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Apr 2, 2016 at 12.45pm UK at Villa Park
Aston Villa
FT(HT: 0-2)
Loftus-Cheek (26'), Pato (45'), Pedro (46', 59')

Result: Chelsea cruise past miserable Aston Villa

Chelsea condemn rockbottom Aston Villa to a seventh straight defeat thanks to first Premier League goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Alexandre Pato and a Pedro double.

Chelsea condemned rockbottom Aston Villa to their seventh straight Premier League defeat this afternoon with a comfortable 4-0 win at Villa Park.

The visitors enjoyed most of the early possession and went close to an opener when a corner was half-cleared to Pedro, who turned past one challenge before curling an 18-yard effort just wide of the target.

The Blues eventually broke the deadlock in the 26th minute and it was a first Premier League goal for Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Cesar Azpilicueta crossed from the right and the young Englishman turned it goalwards, although the ball was helped past Brad Guzan via a deflection off Joleon Lescott.

Villa, playing their first match since Remi Garde's departure earlier this week, came close to an equaliser five minutes later as first Carles Gil's shot was palmed out by Thibaut Courtois before Baba Rahman's clearance hit the onrushing Jordan Ayew, with Courtois alert to make another save.

Rahman and Ayew went close at either end before Chelsea doubled their lead on the stroke of half time. Alexandre Pato, who came off the bench to replace Loic Remy and make his long-awaited Blues debut, was brought down in the box by Aly Cissokho and stepped up to slam home the penalty and mark his Chelsea appearance with a goal.

It was three less than a minute after the resumption as Brazilian substitutes Oscar and Pato combined to set up Pedro, who rolled home from eight yards.

The Spaniard made it four shortly after, this time squeezing home from a tight angle after Guzan failed to hold Pato's curling shot.

Villa threatened a consolation on a couple of occasions, but neither Ashley Westwood nor Rudy Gestede was able to apply finishing touches in the box.

Rahman was closest to a Chelsea fifth goal, while it went from bad to worse for Villa when Alan Hutton was sent off for a second yellow card late on.

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Remi Garde is perpetually baffled during the Premier League game between West Ham and Aston Villa on February 2, 2016
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Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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