The Times, Martin Samuel: "The scoreline suggests respectability, but the actuality was different. This was as comprehensive as any victory by such a conventional margin could be. A 2-0 marmalising, a 2-0 whitewash, a 2-0 knockout and then some. If Chelsea did not push on to record their biggest win under Luiz Felipe Scolari, it was only because so comprehensive was their superiority in the first half that the second was played as a glorified training exercise."
The Independent, Jason Burt: "For the first half this was, maybe, the best Chelsea have played in the Roman Abramovich era. It was that good, at times simply sensational, with Frank Lampard in the kind of imperious, threatening, relentless form that sets an awesome benchmark. "Very, very well," said Scolari when asked how he felt the midfielder had played. "And that’s not just one very." The second 45 minutes was, in a sense, equally formidable as Chelsea barely allowed Villa – previously vibrant, dangerous Villa – a sniff."
The Guardian, Kevin McCarra: "Chelsea seemed a team apart, even if Liverpool’s comeback at Manchester City means they still have company at the head of the Premier League. It took a keen memory to remember that players of Ricardo Carvalho and Deco’s status were missing when Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side performed as if it lacked nothing whatsoever. The zest of the line-up is the most important factor of all."
Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: "Martin O’Neill had arrived at the home of the Premier League pace-setters, believing his vibrant Aston Villa could actually win. After this chastening defeat, O’Neill admitted feeling “daft’’ at having the temerity even to dream that Chelsea might slip up."
Official Chelsea FC Website, Andy Jones: "With a fortnight’s break for internationals, the Premier League table will be a welcome sight for Chelsea fans, and perhaps offer our injured players a little time to recover for Middlesbrough on October 18."
I thought this was a potential banana skin. I’d reconciled in my mind that the home record had to go eventually, it would be a monkey off our back and today was the day. In the end the only banana skins on view were attached to Brad Friedel’s hands, who seemed incapable of holding on to anything.
Earlier in the day the claret and blue of West Ham had lofty dreams of going to the top of the table. Fat chance. At 3pm the claret and blue of Aston Villa had lofty dreams of going to the top of the table. By 4:45pm the Villa had taken a reality check and been reminded that there’s a big gap between the top four and the pretenders. It still remains the case that the only decent thing to come out of England’s second city is a Balti.
Chelsea were dominant. Slick interplay in midfield between the triangle of John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack cut through the Villa time after time. Gareth Barry, with pretensions of taking Frank’s England place was left chasing shadows, wishing that Fabio Capello wasn’t looking on from the West Stand.
We took the lead through Joe Cole. A good move found Joe in the box who smashed the ball past the helpless Friedel. The second took three attempts. A good shot from Ballack was parried by Friedel to Nicolas Anelka, who shot straight at Friedel and from the second parry stuck it home.
- Petr Cech: Didn’t have anything to do. The stewards have now acquired orange jackets so when they poured onto the perimeter with ten minutes to go it looked like there were fifty Cechs, which must be how it appeared to Villa throughout the game – 7/10.
- John Terry: Excellent – 8/10.
- Branislav Ivanovic: His performance gave me a warm feeling. Having seen him play well at full-back, today he gave an accomplished display in the centre, which means we’ve got a great utility man as cover for Ricky and Alex, who was suffering from a buttock injury (probably now regrets going to a Max Mosley party) – 8/10.
- Ashley Cole: Outstanding and back to his best. Brave and energetic – 9/10.
- Jose Bosingwa: Excellent at both ends – 8/10.
- John Obi Mikel: Outstanding. Is Mikel the new Claude Makelele? I think he might be the new Patrick Viera – 9/10.
- Michael Ballack: With Scolari a devout Catholic his prayers have been answered with Michael now an integral part of the holy trinity with Mikel and Lampard – 8/10.
- Frank Lampard: Brilliant. Frank seems to have raised his game a level from an already impressive height. In the fastest league in the world Frank always has time and space – 9.5/10.
- Joe Cole: Back to the old Joe and a pity that some clumsy Villain had to clump the back of his leg and end his match so early. Great finish for the goal – 8/10.
- Florent Malouda: Florent is an easy target. As the team is announced pre-match all the players get a cheer aside from Florent, who gets a mix of muted cheers and groans. But I think his performances are improving, is showing good commitment and growing confidence – 7/10.
- Nicolas Anelka: Best he’s played for a while and scored. Chased around a lot more than usual and was surprised that he was substituted at half time. Can only conclude that he said to Big Phil that he’d run twice as far as normal therefore would it be okay if he stopped after 45 minutes – 7/10 (8 if he’d carried on).
- Franco Di Santo (sub 46′): A bit raw and needs longer in the oven but strong, brave and quick and looks like he’ll be a fantastic centre forward – 6/10.
- Salomon Kalou (sub 57′): Injected some pace – 6/10.
- Juliano Belletti (sub 83′): Seems to becoming a cult figure with the fans chanting his name – 6/10.
Man of the Match
Once upon a time Villa were in the heart of the world’s greatest industrial nation and all goods were proudly stamped with “Made in England”. Aside from a few Chinese owned MG’s which have now resumed trundling down the production line our industry is pretty much dead. But Frank Lampard was today at his very best and proudly carries the hallmark “Made in England”.
I can’t believe it was only 2-0. We played Villa off the park and five would have been a fair result. Not only were we dominant our style of play was a joy to watch.
A great pity that Liverpool managed to turn around a two goal deficit to win but it looks like the big four are once again going to be untouchable.
How could you possibly add icing to such a great day? Well Spurs losing 1-0 at home to Hull of course!