Chelsea fans were given an early Christmas present yesterday as they saw their side demolish Aston Villa 8-0 to send them up to third in the Premier League table.

Frank Lampard made his 500<sup>th Premier League start and bagged a goal as well, as Fernando Torres, David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic, Oscar, Eden Hazard and two goals from Ramires completed the rout.

The result is a remarkable turnaround for a side that was floundering both before and after the appointment of manager Rafa Benitez. A week on from there crushing 1-0 defeat to Corinthians in the Club World Cup Final, the Blues have now scored 13 goals in seven days as they thrashed Leeds 5-1 on Wednesday in the Capital One Cup quarter final.

Chelsea move to third place on 32 points, and with a game in hand will still fell they can keep pace with the two Manchester clubs that currently lead the field. There's unlikely to be much seasonal cheer around Villa Park, with the 8-0 loss to Chelsea their heaviest ever defeat in the top flight. Paul Lambert called the performance of his players 'unacceptable' as the result keeps the club only three points above the relegation zone.

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner