Chelsea continued their impressive start to the season with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge this evening.
Romelu 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.
Speaking afterwards Blues boss Thomas Tuchel admitted his side had not been at their best despite the comfortable looking scoreline.
“It was absolutely not [a comfortable evening]. It was a strong Aston Villa side. They were well prepared, they looked very sharp from the start and very confident,” Tuchel told Sky Sports.
“They caused us a lot of problems, particularly in the first half. They’re dangerous from throw-ins, set-pieces and corners, and gave us many situations you have to defend. That’s not our favourite discipline, but we did what we had to do. The second half was better, we had more control. There were a lot of half chances that we didn’t take very well.
600 – 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. Milestone. pic.twitter.com/hWsnFo1sSV
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 11, 2021
“We played with some of the guys in a new formation. We were not at our highest level. We had some early ball losses because they played very aggressive in the last line. If we had better first touches and better movement, perhaps we could have had more chances. But credit to them, they played a very good match.
“It was a super dangerous game for teams who have so many players out on international duty. It was a strange feeling before the match. I hoped the first goal could give us some more confidence, but it didn’t.”
Tuchel did admit though that one player at the top of his game is £98 million striker Lukaku.
“He’s full of confidence and fully aware what he wants to do. He takes the last decisions and is absolutely confident of scoring, so he’s helped us a lot. We escaped with the perfect result, perfect evening for our striker.”
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The post Tuchel admits Chelsea were pushed hard by Aston Villa despite 3-0 win first appeared on The Football Faithful.
Author: Peter Henry