Soccer-Lukaku, Kovacic break Stamford Bridge ducks as Chelsea beat Villa 3-0

by 24USATVSept. 12, 2021, 4:20 a.m. 20
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LONDON (Reuters) – Chelsea beat Aston Villa 3-0 on Saturday for their 600th Premier League victory to move joint top of the standings alongside Manchester United after Romelu Lukaku and Mateo Kovacic scored for the first time at Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku, who previously played for United, Everton and West Bromwich Albion, had never scored at the ground — even during his first spell with Chelsea. But he got off the mark in his 15th appearance at the stadium when he opened the scoring.

In the 15th minute, Kovacic slithered past Villa’s midfield and released Lukaku with a ball that split the away side’s defence. The Belgian striker sent defender Axel Tuanzebe the wrong way before finding the bottom corner.

Kovacic got his name on the scoresheet three minutes into the second half when the Croatian midfielder pounced on a poor back pass from Tyrone Mings, chipping the oncoming goalkeeper Jed Steer to double the lead.

Lukaku got his second in stoppage time when Cesar Azpilicueta found the striker at the edge of the box where he unleashed a left-footed strike that gave Steer no chance.

Villa had their chances to score but Edouard Mendy had a stellar game in goal, making numerous saves to ensure Thomas Tuchel’s side kept their third clean sheet in four matches.

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