Romelu Lukaku scored twice – his first-ever goals at Stamford Bridge – as Chelsea chalked up another victory.
Mateo Kovacic set up Lukaku’s early opener and then scored three minutes into the second half to double the lead.
The outstanding Kovacic delivered a superb ball in behind the Aston Villa defence for the Belgian striker, who turned away from Axel Tuanzebe and fired past keeper Jed Steer.
Villa threatened an equaliser before the interval but their hopes of a comeback were crushed when Kovacic netted after pouncing on a woeful back-pass from England defender Tyrone Mings.
And after Cesar Azpilicueta galloped away from Mings down the right in injury time, Lukaku collected the Spaniard’s ball towards the edge of the penalty area and thumped home a fabulous left-footed strike.
The result leaves Thomas Tuchel’s side level with Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table after four matches.
Lukaku, playing at the Bridge for the first time since returning for a second spell at Chelsea, made it three goals in as many matches following his big-money move from Inter Milan.
Chelsea endured a difficult spell after his opening goal and Edouard Mendy kept out Ollie Watkins’ shot shortly before Thiago Silva rescued the Blues following a mistake by Saul Niguez.
New signing Saul, who struggled on his debut and was substituted at half-time, was robbed by John McGinn, who played in Ollie Watkins.
Former Brentford striker Watkins rounded Mendy but was denied an equaliser by Silva’s brilliant block.
Mendy produced a double save to ensure Chelsea got to half-time in front, parrying Mings’ shot and then reacting quickly to get to Ezri Konsa’s scuffed follow-up.
Chelsea: Mendy, Hudson-Odoi (Werner 82), Chalobah, Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Alonso, Kovacic, Saul (Jorginho 45), Ziyech, Havertz (Azpilicueta 64), Lukaku.
Subs not used: Kepa, Christensen, Loftus-Cheek, Barkley, Mount, Chilwell.