Edouard Mendy – 9/10
After being named UEFA Goalkeeper of the Season last month, Mendy had another superb game for the Blues, keeping his third clean sheet in four league games. The Senegalese keeper made a number of impressive saves in the first half – including a brilliant double save in the 32nd minute to preserve Chelsea’s lead at 1-0. Mendy was tested less in the second-half as the the Blues saw out their victory with relative ease, saving a Konsa header in the 73rd minute
Chelsea continued their unbeaten start to the season as they comfortably beat Aston Villa 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Since signing from Stade Rennes, Edouard Mendy has been ever-present in Chelsea’s net. He’s established himself as a real fans favourite. In the clash with Aston Villa, there were times in the first half where Dean Smith’s men were on top. When the away side were piling on the intensity, Mendy was forced into action. When called upon, Mendy was consistent and stood firm in keeping Villa at bay. Despite Chelsea being solid at the back, when they do get exposed, Mendy is always there to reassure his teammates by performing when needed.
The Blues took the lead after just 15 minutes, with Romelu Lukaku firing past Jed Steer after a wonderful through ball from Mateo Kovacic.
Jorginho replaced Saul Niguez at half-time and brought more stability to the midfield. Kovacic was involved once again and was able to capitalise on Tyrone Mings’ mistake and make it 2-0 shortly after the break.
Just a couple minutes from full time, Lukaku grabbed his second of the game as he fired into the roof of the net and sealed the victory for his side.
The win sends Chelsea into second in the table, level with Manchester United and only behind on goal difference.
Chelsea opted for their usual 3-4-3 formation, with Saul making his first start in a Chelsea shirt since arriving on loan from Atletico Madrid on Deadline Day.
The Blues were looking to threaten their opponents early on, with Lukaku failing to get an accurate connection on the end of a Marcos Alonso cross.
Douglas Luiz forced the first corner of the game in the seventh minute as Saul blocked his shot, although the Blues were able to comfortably defend the set piece.
Shortly after, Jacob Ramsey prevented a Chelsea counter-attack after fouling Hakim Ziyech and was subsequently booked.
The first real opportunity of the game fell to the hosts, with Antonio Rudiger’s deft touch being knocked onto the crossbar by Ezri Konsa.
However, in the 15th minute Chelsea took the lead. Kovacic drifted past two Villa players and sent an expert through ball onto the run of Lukaku. He cut inside onto his right past Axel Tuanzebe and fired it into the net.
The visitors very nearly equalised shortly after, but Edouard Mendy pulled out a fantastic save to deny Ollie Watkins down low to his right. The eventual corner was cleared by Chelsea.
Villa had another huge chance to equalise soon after. Saul was caught lacking in midfield and Watkins was soon in space, only for Thiago Silva to pull off a superb block to deny him.
Down the Chelsea right, Callum Hudson-Odoi showed his pace and skill on the edge of the Villa box, but his cross was blocked and out for a throw-in.
Tyrone Mings became the second Villa player to go into the referee’s book after a hefty challenge on Hudson-Odoi.
Once again, Mendy was on hand to keep his side in front as he denied Mings and a wicked shot from Konsa from sneaking into the back of his net.
It was clear to see debutant Saul struggled to adapt to the Premier League in his first game as he gave to the ball straight to Danny Ings, with Silva once again being called into action to nullify the threat.
Ziyech’s first real contribution of the game came in the form of a shot on the edge of the box, only for it to be comfortably saved by Jed Steer.
Ramsey was the next player to test the UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year, but his shot was too weak and easily saved.
Antonio Rudiger hit an audacious effort way over the bar before half-time, which was greeted by jeers from both sets of fans.
The Blues headed into the break with the lead but had to work hard to protect their lead, with the visitors looking dangerous on the attack.
At the start of the second half Jorginho came on to replace Saul, who had a tough first run-out in blue.
The away side won a corner shortly after kick off, but the Blues were able to deal with it with ease.
Just minutes later, Chelsea doubled their lead! Kovacic was able to pounce on a poor backpass from Mings and he simply snuck it in past Steer in front of the Matthew Harding end.
The hosts continued their strong start to the second half as Alonso sent a dangerous cross into the box in the hope of finding Lukaku, but Mings was there to put it behind for a corner.
Leon Bailey was Villa’s first substitution of the game and was brought on for Ramsey.
Watkins was yet again at the heart of his side’s chances but Chelsea were still able to defend well and shut down any threats their opponents made.
Alonso received a yellow card for a foul on Bailey and was therefore the Blues’ first booking of the game.
Chelsea had a great chance to make it three with Hudson-Odoi sending a low cross in towards Kai Havertz, but the flag was soon raised for offside.
The latter was replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta shortly after, with the former shifting out to the left-wing from right wing-back. Moments after Kovacic was keen to get a second, but his shot sailed over the bar.
Former Blue Bertrand Traore replaced Ings in the Villa attack.
Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi were enjoying nice link-up play on the left hand side of the box, but were unable to create any sort of chance from it.
Villa won yet another corner, but Mendy was on hand once again to reclaim possession for his team.
It was very nearly three for Chelsea as Alonso did really well to turn and fire towards goal, but it went narrowly past the post and out for a goal kick.
Trevoh Chalobah, who again looked comfortable at the right centre-back position, drove towards the Villa defence and had the chance to feed Lukaku through on goal, only for a poor pass to let him down.
Marvellous Nakamba came on for Luiz, whilst Timo Werner replaced Hudson-Odoi as the game’s final change.
Ziyech looked to utilise the power and accuracy he possesses in his left foot, but his shot failed to trouble Steer.
Chelsea’s defence were called into action to defend Villa’s 11th corner of the game, with John McGinn’s shot going well wide of Mendy’s goal.
Stamford Bridge’s visitors continued to threaten late on in the game, but the host’s defence remained resilient and snuffed out any danger.
It was game, set and match in stoppage time as Chelsea finally grabbed their third! Azpilicueta made a great run on the right and fed Lukaku who simply fired in his second of the game. No chance for Steer.
Chelsea were victorious at full-time thanks to a Lukaku brace and a Kovacic finish, with the Blues’ next game coming against Zenit in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.