Chelsea 8 Aston Villa 0 - match report
Aston Villa were brought back down to earth in spectacular fashion as they conceded eight goals without reply against a rampant Chelsea.
The claret and blues have reached the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup and won 3-1 at Liverpool last weekend but Paul Lambert's side were given a reality check on a chastening afternoon at Stamford Bridge.
Ramires scored twice while Fernando Torres, David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic, Frank Lampard, Oscar and Eden Hazard all found the net for the European Champions who could have won by even more had it not been for some heroics by Villa keeper Brad Guzan.
Lambert named an unchanged team from the side which won at Anfield eight days ago, although Stephen Ireland replaced Charles N'Zogbia on the bench.
Chelsea were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position almost immediately from kick-off when Chris Herd fouled Torres, but Lampard smashed his shot straight at the Villa wall.
However, it was not long until the home side breached the Villa defence and they took the lead with a bullet header from Torres in the third minute.
Juan Mata fed the ball out wide to Cesar Azpilicueta and he whipped a cross into the penalty which Torres, who evaded the attentions of Herd, planted past Guzan with his head.
Chelsea continued to control the bulk of possession with Villa content to try to hit them on the counter attack and the visitors were indebted to Ciaran Clark for a last-ditch block to deny Mata in the 18th minute.
The Chelsea fans appealed for a penalty shortly afterwards when Nathan Baker grappled with Torres from Ashley Cole's dinked ball into the area, but referee Phil Dowd was not interested.
Villa's defenders failed to lean their lesson, however, and Herd committed a needless foul just outside the penalty area which resulted in Chelsea's second of the game in the 29th minute.
Luiz took the free-kick and gave Guzan no chance as he curled a powerful effort over the Villa wall and into the top-left corner.
Rafael Benitez's side notched up their third of the afternoon in the 34th minute from a Mata corner which fell to Villa old boy Gary Cahill who saw his shot on the turn parried by Guzan, but Ivanovic headed home the rebound.
Villa barely made any impact in the first half with a Barry Bannan shot from distance which flew high into the Matthew Harding stand the best they could muster.
Guzan was called into action early in the second half when he tipped a powerful strike from Mata over the crossbar after some neat build-up play from Chelsea.
And the American had to be alert to gather a Frank Lampard shot from distance in the 52nd minute before he made a world-class save to deny Torres.
However, it was not long until Chelsea scored again with a superb 30-yard strike from Lampard which nestled into the bottom-left corner of the net in the 58th minute.
It did not get any easy for Villa as the chances continued to come with alarming regularity and Chelsea substitute Ramires added a fifth 16 minutes later when he got on the end of a cross-field pass from Lucas Piazon and rolled the ball through Guzan's legs.
The home side increased their lead in the 79th minute after Herd brought down Oscar and the Brazil forward dusted himself down and smashed the spot-kick high into the net.
Chelsea were still not done and Hazard danced round the Villa defenders and smashed the ball into the net with an angled shot to score the home side's seventh.
There was still time for Piazon to miss a penalty after he had been fouled by Clark but Ramires slammed home Chelsea's eighth shortly afterwards to put the icing on the cake.
By Timothy Abraham
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