Romelu Lukaku proves why Chelsea spent record-breaking fees to sign him as the Belgian comes off the bench to seal comeback victory over Aston Villa and keep title hopes alive
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Substitute Romelu Lukaku came off the bench and scored seven goals in as many Premier League appearances against Aston Villa as Chelsea came from behind to claim a 3-1 victory to maintain their title hopes.
The Blues’ record signing showed exactly why his club had spent £ 97.5million this summer to sign him as he led what turned out to be a stunning winner for his first top-flight goal since September.
His effort came after Jorginho nullified Reece James’ unfortunate homeward goal in the first half and he finally settled all three points before a third was added on the spot in added time in what was a fierce victory for Thomas Tuchel’s men.
The hosts dominated early in the proceedings, with Ollie Watkins proving a good grip for the Blues’ defense, which got off to a rocky start to say the least.
With nearly 20 minutes left, Watkins then found himself in acres of space before shooting straight at Trevoh Chalobah, who did well to redeem himself and block.
Mason Mount then came closest to the visitors with a curling effort soon after with his long-range shot cutting through the top of the bar.
Villa struck first when James tried to glance at Matt Targett from the stands, but he passed over the head of a hapless Edouard Mendy.
However, Chelsea were lucky enough to equalize straight away when Matty Cash awkwardly beat Callum Hudson-Odoi in the region.
Jorginho was not wrong when he scored his fifth goal of the season on the spot.
Despite barely having a ball, Villa looked dangerous at the break and Danny Ings put some effort into Chelsea defenders.
And both teams have entered the break with good reason.
Romelu Lukaku was introduced after the break and he almost had an immediate impact, holding the ball brilliantly before moving on to Marcos Alonso, who laid Hudson-Odoi off before the Englishman made an effort on goal.
But the Belgian has proven exactly why Chelsea spent their record to sign him.
The £ 97.5million man took a peek at Callum Hudson-Odoi’s perfect cross into the net to put Chelsea ahead.
Mason Mount fended off a glorious opportunity to give the Blues a two-goal buffer.
With Emiliano Martinez in no man’s land, the England playmaker simply had to shoot into an empty net or pass to Lukaku to score.
But he dragged his effort away from the post, to the frustration of Thomas Tuchel on the sidelines.
With just a few minutes to go, Hudson-Odoi created a glorious scoring chance after being played flawlessly by Matteo Kovacic.
The 21-year-old simply had to finish but raked his weak effort too close to Martinez in goal.
But the Blues scored their third goal and three points when Lukaku pushed his way into the box before being knocked down by a Villa defender.
Jorginho, once again, was right on the spot when he crushed his sixth penalty of the season.
Steven Gerrard, who watched from home after testing positive for COVID-19, was ultimately powerless to stop his team from winning, with the Blues’ defense proving too resolute for the Villans.
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Local News abc News Romelu Lukaku proves why Chelsea spent record-breaking fees to sign him as the Belgian comes off the bench to seal comeback victory over Aston Villa and keep title hopes alive