Lukaku and Kovacic Take Chelsea To Victory Over Villa  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 3 Aston Villa 0

Mateo KovacicRomelu Lukaku and Mateo Kovacic scored their first Stamford Bridge goals for Chelsea as the Blues beat Aston Villa 3-0 to move level on points with Manchester United at the top of the early Premier League table.

On his second home debut for the club Lukaku was brilliantly clinical to finish after Kovacic's through ball on 15 minutes and, after the break, the Croatian pounced on a poor Tyrone Mings back pass (49) to net his own maiden home goal for the club.

Villa had dominated in between those two goals, forcing Edouard Mendy into a string of fine first-half saves, while Ollie Watkins was denied by a crucial Thiago Silva block when he took it around the goalkeeper. However, after Mings' gift, the hosts - while still not at their best - found a measure of control and Lukaku stretched their advantage with a brilliant left-foot drive into the top corner in stoppage time (90+4) to double his tally.

Chelsea's sketchy first-half display led to debutant Saul Niguez being hooked at half-time but the Blues maintained their unbeaten start to the season. Villa - who were missing key men Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia due to their international trip with Argentina - have four points from their first four fixtures.

Player ratings

Chelsea: Mendy (8), Chalobah (6), Thiago Silva (7), Rudiger (7), Hudson-Odoi (6), Kovacic (8), Saul (4), Alonso (6), Ziyech (6), Havertz (6), Lukaku (8).

Subs used: Jorginho (7), Azpilicueta (6), Werner (N/A)

Aston Villa: Steer (5), Konsa (6), Mings (5), Tuanzebe (6), Targett (6), Cash (6), McGinn (7), Douglas Luiz (7), Ramsey (8), Watkins (7), Ings (6).

Subs used: Bailey (6), Traore (6), Nakamba (N/A)

Player of the match: Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea)

How Chelsea held off Villa to eventually win by three...

It was a frantic start to the match in west London, with Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso seeing shots blocked behind for corners inside a minute before Konsa headed wide from a free-kick at the other end before diverting a Chelsea corner onto his own bar soon after.

A moment of quality broke the deadlock on the quarter hour mark, though, when Kovacic used space in midfield to play through Lukaku who expertly cut back inside Axel Tuanzebe before finishing clinically past Villa back-up keeper Jed Steer, finding the net on his ninth appearance at this ground in a Chelsea shirt.

Despite the setback, Villa responded impressively. When Saul gave away the ball on the edge of his own box, Watkins forced Thiago Silva into a crucial block after he'd beaten Mendy, before the Chelsea keeper blocked another effort from the Villa forward and made a fantastic double-stop to keep out Tyrone Mings and Konsa.

That error from Saul compounded a poor first-half performance from the on-loan Atletico Madrid man, who, after winning one of his nine duels and losing possession nine times, was replaced by Jorginho at half-time.

And Chelsea were celebrating soon after the restart when Kovacic darted onto Mings' sloppy pass back to Steer to score and assist in a match for the first time since January 2017, when he was at Real Madrid, and break his Stamford Bridge duck on the 73rd attempt.

Kai Havertz almost made it three moments later when he shot across the face of goal and Alonso went close with a similar effort later in the half after Konsa had again tested Mendy with a header from a set-piece.

There were more efforts from Watkins and Mings but Mendy repeatedly dealt with the danger on a night when he was busier than he may have expected to have been. That solid base allowed Chelsea to press forward in the closing stages and they wrapped up their third win in four matches empthatically in injury time with Lukaku firing into the top corner.

Saul's debut to forget

In the first half, Saul won won one of nine duels, conceded three fouls, misplaced six passes ( with a pass accuracy of 83.8 per cent) and had a 58 per cent pass accuracy in Villa's half. He gained possession once and lost it nine times.

Opta stats

Chelsea recorded their 600th win in the Premier League this evening, 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, Aston 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.

Mateo Kovacic scored and assisted for Chelsea in a Premier League game for the first time, while he last did so in a game within the top five European leagues in January 2017 for Real Madrid (v Real Sociedad).

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku - who went on to net a brace - scored his first club goal at Stamford Bridge, in what was his 15th appearance at the ground and from his 22nd attempted shot.

Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku has scored in each of his last six Premier League appearances against Aston Villa (eight goals) - only against West Ham has he had a longer run of scoring in consecutive games against a specific opponent in the competition (seven, between 2013 and 2016).

What's next?

Chelsea host Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League on Tuesday at 8pm, before going to Tottenham next Sunday, live on Sky Sports for a 4.30pm kick-off. Aston Villa are next in action at home to Everton at 5.30pm on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.

Click Here For Official Team Sheet


Chelsea Mendy, Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger, Hudson-Odoi (Werner 82), Kovacic, Saul (Jorginho 46), Alonso (c), Ziyech, Lukaku, Havertz (Azpilicueta 64)
Subs Not Used Kepa, Chilwell, Christensen, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Mount
Booked Alonso
Goals Lukaku 15, 90+3, Kovacic 49

Aston Villa Steer, Tuanzebe, Konsa, Mings (c), Cash, Luiz (Nakamba 80), McGinn, Ramsey (Bailey 56), Targett, Ings (Traore 69), Watkins
Subs Not Used Sinisalo, Sanson, Young, Hause, El Ghazi, Archer
Booked Ramsey, Mings, Targett, McGinn


Referee Stuart Attwell

VAR Chris Kavanagh