Chelsea demolish sorry Villa
Chelsea will sit third in the Barclays Premier League at Christmas after smashing sorry Aston Villa 8-0 in a farcically one-sided encounter at Stamford Bridge.
Fernando Torres' power header got the ball rolling for Rafael Benitez's men inside three minutes before a stunning free-kick by David Luiz and a Branislav Ivanovic header had the points in the bag by the break.
Brad Guzan could not keep out Frank Lampard's stinging long-range effort and he then suffered the ignominy of Ramires slotting a fifth between his legs before Oscar made it six from the spot in the 79th minute. And there was still time for Eden Hazard to become the seventh different goalscorer when he lashed home, while Ramires made it eight at the death.
The Blues started with their tails up and soon took the lead through Torres. Cesar Azpilicueta created the opportunity, his cross from the right finding his fellow Spaniard who still had much to do from 16 yards, but generated enough power on his header to beat Guzan.
With 29 minutes gone, they added a sublime second through Luiz who thumped in an arrow-straight free-kick with his instep and the home fans were celebrating again in the 34th minute when Gary Cahill's deflected shot drew a parry from Guzan but Ivanovic was on hand to head the rebound high into the net.
Lampard added a fourth in the 58th minute, the England midfielder marking his return to the starting XI with a wonderful low strike from 25 yards, becoming Chelsea's all-time leading league goalscorer in the process.
Lucas Piazon entered the fray to make his Premier League debut as Juan Mata's replacement in the 74th minute, and within seconds the 18-year-old had his first top-flight assist as his perfectly-weighted pass found Ramires who slotted under Guzan.
In the 79th minute Oscar was bundled over in the area by Chris Herd and the Blues midfielder picked himself up to plant his penalty beyond a dispirited Guzan.
Four minutes later it was seven as Hazard received the ball in the area and turned smartly away from his marker before burying the ball high into the left corner of the net.
It might have been eight in the final minute after Piazon saw a penalty saved by Guzan but there was still time for Villa to suffer further humiliation as Ramires turned home Oscar's pass beyond a clearly fed up Guzan, who could only wearily pat the ball into the back of the net.