After sealing his sensational return to Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Ronaldo will make his second debut for the club, although the head coach refused to state whether the Portuguese would make the starting line-up. “He’s had a good week with us [training] here and he will definitely be on the pitch at some point, that’s for sure,” Solskjaer said.
United took seven points from their opening three matches, thrashing Leeds before being held by Southampton and narrowly defeating Wolves. Jadon Sancho is also in line to feature, having overcome a knock sustained while on international duty with England.
Spirits are far less optimistic at Newcastle, where fans have once again begun to vent their frustration at Steve Bruce, with the Magpies taking just one point from their first three matches. Joe Willock was the only major arrival in the summer window and the club seems destined for another nervous season in limbo. Here is everything you need to know:
Mendy and Lukaku crucial in both boxes for Chelsea victory
Édouard Mendy and Romelu Lukaku were equally important in securing the three points for Chelsea tonight, for very different reasons.
Read Tony Evans’ full match report from Stamford Bridge below.
Chelsea 3-0 Aston Villa: Lukaku twice and Kovacic show the clinical edge the away side missed in the first half
What we learned at Stamford Bridge
This was an intriguing contest in which two well-managed and tactically astute teams created plenty of chances and talking points.
Take a look at five things The Independent learned in the article below.
Chelsea 3-0 Aston Villa: Visitors miss several first-half chances at Stamford Bridge as a Romelu Lukaku brace and Mateo Kovacic strike wins it for the hosts
Visitors can take heart despite scoreline
A three-goal win flatters Chelsea, in truth, with a spirited and well-coached Villa dominating for long periods, particularly for the final half hour of the first period.
The Villains hit 18 shots throughout the game, six more than Chelsea, and forced half-a-dozen saves from Mendy.
There is plenty to build on here for Dean Smith.
FULL-TIME! Chelsea beat Aston Villa to move second
90+5’ - It’s over. Chelsea have beaten a strong Aston Villa side by three goals to nil at Stamford Bridge.
Romelu Lukaku scored shortly after the start and not long before the end after superb passes from Mateo Kovacic and Cesar Azpilicueta respectively, with Kovacic scoring the second himself after capitalising on a terrible back pass from Tyrone Mings.
Villa were excellent in the first-half and should have scored at least once, with a combination of Edouard Mendy’s reflexes and their own poor finishing keeping them out, before toiling for the majority of the second 45.
That is Chelsea’s 600th win in the Premier League.
GOAL! Romelu Lukaku has a second
90+3’ - What a finish that is!
César Azpilicueta breaks down the right and finds Lukaku with an excellent pass, allowing the Belgian to open his body up on the edge of the penalty area before lashing a left-footed finish into the top corner.
Not the best performance from the Blues, but a fantastic result.
McGinn and Targett booked
90’ - Aston Villa are losing their discipline a little here as they grow more and more frustrated.
John McGinn is booked for a late tackle on Jorginho and Matt Targett goes into the notebook too for dissent.
Chelsea heading for second
89’ - Chelsea have managed the second-half of this match immensely well after a very shaky opening period, and are on their way to a third win from four to open the Premier League season.
They’re heading for second place in the table, behind Manchester United at the top.
Standing ovation for Hudson-Odoi
82’ - Timo Werner is on for Chelsea and the man he is replacing, Callum Hudson-Odoi, is given a standing ovation by the Stamford Bridge crowd.
Hudson-Odoi has played extremely well as the right wing-back this evening, and has done well to force himself into Thomas Tuchel’s plans since last winter after falling out of favour under Frank Lampard.
Mendy makes another save from Watkins
81’ - Édouard Mendy makes his sixth save of the match as he catches a powerful curling from Ollie Watkins from just outside the area.
He did well to keep hold of that one but it was never going to beat him.
Nakamba is Villa’s final change
79’ - Marvellous Nakamba is now on for Villa, replacing Douglas Luiz as the holding player in midfield.
After a frantic first-half this match has now petered out into a bit of a nothingness, with both sides seemingly accepting their respective fates.
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