Romelu Lukaku scored his first and second-ever goal at Stamford Bridge to help Chelsea return to winning ways with a 3-0 triumph over Aston Villa.
The Belgian opened the scoring with a typically clinical finish 15 minutes into what was his 15th appearance at the ground, just minutes after Callum Hudson-Odoi's corner delivery was struck against his own crossbar by Ezri Konsa.
However, rather than feeling sorry for themselves, Villa rallied and should have at least been level at the break as Tyrone Mings, Konsa and Jacob Ramsey were denied by the inspired Edouard Mendy, while Ollie Watkins squandered a couple of gilt-edged chances.
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Chelsea debutant Saul Niguez had struggled with the pace of the game and was replaced by Jorginho at half-time, who inspired a much-improved performance after the break.
The Blues doubled their advantage just minutes after the restart when Mateo Kovacic pounced on a poor back pass from Mings and the Croatian made no mistake, grabbing his second Premier League goal of his career.
That killed Villa's hopes and momentum as Chelsea grabbed control of the game and in the final knockings, Lukaku hammered in his brace to give the hosts a rather flattering victory.
The win moves Chelsea into second in the early Premier League table, level with leaders Manchester United with 10 points from a possible 12. Aston Villa are 12th with four points.

TALKING POINT - Lethal Lukaku inspires Chelsea to flattering result

Considering his immense quality, it's hard to believe Lukaku failed to score in front of the home supporters during his first spell at Chelsea. But he's back to make amends and prove a point in London, wasting no time in getting amongst the goals and provide the cutting edge the Blues sorely missed at times last season.
Jorginho was their top goalscorer last term with just seven; Lukaku already has three in three. How many he gets is anyone's guess but the sight of him celebrating at Stamford Bridge is something we will all get used to.
In contrast, fellow new boy Saul Niguez is clearly going to take some time to adjust to life in the Premier League after a forgettable debut that lasted just 45 minutes. He was well off the pace, constantly giving the ball away and putting his side in trouble, and it's no surprise that Chelsea were much better when he was replaced.

PLAYER RATINGS

Chelsea: Mendy 7, Hudson-Odoi 6, Chalobah 6, Rudiger 6, Thiago Silva 7, Alonso 6, Kovacic 7, Saul 4, Ziyech 6, Havertz 7, Lukaku 8.. subs: Jorginho 7, Werner N/A, Azpilicueta 5.
Aston Villa: Steer 5, Cash 5, Konsa 5, Mings 4, Tuanzebe 5, Targett 6, Douglas Luiz 5, McGinn 6, Ramsey 6, Ings 5, Watkins 6.. subs: Traore 5, Nakamba N/A, Bailey 5.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)

Two attempts, two goals. A ruthless showing from Chelsea's new talisman that helps to banish the memory of Timo Werner's wastefulness of last season.

KEY MOMENTS

15' - GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Aston Villa (Romelu Lukaku): It had to be him! Lukaku opens the scoring in typical clinical style! Kovacic skips away from a challenge in midfield and sets the Belgian away with a lovely through ball. He sends his marker Tuanzebe for a coffee before sliding it past Steer for his first-ever goal at Stamford Bridge!
34' - Double save! How are Villa not level?! Chelsea fail to deal with another set-piece as Mings unloads a powerful shot which Mendy does well to parry. The rebound drops to Konsa but he doesn't get a clean connection and the Chelsea goalkeeper is on his feet to tip it around the post.
49' - GOAL! Chelsea 2-0 Aston Villa (Mateo Kovacic): A rare goal by Kovacic doubles Chelsea's advantage! But it's a gift from Mings who sells his goalkeeper short with a back pass and the Croatian makes no mistake with the finish as he grabs his second Premier League goal of his career,
90'+3 - GOAL! Chelsea 3-0 Aston Villa (Romelu Lukaku): The Belgian is at the double to give Chelsea a rather flattering victory. Azpilicueta races down the right on the counter-attack and pulls it back to Lukaku, who takes a touch and fires it into the roof of the net.

KEY STATS

  • Chelsea have recorded their 600th win in the Premier League, joining Manchester United (690) as the only teams to reach this tally in the competition.
  • Mateo Kovacic both scored and assisted a goal in the same game for the first time in the Premier League, and third in his top-five European league career, also doing so for Inter v Sassuolo (2014) and Real Madrid v Real Sociedad (2017).
  • Romelu Lukaku scored his first club goal at Stamford Bridge in what is his 15th appearance at the ground.
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