Chelsea took an early lead through Conor Gallagher’s thumping effort after just 11 minutes on the clock.
Nicolas Jackson made it 2-0 Chelsea midway through the first half following a rampant start from Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
Early in the second half, Enzo Fernandez scored a stunning free-kick to make it 3-0 as the Blues run riot at Villa Park.
Villa got a late consolation through Diaby, which was more than they deserved on the night.
GK Djordje Petrovic, 7: Alive and alert with two routine saves as Villa pressed for a quickfire leveller, but otherwise faced nothing of note until he had to flick John McGinn’s shot over in first-half stoppage time. Booked for time wasting as the Blues managed the second period astutely, until Diaby’s last-action consolation.
DF Malo Gusto, 8: Caught the eye throughout with his energy on the right flank. Never in any danger defensively and always willing to lend support in attack, most notably when he slung in a fine assist for Jackson to double the Blues’ lead.
DF Axel Disasi, 7: A change of defensive partner as Benoit Badiashile replaced Thiago Silva, but Disasi was unperturbed. Untroubled in the air and calm on the deck, the two Frenchmen were expertly shielded by their midfield enforcers throughout — although he did make one key late block to deny McGinn.
DF Benoit Badiashile, 7: Like Disasi, could count the benefits of the spadework put in by Caicedo and Fernández, and rarely looked flustered as a result — even if he was occasionally wasteful with forward balls.
DF Ben Chilwell, 7: Named captain with Silva confined to the bench. Rose to the challenge of shackling the in-form Leon Bailey in a defensive sense, and always looked to get forward to lend his support in attack.
MF Conor Gallagher, 8: Steered in a brilliant first-time finish to break the deadlock, giving Martínez no chance with his effort into the top corner. The headline moment in a performance otherwise built on sweat-soaked endeavour and insightful reading of the play.
MF Moises Caicedo, 8: Guts and glory in equal measure. A constant comfort blanket for his defence and an astute interchangeability with Fernández laid the foundations for Chelsea’s unexpectedly straightforward progress.
MF Enzo Fernández, 9: Key role in Gallagher’s opener, first hustling Boubacar Kamara down an alley and then sparking the attack, later followed by a sensational free kick. His name-pointing celebration — not to mention a sublime all-round display — served a reminder of his enormous talent.
FW Noni Madueke, 8: A terror for the Villa defence throughout, embarking on a number of high-speed, slaloming runs into dangerous areas. Provided much of the energy and ambition so lacking in the Blues’ attack of late.
FW Nicolas Jackson, 8: Making his first start since December following Senegal’s AFCON exit, the 22-year-old added real menace to Chelsea’s attack, playing a part in the first and clinically nodding in their second. Also put in an admirable defensive shift.
FW Cole Palmer, 7: Constantly fell below the hosts’ radar, popping up all over the forward line and giving the Villa defence a permanent headache. Will rue his missed opportunities to get on the scoresheet, but can be happy with his shift.
Substitutes FW Raheem Sterling, N/R: Handed the final 15 minutes in place of the livewire Madueke, by which point his job was largely one of defensive backup.
DF Thiago Silva, N/R: Dropped to the bench after the Blues’ recent flood of concessions, the veteran entered the fray for the final 10 minutes to close out the win.
DF Alfie Gilchrist, N/R: The young boyhood Blue continued his education with a taste of a the last moments of a huge win.
FW Christopher Nkunku, N/R: Dropped for the returning Jackson, but handed a late cameo for the closing exchanges.
Petrovic made four big saves, including an exceptional one from Matty Cash. The Serb deserves to keep the no1 spot when Robert Sanchez returns.
Alfie Gilchrist – 7
The 20-year-old defender was thrust into the line up when Levi Colwill got injured in the warm up. He rose to his toughest test since coming into the first team.
Axel Disasi – 7
He was a dominating presence at the back, not giving Ollie Watkins a sniff of a chance.
Thiago Silva – 5
Booked for a heavy challenge on John McGinn early on and almost scored an own goal.
Benoit Badiashile – 6
The Frenchman was forced into left-back for the first time after a month-long injury lay-off due to Colwill’s injury. He was solid but, understandably, lacked impact in the final third. He also missed a big chance from a corner.
Enzo Fernandez – 7
The Argentine is quietly building a good run of form and looked at his creative best, with some great long balls from deep areas, creating a big chance for Madueke.
Moises Caicedo – 7
The Ecuadorian midfielder was the main target of Villa’s press but handled it well. He took several heavy tackles for his troubles.
Conor Gallagher – 6
The England midfielder played very high up the pitch, and his pressing forced errors, but he lacked that cutting edge in attack.
Noni Madueke – 6
Madueke got Chelsea’s first chance of the game in the 17th minute but couldn’t beat Emi Martinez.
Cole Palmer – 5
Cole Palmer missed the best two chances of the game, which came from Clement Lenglet and Martinez’s mistakes. He produced some nice passes, touches and dribbles but badly misfired.
Raheem Sterling – 6
The 29-year-old winger is starting to build a positive run of form and was immaculate in his passing and dribbling but faded as the match wore on.
Ben Chilwell – 6
The left-back was only fit enough for 30 minutes and was fairly quiet after coming on.
Mykhailo Mudryk – 5
Made practically no impact after coming on.
Armando Broja – 5
Could not control the ball shortly after coming on, missing the chance to run in behind. He needs a goal, and maybe, his future resolving.
Carney Chukwuemeka – N/A
Unused subs Bergstrom, Gilchrist, Chilwell, Williams, Castledine, Washington
Frank Lampard has revealed he did not consider bringing John Terry with him to Chelsea when he was appointed manager at Stamford Bridge last summer.
Terry is assistant manager at Aston Villa and returns to Chelsea on Wednesday night looking to defeat his boyhood club.
The Blues boss said Terry was already going down his own route at Aston Villa when he was forming his coaching team at Derby but wouldn’t rule out joining forces in the future, report Sportsmail.
“I can’t guess the future,” Lampard was quoted as saying by Goal.
“It was never an option that was spoken about. I think John was very settled at Aston Villa.
“When I took the Derby job, he was already on his own path then and they obviously got promoted in the summer. John was very comfortable there and working away. I had my team that I worked with here.
“I think everyone has their own route. It’s not that I’m surprised, it’s just a path he’s chosen. It’s working well alongside Dean at a very good club that he already had a link with from his final year playing there.
“I think it was a very normal thing for him to choose to do and I’m sure he’ll have a very long and successful career in coaching, management, in whatever way he wants to take it.
“We all have to start in our different ways and he’s starting well.”