José Mourinho said that he wanted to destroy his opponents ahead of Aston Villa’s visit to Stamford Bridge, but the Premier League once again showed why it is an extremely hard league to win matches. Chelsea had to fight hard in order to come away with a 2-1 win and three points against Aston Villa.
Mourinho surprised everyone by choosing Demba Ba up front over Fernando Torres, who was not even on the bench, and Romelu Lukaku. Juan Mata was also recalled to the team. It did not take long for Chelsea to open the scoring through a series of passes. Eden Hazard was put through on goal by Oscar, and the goalkeeper could only parry the shot from the Belgian onto his own defender Antonio Luna. Luna then diverted the ball into the net to give Chelsea the lead after just 6 min.
This fixture has been one of the highest scoring in the Premier League, and it looked like another drubbing was on the cards for Villa. Lambert’s men, though, continued their high pressing and defensive approach to the game. Chelsea’s momentum slipped away and Villa slowly came into the match, but they never looked like scoring until half-time approached.
Christian Benteke’s first-time shot stunned Chelsea with a goal just seconds before the half-time whistle blew.
In the second half, there was more of Villa’s resilience and Chelsea found it difficult to break through. Clearly, a goal looked like coming to a set piece rather than from open play.
Frank Lampard once again demonstrated his importance to the team with a great freekick that was converted by Branislav Ivanovic’s bullet of a header. Chelsea had taken the lead with around 15 min remaining and they were not about to lose it this time around.
A resilient yet firm display saw Chelsea limit Villa to only a few chances in the latter stages. The final whistle confirmed Chelsea’s three points and 100% start to the season. It is Manchester United next, and Mourinho’s men got the best possible result ahead of this big match.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Mata (Mata 64), Oscar (Van Ginkel 83), Hazard; Ba (Lukaku 64)
Goals: Luna (OG) 7, Ivanovic 72
Aston Villa (4-3-3): Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar (c), Clark (Okore 42), Luna; El Ahmadi (Tonev 81), Westwood, Delph; Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor
Goals: Benteke 45+2