It was a Boxing Day to remember for Chelsea as Thomas Tuchel’s Blues came from behind to defeat Aston Villa 3-1 at Villa Park in a thoroughly professional performance. Here we take a closer look at the match statistics and all the key talking points…
Despite going behind courtesy of a freak Reece James own goal, the Blues stayed patient and turned the screw on Steven Gerrard’s Villa side with a pair of Jorginho penalties either side of a Romelu Lukaku header ensuring the three points came back with us to London.
It was a real statement from Lukaku – who entered the action as substitute – while special praise should also head the way of Callum Hudson-Odoi, who tormented the Villans throughout.
It was a much-needed return to winning ways and sets us up nicely for Wednesday’s visit of Brighton to Stamford Bridge in another eagerly anticipated festive Premier League fixture.
Rom’s happy hunting ground
When Lukaku faces Aston Villa, more often than not he’s going to find the back of the net.
That’s exactly what happened when the Belgian entered the action as a half-time substitute, needing just 11 minutes to get himself on the scoresheet as he powered home a header into the far corner to fire us into the lead.
It’s fair to say he enjoys playing against Villa and the striker has now scored an incredible nine goals in 10 Premier League appearances against them.
To put that into context, he hasn't scored more against any other opponent in the big-five European leagues in his career.
Not a bad return to say Rom scored and won a penalty despite only having 18 touches!
Callum shines on return
Tuchel said before the game that it was ‘unlikely’ Callum Hudson-Odoi could complete 90 minutes having only just returned from having Covid-19.
The German did say the winger starts because he ‘looked fresh’ in training and by word did he look fresh at Villa Park, so much so that Tuchel kept faith with Hudson-Odoi for the full 90 minutes.
He was rewarded by a stunning performance from Callum, who was brought down by Matty Cash for the opening penalty before sending over a sublime centre for Lukaku’s header in the second half. He also fed Lukaku for his penalty-winning run.
The winger was electric all game and that was highlighted by his assist and three shots at goal.
The Blues were awarded two penalties at Villa Park, with Jorginho on hand to coolly dispatch both.
First, Hudson-Odoi was felled by Cash before Lukaku was brought down in the second period for our spot-kick in injury time.
We’ve had plenty of joy from 12 yards since Tuchel took over, in fact since the German’s first game in charge of Chelsea back in January, the Blues have scored more penalties in the Premier League than any other side (11), with Jorginho netting nine of these himself - more than any other club besides ourselves in this period.
Speaking of the Italian - when you need someone with ice running through his veins for the big pressure moments, then you can be confident that Jorginho will deliver.
The Italian held his nerve on two separate occasions to fire past Emi Martinez from the spot, first bringing us back on level terms before scoring another penalty in injury time to secure our 3-1 victory.
It’s a fantastic record that the midfielder holds from 12 yards and that’s now nine penalties [Premier League] in 2021 that he’s scored.
That’s the joint-most by a player in a single calendar year in the competition's history, alongside Matt Le Tissier in 1994 and Steven Gerrard in 2014.
The two goals highlight a strong showing from the Italian, who completed 89 per cent of his 62 passes and made one key tackle.