Ivanovic helps Chelsea beat Aston Villa in a hard fought game

Chelsea tonight maintained their unbeaten start to the Premier League with a gutsy win over Aston Villa

Chelsea soared to the summit of the Premier League table tonight with a hard fought 2-1 win over Arsenal's weekend conquerors, Aston Villa.

The win meant that the Blues maintained their 100 per cent record under manager Jose Mourinho this term whilst Villa's start reads won one, lost one.

Jose Mourinho had previously struggled against the men from the midlands recording four Premier League games in a row without registering a victory over Villa, but that wouldn't last forever and Branislav Ivanovic's crushing header midway through the second half, meant the the curse was broken.

Stamford Bridge was rocking from the very off as Chelsea instantly made an impression, their possession and tenacious closing down and pressing forcing mistakes from Villa.

With just 7 minutes on the clock, Antonio Luna inadvertently scored past his own goalkeeper to hand the home side the lead, before in form Christian Benteke levelled proceedings on the stroke of half-time with his third Premier League goal of the season.

Villa settled better after the break and it looked like their hard work would pay off with the home side growing increasingly frustrated, then with just under 20 minutes left to play and the game heading for a draw, up stepped Frank Lampard with a free-kick which was met by Ivanovic and thumped into the net.

Chelsea will now turn to their attention to Monday's trip to face Manchester United at Old Trafford, knowing that a win over their rivals will be the first telling blow of the season.

For Paul Lambert's side it is a case of welcoming Liverpool to Villa Park on Saturday, where any point would be seen as a good one given undoubtedly the toughest opening fixtures of the campaign.

images: © Ben Sutherland

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