After a poor start to the season, Chelsea continued their recovery under GuusHiddink by thrashing Aston Villa 4-0 to maintain their hopes of clinching a European place alive.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek opens the scoring in the first half thanks to a deflected shot. Cesar Azpilicueta was gifted too much space by the Aston Villa to find Loftus-Cheek whose shot deflected past JoleonLescott into the back of the net. Without too much effort, Chelsea found themselves leading.
Soon it was the debutant Alexandre Pato time to mark his first match in style by scoring on a penalty. Aly Cissokho made contact with Pato inside the box, and the referee awarded a penalty which the Brazilian converted with precision.
Chelsea lead 2-0 at halftime, and there was no sign of improvement from Aston Villa after the break. In fact, it was Chelsea who scored another goal after some sublime passing moves. After a quick break on the left, the ball arrived at the feet of Pedro, who buried it past the helpless Guzan.
It was all Chelsea after that with Aston Villa failing to take control of the game. Pato continued his impressive debut with a great shot on target only for Guzan to parry it. Pedro was the first one on the loose ball and did not miss the target even from a tight angle.
The match was marked by protests from the Aston Villa fans who were angered by the way their club has been run. With relegation more than certain next season, they feel that this poor season has been caused by poor management and could have been avoided. Banners were lifted by fans all around the pitch before kick-off, and there were loud boos at the end of the match.