Chelsea thrashes Villa to reach third

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Chelsea moved into third place in emphatic fashion on Sunday by handing Aston Villa a 8-0 drubbing at Stamford Bridge.

Seven different players tallied goals in the game for the Blues, who won for only the second time in their last nine league games to move to within seven points of second-place Manchester City with a game in hand.

It took Chelsea less than three minutes to open the scoring with Cesar Azpilicueta delivering a right-wing cross into the penalty area for Fernando Torres to head past goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

David Luiz doubled the advantage shortly before the half-hour mark with a brilliant free kick from 25 yards, while Branislav Ivanovic tallied a goal of his own five minutes later when he scored on the rebound after Guzan had palmed away a shot from Gary Cahill.

The first half was miserable for Villa but things only got worse after the break as Frank Lampard scored from 30 yards on a sensational half-volley before Ramires made it 5-0 15 minutes from time.

Oscar scored from the penalty spot to make it 6-0 after he drew a foul inside the area, Eden Hazard scored the seventh goal and Ramires added another in stoppage time to cap the onslaught.

The loss ends a five-game unbeaten run for Villa, which sits three points above the relegation zone.

Swansea City 1, Manchester United 1

Swansea, Wales - Manchester United saw its lead at the top of the Premiership reduced to four points this weekend as the Red Devils were held to a 1-1 draw at Swansea City on Sunday.

Manchester City's last-gasp 1-0 win over Reading on Saturday cut the lead to three points, and after Patrice Evra's goal in the 16th minute was canceled out by Michu's league-leading 13th goal of the campaign, United had to settle for a point.

Evra's goal came from a Robin van Persie corner kick that the Frenchman diverted inside the far post with his head, putting United on course for a sixth successive league win.

But Swansea answered back shortly before the half-hour mark when Jonathan De Guzman cut through the middle of the United defense and had his shot saved by goalkeeper David De Gea, only for Michu to score on the rebound.

The visitors controlled play after halftime but were unlucky not to find the winning goal as Van Persie saw a clever effort strike the crossbar, while Michael Carrick's header from Van Persie's corner kick was pushed onto the bar by goalkeeper Michel Vorm.