Chelsea gave their fans a welcome Christmas present by tearing Aston Villa to shreds at Stamford Bridge. Here’s how we rated the players in their 8-0 victory.
Petr Cech: 7
Deserves credit as he could have picked daisies all afternoon given Villa’s bluntness up front, but was still alert to turn their only shot on goal, from Andreas Weimann, on to the bar.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 8
Fantastic cross for Torres’ opening goal and did his job both defensively and going forward.
Branislav Ivanovic: 8
Kept Villa’s dangerman Christian Benteke quiet and got himself on the scoresheet. With David Luiz pushed further forward, this could be Ivanovic’s chance to cement his position at centre-back.
Gary Cahill: 8
Assured display at the heart of a defence which blunted the same Villa attack that had looked so impressive last weekend at Liverpool.
Ashley Cole: 7
Occasionally lax in his passing, but otherwise solid. Rarely stretched by Villa’s attack but didn’t exert his usual influence in attack.
David Luiz: 9
A midfield masterclass capped by one of the best free-kicks of the season. Dominant against a timid three-man Villa midfield, moving the ball-playing centre-back into the engine room could prove the masterstroke that reignites Chelsea’s season.
Frank Lampard: 9
A landmark day for the midfielder – his 500th Premier League start and his excellent goal saw him move clear of Bobby Tambling in the club’s top-flight scorers chart. Used the ball effectively and efficiently as usual and his goal was crisply struck into the bottom corner.
Victor Moses: 7
Was largely shackled by Villa left-back Eric Lichaj until the American went off. Enjoyed more space after that and made some dangerous runs, without too much end product.
Juan Mata: 8
Usurped by midfield partners Luiz and Lampard but in his brightest moment forced Brad Guzan into an excellent first-half save.
Eden Hazard: 8
His quick feet dazzled the Villa defence, no more so than when he twisted through a tired back four to score goal number seven.
Fernando Torres: 9
Looks refreshed, revitalised and – if his stunning headed goal is anything to go by – close to returning to the peak of his powers. His goal in the third minute started the rout and set the tone. Linked up well with Hazard and Mata – the key to getting the best out of him.
Came on for the last half-hour and helped himself to two goals, both very tidy finishes.
The fleet of foot Brazilian was also excellent from the moment he came on, forcing Chris Herd to foul him in the box. Stepped up to score the penalty himself.
Lucas Piazon: 7
Superb pass released Ramires for his first goal but when given the chance to score, saw his penalty saved by Guzan.