Romelu Lukaku scored twice as Chelsea continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa.
Lukaku’s double and a further goal from Mateo Kovacic secured three points for the Blues and moved the club second behind Manchester United on goal difference, with the former scoring for the sixth consecutive Premier League appearance against Villa.
The two sides started at a frantic pace and it was Chelsea who came closest to scoring inside nine minutes as Callum Hudson-Odoi’s corner kick evaded everyone, with Ezri Konsa fortunate to see the ball hit the crossbar after making contact with his knee.
Chelsea eventually found their breakthrough courtesy of Lukaku’s first Stamford Bridge goal for the Blues. Mateo Kovacic’s brilliant ball in behind sent the Belgian racing away, the club-record signing cutting inside Axel Tuanzebe before firing home a low finish.
Villa responded well in an entertaining opening with Ollie Watkins’ low effort forcing an immediate save from the superb Edouard Mendy.
Watkins looked Villa’s most likely avenue to goal and came close moments later, denied only by a brave block from Thiago Silva with the goal gaping after rounding the goalkeeper.
Villa continued to threaten from set pieces and soon forced Mendy into a double save, Tyrone Mings stinging the palms of the Senegal international, before Konsa’s follow up was deflected away for a corner.
Thomas Tuchel opted to bring Jorginho on at half-time in place of debutant Saul Niguez, with the midfielder helping the European champions exert a level of control.
The good work of Villa’s first-half play was undone just four minutes into the second period, as Kovacic latched onto Mings’ under-hit back pass to lift a finish beyond Jed Steer and double Chelsea’s advantage.
Villa brought on Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore in a bid for further creativity and goal threat, but the latter – a former Chelsea man – was unable to inspire a comeback with an effort from range deflecting over the bar.
Marcos Alonso’s driven strike came close, before Lukaku’s second – an emphatic finish into the top corner – capped a professional performance for Chelsea who settled well after the break.
There were positives to be taken for Villa despite defeat however, with Dean Smith’s side working tirelessly and registering more shots than in any other Premier League fixture this season.