Lukaku fires Chelsea joint top in PL

English Premier League

Romelu Lukaku bagged a brace to inspire Chelsea to a 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.

Transfer Deadline-day signing Saul Niguez made his debut for the Blues, who had Romelu Lukaku starting for the first time at home following his record-breaking acquisition.

Chelsea looked to go ahead on nine minutes from a corner-kick by Callum Hudson-Odoi, but Ezri Konsa managed to get a touch on the delivery to drive it onto the bar and away from danger.

Lukaku highlighted his influence 15 minutes in after he latched onto a through ball from Mateo Kovacic to dummy Axel Tuanzebe for smart finish underneath Jed Steer.

The Clarets looked to draw an instant response from a low shot from close-range by Ollie Watkins following a pass by Jacob Ramsey, but goalkeeper Edouard Mendy smothered.

Villa launched another threat a little before halftime with a long throw-in which Mendy spill a snap shot from Tyrone Mings into the path of Konsa who also took aim only for Mendy to save again.

Chelsea’s advantage increased four minutes inside from halftime after Kovacic intercepted a back-pass from Mings to go on and apply a composed bottom-corner finish.

Despite the set-back, Villa didn’t surrender and another sight to goal from Watkins came off a cutback by substitute Leon Bailey put the effort deflected off Thiago Silva and away.

Substitute Bertrand Traore was next to try and halve the tally from a shot inside the area in the closing periods following a cutback by Watkins, but it clipped off Silva and over the bar.

The Blues weren’t done as Lukaku bagged a brace at the death with a shot from the edge of the area following a delivery by Cesar Azpilicueta to see his side go level on 10 points with the leaders Manchester United.

Crystal Palace handed Tottenham Hotspur their first loss of the Premier League season after registering a 3-0 win at Selhurst Park.

Spurs wear dealt a blow 12 minutes into the game, as Eric Dier limped off the field from an earlier collision with Palace attacker Jordan Ayew and saw Joe Rodon introduced.

The first clear threat of the match happened from a free-kick outside the area by Conor Gallagher at the midway stage after Ayew succumbed to Dele Alli’s challenge, but the attempt went over.

Spurs still battled to hit the ground running after halftime and watched Gallagher edge closer to the breakthrough with a volley in the middle of the area, but Sergio Reguilon and Rodon blocked.

The visitors would finish the rest of the match with ten players as Japhet Tanganga got a second yellow and subsequent red card 12 minutes into the restart for a late challenge on Ayew.

The away side’s resistance was broken three minutes later as Wilfried Zaha beat Lloris with a cool finish from the penalty-spot after Davies handled a cross from Gallagher.

Palace put the result beyond doubt with eight minutes to go after Zaha raced down the left to play a ball to debutant Odsonne Edouard for a neat and composed finish seconds from entering.

Edouard wasn’t done as he bagged a brace in stoppage time with a snap close-range finish from a ball by Gallagher, as it finished 3-0.

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