Goals in each half from Romelu Lukaku powered Chelsea to an emphatic 3-0 win over Aston Villa in their Premier League clash on Saturday. Lukaku’s goals came on either side of a Mateo Kovacic goal as Thomas Tuchel’s men comfortably secured all three points.
Although Lukaku gave Chelsea the lead as early as the 15th minute, the first half was dominated largely by the visitors. Villa maintained constant pressure despite conceding early on and should consider themselves unlucky not to be on level terms at half-time.
However, the visitors’ hopes of a second-half comeback took a hit when Kovacic bagged Chelsea’s second in the 49th minute. To their credit, Villa did not throw in the towel until the end but were unable to breach Chelsea’s miserly defense. Ultimately, it was Chelsea who found the net again, Lukaku rounding off the win with his second goal well into stoppage time.
On that note, here are five major talking points from an exciting game at Stamford Bridge.
#1 Aston Villa missed their key Argentinian players
Aston Villa’s pre-match preparation took a hit when Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia were forced to sit the game out. Despite most South American players being cleared to feature for their Premier League sides this weekend, the Argentinian duo were not as lucky.
Having been part of Argentina’s squad for their ill-fated clash against Brazil last week, Buendia and Martinez were rendered unavailable for this fixture. In fact, the pair flew to Croatia instead of coming to England in order to continue training while on the sidelines.
#2 Chelsea showcased their impressive squad depth
While Villa made five changes to their starting lineup, Chelsea replied with six of their own. However, not all of Chelsea’s changes were forced. In fact, this game was an opportunity for the Blues to showcase their frightening squad depth.
Saul, the deadline-day loan signing from Atletico Madrid, came straight into the starting eleven alongside Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech, among others. There was also a recall for Trevoh Chalobah, with the likes of Timo Werner, Mason Mount, and Jorginho all on the bench.
Given the resources at their disposal, Chelsea can justifiably be expected to challenge at the very highest level this season.