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Mourinho brings up double ton thanks to returning Diego Costa


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José Mourinho secured his 200th win as Chelsea manager as Diego Costa inspired the Blues back to winning ways against a woeful Aston Villa side on his return from suspension.

The Spaniard, who was making his first appearance in the Premier League following his questionable retrospective ban for his conduct in a 2-0 defeat of Arsenal last month, got the ball rolling as the Blues capitalised on a defensive lapse to earn a half-time lead.

And Costa was then influential as Chelsea doubled their advantage within ten minutes of the restart to consign Aston Villa to an eighth game without a victory as his deflected cut-back looped over the stranded Bran Guzan.

In a game that saw the Blues move up to a more respectable eleventh in the league standings, Mourinho once more demonstrated his trademark ruthless selection policy as Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and Oscar were amongst those demoted to the bench.

With Branislav Ivanovic missing through injury, Mourinho called on Baba Rahman for his first Premier League start since last summer's switch from Bundesliga outfit Augsburg, whilst Ruben Loftus-Cheek joined Pedro and the in-form Willian in a midfield three behind the returning Costa.

Whilst Villa were able to contain the Blues with relative ease during the opening exchanges, Tim Sherwood's side demonstrated little attacking potency, and the hosts were eventually able to impose themselves as the first half meandered on somewhat aimlessly prior to Costa's opener.

Both sides looked toothless offensively, with the pattern of the game indicating that an individual mistake would be the most likely route to goal.

That indeed proved the case as Guzan's loose pass put Joleon Lescott under pressure in his own half, allowing Willian to steal in and selflessly square for Costa to fire home first time. Once more, the Brazilian was proving to be Chelsea's most effective attacking player, and another telling contribution here in electing to pass to the unmarked Spaniard as opposed to shooting from a tight angle underlines his importance to Mourinho's side.

That goal was not necessarily a deserved one for Chelsea, but with Villa being the architects of their own downfall in attempting to play out from the back, the Blues began to apply to squeeze and they made the game safe with a second goal just ten minutes after the resumption following the interval.

As Villa once again attempted to play the ball out from the back, Ramires produced a wonderful challenge to win it back and fed Cesc Fabregas, who, in looking a shade of the player who lit up the Premier League last season, intelligently picked out the run of Costa. The striker took one touch to bring it down before cutting back inside and, as he fired towards goal, the ball deflected off the foot of Hutton and looped over Guzan into the back of the net.

The second goal sparked us quickly into life and we began to move the ball around confidently in the attacking third as we looked to kill the game off. Villa had offered very little since the break in terms of an attacking threat, but Azpilicueta had to be alert to make an important block as Lescott attempted to reduce the deficit when we were unable to clear a free-kick.

In truth, things had been comfortable for the Blues for much of the game, with Asmir Begovic a virtual spectator. It was exactly the sort of result needed to give the Blues a needed confidence boost ahead of a tricky European engagement in Kyiv on Tuesday evening.

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