RADIO CLIVE'S FIVE: CHELSEA V ASTON VILLA
Throughout the season former player Clive Walker provides radio and TV commentary on Chelsea's games. Here he selects five aspects from Sunday's bumper win that caught his eye…
1. The players could have been a little wary playing a team everyone thought had come in to a little bit of form but when you start like Chelsea did on Sunday, that is soon out of your mind. The nature of the first goal was brilliant and Aston Villa never recovered. We never let them off the hook. The scoreline reflected Villa's naivety but also showed how classy we can be when we are full of confidence. We've moved on from the rigid nature of those first two home games under Rafael Benitez and matters are going in the right direction.
2. Villa were playing three at the back but at times it was hard to recognise. It was a real mix-up of a formation and at times looked more like four or five at the back. The defence didn't look comfortable from the start and maybe Paul Lambert will look back on it as a mistake, or maybe he'll simply think that Chelsea were good and Villa were bad.
3. The opposition never got any pressure on the ball and when that happens, we have a team with players who can pick passes and crosses. Whatever formation you play, if you are not putting any pressure on the ball and working hard to close down, you can be picked off at will. Credit to Rafa because crosses were coming in a bit sooner than normal and Villa are not particularly good at dealing with crosses. The first goal showed that. Whether it was three, four or five at the back, I don't think it would have made a great deal of difference to the result.
4. There was a new combination in central midfield. With Frank Lampard coming back from injury he is just happy to be playing and that came out in his game, notably with his goal. David Luiz was put under little pressure by the Villa midfield who didn't really get near him. When they did he used his pace and strength to deal with it. He needs to continue learning because a better team might have punished one or two mistakes but generally he was terrific.
5. The three substitutions could hardly have gone better. Ramires's fresh legs gave Villa no chance when he came on and drove forward from midfield. Oscar scored and helped create goals, and it was great to see Lucas Piazon come on, he never looked out of place. It is easier when the team is already winning well but to have an assist in a goal after a couple minutes deserves credit, although he will be disappointed to miss his penalty.