Chelsea thrashes Villa to reach third

Updated: December 23, 2012

Chelsea moved into third place in emphatic fashion on Sunday by handing Aston Villa a 8-0 drubbing at Stamford Bridge. If the Chelsea fans decide not to back Benitez and his team after this performance then there simply is no justice in the game.

Seven different players tallied goals in the game for the Blues, who won for only the second time in their last nine league games to move to within seven points of second-place Manchester City with a game in hand.

It took Chelsea less than three minutes to open the scoring with Cesar Azpilicueta delivering a right-wing cross into the penalty area for Fernando Torres to head past goalkeeper Brad Guzan to score his seventh goal in six appearances. One of the first questions asked of Benitez when he took charge at Stamford Bridge was whether he could revive Torres. The interim manager insisted he could and the striker’s recent strike rate suggests Benitez has been good to his word, as the sharpness of Torres’s third-minute header demonstrated.

David Luiz doubled the advantage shortly before the half-hour mark with a brilliant free kick from 25 yards, while Branislav Ivanovic tallied a goal of his own five minutes later when he scored on the rebound after Guzan had palmed away a shot from Gary Cahill.

The first half was miserable for Villa but things only got worse after the break as Frank Lampard scored from 30 yards in his 500th Premier League start on a sensational half-volley before Ramires made it 5-0 15 minutes from time.

Oscar scored from the penalty spot to make it 6-0 after he drew a foul inside the area, Eden Hazard scored the seventh goal and Ramires added another in stoppage time to cap the onslaught.

The loss ends a five-game unbeaten run for Villa, which sits three points above the relegation zone.