Romelu Lukaku is back scoring for Chelsea again in the Premier League. The Belgian came off the bench on Boxing Day to help Chelsea ease to a 3-1 win away at Villa Park.
It was their first win in three matches and helped close the gap on Manchester City to six points.
Lukaku’s last goal before Sunday’s outing was in September and coincidentally it was against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge. The 28-year old has now scored nine goals in 10 Premier League appearances against Aston Villa.
He hasn’t scored more against any other opponent in the big-five European leagues in his career according to Opta stats.
Lukaku’s 56th-minute header was accompanied by two Jorginho penalties. Lukaku won the second penalty after bulldozing his way into the Aston Villa box. This came after Jorginho’s first-half strike from the penalty spot and it helped Chelsea snag the maximum three points.
Aside from not making them lose further grounds on Man City at the top, the Blues have momentarily caught up with second-placed Liverpool.
Manchester City earlier on Sunday prevailed over Leicester City in a nine-goal thriller at the Etihad Stadium. City led 4-0 in the first half, Leicester rallied in the first 20 minutes of the second half as they pulled back three goals.
Kelechi Iheanacho showed great form in the build-up to next month’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon during Sunday’s game against his former club.
The Nigerian star made his presence count for the Foxes; scoring a goal and bagging two assists in the thrilling Boxing Day fixture at the Etihad against Manchester City which ended 6-3 in favour of the hosts.
It was Iheanacho’s second goal in 13 Premier League appearances for Leicester this season. The last time he scored for Leicester was on October 3rd, 2021, in a 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace.
Also, he has taken his assist in the English top-flight this campaign to three.
Elsewhere, Arsenal consolidated their position in fourth place with a resounding 5-0 win at rock bottom Norwich.
Goals from Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney put the result beyond much doubt before half-time.
Saka added a second before Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty and substitute Emile Smith Rowe rounded off a fifth consecutive win for Mikel Arteta’s men.
Spurs moved up to fifth, six points behind their north London rivals but with three games in hand, after easing past a depleted Crystal Palace.
Meanwhile, West Ham’s bid for the top four finish is falling apart fast as they were beaten 3-2 at home by Southampton on Sunday.