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Lukaku and Kovacic take Chelsea to victory over Villa


Romelu Lukaku and Mateo Kovacic scored their first Stamford Bridge goals for Chelsea as the Blues beat Aston Villa 3-0 to move level on points with Manchester United at the top of the early Premier League table.

On his second home debut for the club Lukaku was brilliantly clinical to finish after Kovacic’s through ball on 15 minutes and, after the break, the Croatian pounced on a poor Tyrone Mings back pass (49) to net his own maiden home goal for the club.

Villa had dominated in between those two goals, forcing Edouard Mendy into a string of fine first-half saves, while Ollie Watkins was denied by a crucial Thiago Silva block when he took it around the goalkeeper. However, after Mings’ gift, the hosts – while still not at their best – found a measure of control and Lukaku stretched their advantage with a brilliant left-foot drive into the top corner in stoppage time (90+4) to double his tally.

Chelsea’s sketchy first-half display led to debutant Saul Niguez being hooked at half-time but the Blues maintained their unbeaten start to the season. Villa – who were missing key men Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia due to their international trip with Argentina – have four points from their first four fixtures.

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