As expected, Chelsea dominated the opening stages and it took them just seven minutes to open the scoring.
© Getty Images
Willian was set free by Branislav Ivanovic down the right flank but saw his initial shot parried by Brad Guzan. The ball fell at the feet of the Brazilian, who had the presence of mind to square the ball to Oscar, who was left with the simple task of tapping home from a few yards out.
Willian looked lively and sent another shot into the side netting in the 15th minute, but Villa reminded the Stamford Bridge crowd of their threat when Aly Cissokho picked up a loose ball from a corner and hooked an effort narrowly wide of the post.
Cesc Fabregas should have tested Guzan at the other end after half an hour, but the Spaniard dragged his shot wide of the post before Diego Costa had his first sniff of goal with a header which was too close to the American stopper.
However, Villa had another chance of their own just before the half-time whistle when Fabian Delph shot wide from the edge of the box as the visitors reminded Chelsea that they are still in the game.