniard.
GOAL! 2-0 Chelsea! A horrific mistake from Tyrone Mings sees the defender sell his goalkeeper well short, and Mateo Kovacic pounces with a delicate finish to make it 2-0!
An hour into the match, and the second goal has seemed to knock the stuffing out of the visitors. It’s difficult enough clawing one back against the European Champions, but two really is a tough ask.
Chelsea are fully in charge now, bringing Jorginho on has made all the difference. The Italian always looks fully in control, and organises the team around extremely well.
Villa are having another go for the last 10 minutes, but the Chelsea defence and especially Edouard Mendy are just refusing to be beaten. They want this clean sheet.
GOAL! 3-0 Chelsea! In the 93rd minute, seemingly out of nowhere, Romelu Lukaku receives the ball on the edge of the box, and fires the ball home into the top left corner. What a finish!
Full Time! Chelsea 3-0 Aston Villa
After a tough first half, Chelsea really did see the game out well.
Aston Villa were excellent in the first half, and as the season goes on, the strike partnership of Ings and Watkins will score a heap of goals.
Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy had another standout game, saving a number of first half shots, and providing The Blues with another clean sheet. Romelu Lukaku had another strong game, having 2 chances, and scoring 2 goals. However my man of the match would be Mateo Kovacic. The Croatian was excellent today, scoring a goal himself and providing an assist to Lukaku.
A couple of negatives for Chelsea were the poor performances of Hakim Ziyech, and more noticeably a tough debut for Saul Niguez. The Spaniard got hooked at half time after what was a horrendous first 45 minutes in a blue shirt.
Ziyech has threatened a number of times to show his class, but just doesn’t seem to do it often enough and the game just passed him by today.
All in all the Chelsea train rolls on. A fairly inviting fixture at home to Zenit St Petersburg comes next on Tuesday, before a grudge match next Sunday away at Spurs.
Let’s keep the momentum flowing, and continue our near perfect start to the season!
Up The Chels!