(Aston Villa – Chelsea 1-3) Romelu Lukaku (28) did as he “always” does against Aston Villa. He scored and got a penalty when Chelsea took a long-awaited victory at Villa Park.
Chelsea struggled in the first half against Aston Villa, and it was 1-1 after Jorginho had equalized on a penalty after an own goal by Reece James sent the hosts in the lead after 28 minutes.
Manager Thomas Tuchel was not particularly impressed with what he had been served by his players. The choice was therefore easy as he had Romelu Lukaku back in the squad after testing positive for corona earlier in December.
With Lukaku on the field, it became a completely different battle scene. With the muscle mountain at the top, the Villa defenders got into big trouble. Lukaku is also causing trouble for Aston Villa, and he stands with nine goals in ten games against the club that had to do without a corona-infected manager Steven Gerrard tonight.
After 56 minutes, Lukaku got through on the right and was very close to equalizing for the home side, but didn’t get the shot away. The 28-year-old’s first league goal since 9/11 – “of course” against Aston Villa as well. Then he scored twice, and thus three of four league goals after the Premier League return have come against the Birmingham team.
Lukaku also starred in Chelsea’s last goal. In overtime, he rushed through alone and was fielded by Ezri Konsa. A penalty kick was awarded, and Jorginho was able to score on his second penalty kick of the evening.
– I needed a match like this. The manager has had his reasons why I have not played, but I am happy with my performance tonight and just have to continue, Lukaku says to Skyt Sports.
Thus, Chelsea took an important victory. After only one win in the last four – two draws and one loss – the distance had begun to become terribly large for league leader Manchester City. There are still six points up after City won 6-3 against Leicester earlier tonight, but Chelsea are now level on points with Liverpool – who have played one game less.
Chelsea have two home games in a row now – against Brighton next Wednesday, and against Liverpool on 2 January.