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Aston Villa vs Chelsea. Premier League.

Villa ParkAttendance31,120.

Aston Villa 0

  • A Hutton (sent off 85th minute)

Chelsea 4

  • R Loftus-Cheek (26th minute)
  • A Pato (48th minute pen)
  • Pedro (46th minute, 59th minute)

Aston Villa 0-4 Chelsea: Pedro scores twice as Blues thrash Villa

Chelsea midfielder Pedro celebrates after scoring his second goal
Image: Chelsea midfielder Pedro scored twice against Villa

Pedro scored twice as an under-strength Chelsea thrashed Aston Villa 4-0 in caretaker manager Eric Black’s first game in charge at Villa Park.

In a game that had the feel of a pre-season affair, Chelsea, who handed Matt Miazga his debut, broke the deadlock in the 26th minute with Ruben Loftus-Cheek firing home Cesar Azpilicueta's cross to score his first Premier League goal.

Substitute Alexandre Pato, who came on to replace the injured Loic Remy midway through the first half, marked his own debut in perfect fashion, scoring from the spot right at the end of the half after Aly Cissokho brought him down in the box.

Alexandre Pato of Chelsea converts from the penalty spot
Image: Alexandre Pato converted from the penalty spot

The visitors grabbed a third immediately after the restart with Pedro finishing off an excellent passing move and the Spaniard added a second in the 59th minute to round off the scoring and inflict a seventh straight Premier League defeat on Villa.

Victory moves Chelsea six points behind West Ham in fifth ahead of this afternoon's games, while Villa, who had Alan Hutton sent off in the 85th minute for a second bookable offence, could be relegated as early as next week depending on results.

In what was a slow start at Villa Park, Chelsea, who made four changes to the side which fought back to earn a 2-2 draw with West Ham last time out, created the first sight of goal as Pedro sent a well-struck shot onto the roof of the Villa net.

Chelsea's Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato
Image: Pato made an impact after coming on as a substitute

The Spaniard was involved again in the 19th minute and he had the ball in the net, chipping the ball over Brad Guzan after being played in by Cesc Fabregas, but the flag went up for offside against the Spanish winger.

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Chelsea were forced into an early change due to an injury to Remy and it meant a debut for January signing Pato, 63 days after joining the club.

And three minutes later the Blues were ahead after Azpilicueta drilled a low ball into the area which Loftus-Cheek fired past Guzan at his near post, courtesy of a slight defection.

Villa almost showed the perfect response as Jordan Ayew broke into the Chelsea area, slipping Carles Gil through on goal. The Spaniard forced Thibaut Courtois into a sharp save low down to his left before Baba Raham smashed a clearance against Ayew, only to see the ball loop back into the arms of the Chelsea goalkeeper.

John Obi Mikel in action for Chelsea against Aston Villa
Image: John Obi Mikel in action for Chelsea at Villa Park

Chelsea, who were lucky not to have Fabregas sent off for a second bookable offence, countered through Pato, who found Rahman out on the left. The full-back got a decent strike away but Guzan stuck out a strong hand to make the save.

Villa threatened an equaliser with Ayew's shot drifting wide of the far post but things got worse for Black's side as Chelsea doubled their advantage through substitute Pato. The Brazilian beat Guzan from the penalty spot after Sissokho hauled him to the ground as he looked to get on the end of Fabregas' cross.

Chelsea threw on Oscar for Kenedy at the break and they extended their lead immediately after the restart with the substitute pulling the ball back for Pedro to drill a low shot past Guzan.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is congratulated after scoring for Chelsea against Aston Villa
Image: Ruben Loftus-Cheek is congratulated after scoring for Chelsea

Pedro had his second of the game just before the hour mark after Guzan could only parry Pato's shot into the path of the Spaniard, who made no mistake from close range.

The boos were ringing round Villa Park with chants of "you're not fit to wear the shirt" as Black brought on Jack Grealish for Gil and Leandro Bacuna for Carlos Sanchez, and Grealish thought he should have had a penalty after a coming together in the penalty area with Pedro. However, referee Neil Swarbrick waved away the appeals.

As planned, the Villa Park faithful raised placards in the 74th minute against owner Randy Lerner, but on the pitch the home side nearly pulled a goal back as Ayew found Rudy Gestede on the edge of the penalty area, but the striker failed to steer the ball home.

Aston Villa supporters hold protesting banners
Image: Aston Villa supporters staged a protest towards the end of the game

The jeers continued to ring around Villa Park as the pitch was littered with the placards from the protest and Villa's plight was worsened when Hutton, who was booked in the 78th minute for a foul on Pato, received his marching orders for forceful challenge on Loftus-Cheek five minutes from time.

Villa went close to a consolation goal in the 88th minute when Grealish lashed Ayew's floated cross wide, but there was to be nothing for the home fans to cheer as Villa close in on relegation to the Championship.

Player ratings

Aston Villa: Guzan (5), Hutton (4), Richards (5), Lescott (5), Cissokho (6), Westwood (6), Gana (5), Gil (6), Sanchez (5), Ayew (7), Gestede (5).

Used subs: Bacuna (4), Lyden (5), Grealish (5).

Chelsea: Courtois (7), Azpilicueta (7), Ivanovic (7), Miazga (8), Baba (6), Fabregas (8), Mikel (7), Pedro (8), Loftus-Cheek (8), Kenedy (6), Remy (5).

Used subs: Oscar (7), Alexandre Pato (7), Clarke-Salter (5).

Man of the Match: Pedro

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