Chelsea’s on-loan Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato scored on his debut to push pathetic Aston Villa to the verge of inevitable relegation with a seventh successive Premier League defeat on Saturday.
Pato, the former Milan starlet who has been kicking his heels since joining from Corinthians two months ago, came on as a 25th-minute substitute and was immediately involved in the move which led to Ruben Loftus-Cheek netting his first league goal.
Two goals from Pedro and a neat Ruben Loftus-Cheek finish sealed what was an easy victory for Guus Hiddink’s side. Alan Hutton was sent off late in the second half for a second yellow card.
On the verge of half-time, Pato broke his duck, picking himself up after being fouled in the box by Aly Cissokho to convert from the penalty spot.
Villa, who got rid of manager Remi Garde in the week, were hopeless after the break as Pedro scored twice for Chelsea and the home fans’ misery, amid sustained protests against owner Randy Lerner, was completed when Alan Hutton was sent off for a second yellow card offence.
The result provisionally moves Chelsea into ninth in the league table with 44 points, 6 points off a European place ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games. Aston Villa remains at the bottom of the table and could be relegated next weekend.