Romelu Lukaku was on target twice while Mateo Kovacic also scored as Chelsea beat Aston Villa 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.

It was a tightly-contested affair, especially in the first half as both teams pushed hard to draw first blood. It was Chelsea, however, who took the lead at Stamford Bridge, with Romelu Lukaku scoring his first-ever goal at the ground after being set up by Mateo Kovacic.

However, Aston Villa cranked up the pressure after going behind with Edouard Mendy called in to make four top saves in the first half while Thiago Silva also produced a goal-saving block to keep Chelsea’s lead intact. And, the Blues doubled their advantage early in the second half as Kovacic pounced on an errant backpass from Tyrone Mings and produced a fine finish.

There were a few nervy moments at the back for Chelsea, but Silva & co. kept the visitors at bay before Romelu Lukaku got his second of the evening in stoppage time to wrap up a crucial victory for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

The win sees the west London giants move level on points with leaders Manchester United, who defeated Newcastle United 4-1 earlier on Saturday, riding on Cristiano Ronaldo’s brilliance. Here are our ratings for the Chelsea stars after yet another victory under Tuchel.

Edouard Mendy: 8/10

Proved his worth yet again as he kept Chelsea ahead with a slew of fine stops in the first half. Denied Ollie Watkins before producing a fine double save to keep Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa out. Then pulled off a stop to thwart Jacob Ramsey. Made three more saves after half-time. Did get beaten by Watkins on one occasion in the first period, but was saved by his teammate Thiago Silva.

Trevoh Chalobah: 7/10

Coming into the starting XI, the young defender put up another mature display. Stood tall in the face of some intense pressure from Aston Villa in the first half and did well to keep the dangerous Leon Bailey quiet after the break as well. Another step in the right direction.

Thiago Silva: 8/10

It was not clear if he would be cleared to play until late last night. But, showed his quality and preparedness, despite his advancing years, to help Chelsea clinch this win. A huge block to stop Watkins in the first period aside, Silva kept on coming up with crucial interventions in key moments to keep the visitors at bay and was assured in possession. Top-notch.

Antonio Rudiger: 7/10

Had a few issues coping with Watkins at times, but fought through those and helped Chelsea get across the line. A vocal presence on the field, the German has become a leader of this side and also was not afraid to drive up the pitch with the ball, allowing his team to keep the opposition pinned back.

Callum Hudson-Odoi: 6/10

Making his 100th appearance for Chelsea, the English youngster wasn’t always able to showcase his best qualities starting at right wing-back and had some issues defensively against a spirited Villa side. That said, did have a few positive moments going forward at pace, especially after the hour mark when he was moved into an attacking role. Needs to work on his end product, though.

Mateo Kovacic: 8/10

Was the senior man in midfield in the absence of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho and took up the responsibility with aplomb. Great driving run and an equally fine pass to set Lukaku up for the first goal. Then capitalised on a sloppy pass from Mings to score Chelsea’s second. Does not offer the same level of defensive security as Kante or Jorginho, which was clear in the first period. But, nonetheless, a fine display from Kovacic.

Saul Niguez: 4/10

A debut to forget for the Spaniard. Just could not get to grips with the pace and pressure of Aston Villa. Gave away three fouls, lost seven of his eight duels and lost possession nine times before being whisked off at half-time. Will see better days.

Marcos Alonso: 7/10

Was frozen out at this time last year, but on Saturday, Alonso captained the Chelsea side and put in another good showing. Worked hard to run up and down the pitch, although he was unable to bring the same level of attacking threat that he usually does. Fine start to the season continues.

Hakim Ziyech: 6/10

Making his first start after the Super Cup injury, the Moroccan showed glimpses of quality here and there with some eye-catching passes, but wasn’t able to make a defining impact on the proceedings. Needs to get up to scratch quickly.

Kai Havertz: 6/10

A largely quiet outing for the German international who had trouble getting past the Aston Villa defence on a regular basis. A few moments of neat touches and nice link-up play aside, Havert failed to paise any serious threat.

Romelu Lukaku: 8/10

Not at the same level he was at against Arsenal, but Romelu Lukaku made the most of the chances that came his way, first applying the finishing touches on a brilliant pass from Kovacic before getting his second of the afternoon with another well-taken strike late in the contest. Hadn’t scored at the Bridge during his first stint with Chelsea and got two goals on Saturday.

SUBSTITUTES

Jorginho: 7/10

Brought on for the struggling Saul at half-time and Chelsea looked a much better team with the Italian. Composed on the ball, allowed Chelsea that bit of control that was missing in the first half.

Cesar Azpilicueta: 6.5/10

On for Havertz in the 64th minute. Good assist for Lukaku’s second goal of the night.

Timo Werner: N/A

Late sub for Hudson-Odoi.

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