Chelsea were on cruise control on Saturday afternoon as they saw off a hapless Aston Villa 4-0 at Villa Park to continue their progress in the Premier League, while condemning the Villans to yet another defeat.
Pedro scored a brace, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored his first Premier League goal for Chelsea. There was also a debut goal for Brazilian Alexandre Pato, who converted from the spot after coming off the bench to replace the injured Loic Remy.
The Blues started with Fabregas forcing an early corner and they then won a free kick just inside the Villa half after Loic Remy was fouled but the delivery was headed away by the Aston Villa defence.
Baba Rahman was to concede a free-kick shortly after, as he went charging into the back of Carles Gil but it was quickly won back.
Aston Villa then went close as Micah Richards headed a Villa free-kick goalwards but it was an easy save for Thibaut Courtois in goal for Chelsea.
The Blues however reacted immediately as Pedro recieved the ball, shifted it on to his right foot and curled one just over the bar, in what could easily have been Chelsea’s first goal of the game.
But as much as both sides showed flashes of intent, there were no real opportunities being created as Villa looked comfortable to keep Chelsea at bay and hit them with fast breaks.
As if to react to the lack of credible chances created, the outgoing Premier League champions won a free-kick and Cesc Fabregas was on hand to deliver it to Pedro who was able to stick it in the back of the net, but the flag was already up for offside.
Villa, meanwhile, tried to also create some chance of their own, as Jordan Ayew went for goal from outside the box, but it took a deflection and went behind for a corner.
Joleon Lescott then headed Kieran Westwood’s corner towards goal, but Baba was there to hook it away and Gil volleyed the rebound high over the bar.
Remy’s day would soon be over as he suffered another injury with Alexandre Pato replacing him. The Brazilian making his first appearance for the club since he joined on loan in January.
The Brazilian would however waste no time to get into the thick of things as he found John Obi Mikel who played it on to Pedro. He switched it out to the advancing Azpilicueta and Loftus-Cheek finished.
It was Chelsea’s first goal of the game and the youngster’s first Premier League goal for the club as well.
A lot of credit must however go to Mikel, who showed great footwork under pressure before playing it on, what a lovely play by the Nigerian.
Villa were however having none of that as Courtois was forced into making a great save to deny Gil, Baba attempted to clear and it cannoned off Ayew and into the arms of Courtois.
After a few attacking exchanges in between which saw both sides going close to finding the back of the net, Aly Cissokho then put the Villans in a very difficult position as he fouled Pato inside the box, and the referee wasted no time in signaling to the spot for a penalty.
Pato rose to dispatch the strike with aplomb to mark his debut with a goal for the Blues. 2-0 at half time.
The second half began with Oscar replacing his compatriot Kenedy, and shortly after, the Blues were three goals up as substitute Oscar and Pato exchanged passes for Pedro to make it three.
As Villa restarted, Ayew then went close but his shot was aimed directly at Courtois, who saved very easily.
Chelsea were beginning to control the game and it paid off shortly after as Pato’s curler was saved by Guzan but he didn’t get enough behind it and Pedro doubled his tally from a tight angle.
Hutton then worsened Villa’s woes as he was shown a second yellow for a foul on Loftus-Cheek, as they finished the game with 10-men.