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Chelsea 8-0 Aston Villa: Rampant Chelsea punish Villains at the Bridge

Chelsea returned to Premier League action in scintillating style this weekend as they thumped a poor Aston Villa side 8-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon

Chelsea returned to Premier League action in scintillating style as they thumped a poor Aston Villa side 8-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Fernando Torres opened the scoring in the third minute before David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovich struck before half time. Frank Lampard’s long-range effort on the hour mark all but ensured the three points for Chelsea whilst a Ramires double made it an embarrassing afternoon for Paul Lambert’s men. Oscar netted from the spot to make it seven before Eden Hazard wrapped things up with a superb solo goal.

The European Champions had been in Japan competing in the World Club Cup and there were fears that an upset could be on the cards considering the distance covered by the Chelsea squad. Neither were they helped by their mid-week Carling Cup quarter final at Elland Road where Rafael Benitez’s side came from a goal down to thrash Leeds 5-1. Villa came to Stamford Bridge buoyed by their excellent 3-0 victory at Anfield last weekend however Lambert’s side were hard pressed from the off to claim another such victory as the hosts grabbed an early lead.

Torres has enjoyed a better goal return under Benitez’s brief stewardship and it took him only three minutes to increase his tally. He met Ivanovich’s inviting cross and headed powerfully from just inside the area, claiming his seventh goal in six games. Aside from conceding so early, Villa contained the hosts with neither side enjoying much action in the final third. That was until Luiz’s thunderous free-kick doubled their lead and when Ivanovich reacted to head in the third from Gary Cahill’s cross, there seemed to be no way back for the Villains.

And so it proved when the sides reappeared for the second half. Lambert boasts the youngest side in the Premier League but the youthful zest that so brilliantly saw off Liverpool on their own patch last week was no match for Chelsea’s relentless attack. Villa keeper Brad Guzan initially did well to keep the score as it was, saving from Victor Moses and the incisive Juan Mata. However there was little he could do to stop Lampard making it four; the England midfielder- who made his 500th Premier League start- lined up from 25 yards and as we have been so used to seeing over the years, unleashed an unstoppable shot that beat Guzan.

Villa were a team beaten but the humiliation was not over for Lambert’s men who had well and truly thrown in the towel. The likes of Nathan Baker and Matthew Lowton will quickly want to forget this particular occasion as they struggled to repress the array of flair on show at the Bridge. Mata was his usual sparkling self: creative and decisive with his passing and always eager to bring others into play, while the sheer pace of Hazard had Villa’s young defenders on the back foot on more than one occasion.

Any thoughts of attacking that Villa did have were by now well and truly quashed and despite their best efforts to keep the score down, the tactic of damage limitation did not pay off. Ramires was brought on and immediately added a fifth, a well taken goal from a Lucas Piazon pass who was also introduced in the second half to make his debut for the club.

Chris Herd only made matters worse for his side when he chopped down Oscar- a 67th minute replacement for Torres- in the penalty area. The Brazilian dispatched the spot kick emphatically, blasting high into the roof of the net and giving Guzan no chance. Hazard- who had been exceptional all afternoon- capped his performance with a breathtaking effort in the 82nd minute. The goal was mostly of his own doing, dancing in from the left at speed and exchanging passes with Piazon before beating Guzan with a powerful shot.

With just minutes to go there was still time for drama as Chelsea were awarded another penalty, this time Ciaran Clark bringing down Piazon. The debutant had been bright since being introduced but he could not cap his first appearance with a goal as Guzan saved his spot kick superbly. Goal number eight however was not to be denied and Ramires popped up with his second, an easy finish after Oscar had done all the hard work.

This was as easy as it will get for Chelsea at the Bridge this season. Lambert brought with him a Villa side enjoying a good run of form and their performance here was certainly out of character. But Chelsea were good value for the romp and the goal-haul will have done no harm to the Blues goal difference. It may well do more for Benitez who has found it tough-going trying to win over the Chelsea faithful since he took over and he certainly looks to have found his feet after a win-less three game start which saw the club on the brink of crisis.

The goal glut also puts the Blues into the record books, for having the highest number of different goal-scorers from the same team in a single Premier League match. But perhaps more importantly the three points put Chelsea back into third spot and seven points shy of second placed Man City with a game in hand.

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