Costa strikes again as Chelsea crush Villa

Chelsea 3 Aston Villa 0

Diego Costa struck his eighth goal in seven Premier League matches as Chelsea marked Jose Mourinho’s 250th game in charge with a comfortable victory.

The £32m summer signing nodded home Cesar Azpilicueta’s inch-perfect left-wing cross on the hour mark to double Chelsea’s lead, given to them early on by Oscar.

Costa also created the third goal as his shot was parried by Villa keeper Brad Guzan into the path of Willian, who tapped home.

It maintained Chelsea’s three-point lead at the top of the Premier League and was a perfect warm-up for the Champions League trip to Sporting Lisbon in midweek.

The Blues seemed to have that match in mind for the first hour as they played well within themselves, despite taking a seventh-minute lead.

Willian saw a shot turned away by Guzan but laid the rebound off to Oscar to finish.

Although Chelsea dominated territory and possession they seemed to be happy to probe and struggled to break Villa down in the first half, with all their efforts on goal coming from distance.

Cesc Fabregas dragged a shot well wide, Costa had a header saved and curled a shot over while Willian twice fired over.

Villa were the better side in the first 15 minutes of the second half and Fabian Delph came close to an equaliser with a rasping drive which just beat the post.

Nathan Baker’s header from Ashley Westwood’s free-kick dropped on to the top of the net, but that served as enough warning to wake Chelsea up from their slumber.

On the hour mark, Costa, who minutes earlier had nodded an Branislav Ivanovic delivery straight at Guzan, made no mistake when presented with a beautiful cross from Azpilicueta.

Oscar thought he had made it three when he was sent clear and poked the ball past the advancing Guzan, only for Aly Cissokho to scramble back and hack off the line.

Chelsea did put a gloss on the scoreline with 10 minutes to play as Costa worked himself room and forced a save from Guzan, with Willian following up to force in the rebound.

Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar (Mikel 77), Hazard (Schurrle 67); Costa (Remy 80).
Subs not used: Cech, Zouma, Filipe Luis, Drogba.

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