Chelsea 3-0 Aston Villa: Lukaku ends home hoodoo in Chelsea landmark winSep 11, 2021
Romelu Lukaku banished his Stamford Bridge blues as his deadly double helped Chelsea to a 3-0 win over Aston Villa, their 600th Premier League victory.
The striker made the most of a Mateo Kovacic throughball to net the 15th-minute opening goal, and a blunder from Tyrone Mings allowed Kovacic to clip in the second soon after the break. Lukaku struck a sublime third in stoppage time.
Lukaku had not scored at Chelsea’s home ground in 14 previous appearances, including 10 Premier League games, comprising those from his previous spell with the west London club and subsequent stints at Everton and Manchester United.
He made his Chelsea debut in August 2011 but did not establish himself with the club in his first spell; however, a different narrative is playing out second time around, with Lukaku 10 years older and lightyears more lethal at this level.
Manchester United are the only other team in Premier League history to have racked up at least 600 wins, and Lukaku put Chelsea on course to join them in the 15th minute. The £97.5million recruit from Inter sprinted behind the Villa defence before cutting back on his right foot as Axel Tuanzebe closed in and firing low beyond Jed Steer.
Villa carried a threat of their own and almost forced a leveller three minutes later when Ollie Watkins charged forward and rifled towards the bottom-left corner, only for Edouard Mendy to produce an excellent low save, tipping the ball wide. Watkins also failed to convert a clear chance when his shot was blocked by Thiago Silva as Chelsea’s defence looked shaky.
Mendy again came to Chelsea’s rescue in the 32nd minute when he dealt superbly with a Mings howitzer before palming away a mis-hit attempt on the rebound from Ezri Konsa.
Konsa had earlier made a goal-saving intervention on the line when a corner from Callum Hudson-Odoi swung in and needed to be deflected away off the crossbar.
Kovacic put Chelsea two goals clear in the 48th minute when England defender Mings’ short backpass was seized on, a first-time finish into the left corner giving the hosts a cushion.
From that point, Chelsea began to look comfortable, Marcos Alonso and Kovacic trying to no avail to extend their lead. Lukaku showed the way in the dying moments, blasting the ball into the top-left corner from just inside the penalty area.
What does it mean? Chelsea show their credentials
Ten points from four games with only one goal conceded is an excellent start to the campaign for Chelsea, with Tuchel shuffling his team here after the demanding international break.
Saul Niguez came in for his debut after arriving from Atletico Madrid but was not at his best and it made good sense to replace him with Jorginho for the second half.
Such options are the preserve of squads built for success, and it is hard to see Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea team not being in the trophy mix later in the campaign.
Villa should have seen it coming
This is typically a good home game for Chelsea, and a rotten trip for Villa, and so it proved again.
The Blues have now lost just one of their last 17 home league games against Villa (W12 D4), with that lone defeat in the sequence coming in December 2011.
Lukaku only had two shots and buried both, and despite Villa having 18 goal attempts to Chelsea’s 12, this is a precision game and the hosts were clinical at one end and at the other they had a goalkeeper in Mendy, whose six saves demonstrated his huge value to the team.
Ings’ off day
Chelsea were linked with Danny Ings at one stage in the close season, before he left Southampton for Villa.
The England forward had been involved in eight goals in his most recent nine Premier League starts (6 goals, 2 assists) heading into this game, registering a goal involvement in all three of his appearances for Villa (2 goals, 1 assist).
That run with his new club ended, however, after a disappointing outing that saw him have just one shot, which was immediately blocked, and only 14 touches in 69 minutes.
Key Opta Facts
– Chelsea recorded their 600th win in the Premier League, joining Manchester United (690) as the only teams to reach this tally in the competition.
– Aston Villa have lost six of their last seven Premier League away games at Stamford Bridge (D1), conceding 21 goals and only scoring three in reply across these meetings.
– Chelsea have only conceded one goal in the Premier League so far this season, their fewest after four games of a league campaign since 2010-11 under Carlo Ancelotti (also one).
– Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 91 Premier League games at Stamford Bridge when leading at half-time (W75 D16), with their last such defeat coming in October 2011 against Arsenal (3-5).
– Despite failing to score, Villa attempted 18 shots at Stamford Bridge – only Liverpool (24, in Chelsea’s previous game) have fired in more attempts in a Premier League game against the Blues under Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea will be in Champions League action when Zenit visit Stamford Bridge on Tuesday. Villa will be at home against Everton in their next outing, a Premier League tussle next Saturday.