Chelsea 8 - 0 Aston Villa

Match info: Premier League at Stamford Bridge

Date: 23/12/2012 KO: 16:00 Ref: P Dowd Att: 41,363

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Chelsea

Fernando Torres 3
David Luiz 29
Branislav Ivanovic 34
Frank Lampard 58
Ramires 75,90+1
Oscar 79 (pen)
Eden Hazard 83

8
vs
0

Aston Villa


FT (ht: 3-0)

  • Last Updated: December 23 2012, 20:26 GMT

Rafael Benitez does not feel Chelsea's 8-0 thrashing of Aston Villa has made the rest of the Barclays Premier League sit up and take notice, believing they were already wary of them to start with.

The picture that tells the story
The picture that tells the story

The Blues ran riot at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, with seven different players getting on the scoresheet - a Premier League first - while it would have been more but more a missed Lucas Piazon penalty.

Chelsea have started to tick over nicely over the last month, with the furore over Benitez's appointment starting to die down.

They are still some way behind Manchester United in the title race, trailing the Red Devils by 11 points, but seem to be warming to the battle, which is something Benitez always knew was possible.

When asked if other teams would now be fearing them, Benitez said: "No. They knew Chelsea were a top side before, and still are. They will be dangerous and will have game-plans and ideas. Maybe they will be more careful playing against us, but they had a lot of respect for Chelsea before.

"Today we have that game-plan and idea. We knew they (Villa) would be dangerous in counter-attacks, so we were trying to stop them with the way we wanted to attack, and everything went to plan.

"The main thing is to win our games. You can do that if you can see the team improving. I'm sure it will be closer. We'll try to be as close as possible, but you can see the mentality of the team; even after six goals they were still pushing forward for more.

"I can see the team improving the little things we wanted to improve, but still we can improve some things and I say that after winning by eight."

Fernando Torres, revitalised under Benitez's stewardship, opened the scoring with a brilliant header, and the Spaniard now looks a totally different player to the one who had frustrated a trio of Chelsea managers.

"He's a striker. He needed to score goals. The team is doing well, he's having more chances, and he has more confidence as a result," Benitez added.

Is is conceivable that were it not for a brilliant display from Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan that Chelsea could have hit double figures, but the unlucky American could only watch as David Luiz smashed in a brilliant second and Branislav Ivanovic made it three before the break.

After the interval more came from Ramires (two), Oscar's penalty and Eden Hazard, while Frank Lampard marked his 500th Premier League start with a wonderful fourth from distance.

The 34-year-old has been linked with the Chelsea exit door for some time, with his contract up at the end of the season, but the fans made their feelings for him known as he became the club's all-time leading league goalscorer.

"He's an important player for us. He's training well, doing well, his commitment is there. I'm really pleased for him scoring another goal, so everything is positive," Benitez said.

"We still have a long season to play, but he's doing well. The squad that we have is a good squad and we have to keep the balance. We have lost Oriol (Romeu), so we have managed with David Luiz in the middle, but we are managing the squad as best we can. If we can, it'll be easier."

One man who does not look like sticking around is England striker Daniel Sturridge, who is thought to be close to a move to Liverpool.

"The information I had was that he was there, passing the medical, but we don't have any more information," Benitez said.

"Maybe he will come back to say hello, or goodbye. We will see. He's a good player. He has all the talent."

Sunday's mauling was a far cry from last week's 3-1 win at Liverpool for Villa, who were run ragged all afternoon.

In-form Christian Benteke barely got a kick in attack and manager Paul Lambert conceded that his men had been turned over.

"I'm not going to sit here and make excuses, we were well beaten, second best all over the pitch," he said.

"We'll have to pick ourselves up and go again on Wednesday, hurt as we are. Nothing really surprises me in football. I've been in it long enough to know you have to be bang at it every single game, but we were well below our standard of late.

"We'll go back to the training ground, train tomorrow and Tuesday, and go again. You go into every game thinking you can win. The first goal put us on the back foot, two minutes gone with a great header, but football shouldn't surprise you. They're a really young side. Sometimes getting beat tells you a lot about people."


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