Having drawn 1-1 at champions Manchester City last weekend, Chelsea continued their unbeaten start to the season with a straightforward win over Villa at Stamford Bridge.
Oscar gave Chelsea the lead in the seventh minute when he steered home a cut-back from Brazilian countryman Willian, who had seen his initial shot parried by Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Diego Costa added a second goal just before the hour, glancing a header past Guzan from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross to take his tally to eight goals in his first six Premier League games.
The Brazil-born Spain striker also played a role in Chelsea’s third goal with a shot that Guzan could only push straight at Villa defender Aly Cissokho, enabling Willian to stab home from close range.
“Even during the period the game was 1-0, when it could be open, it was always closed because we controlled the game,” said Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
“When we weren’t dangerous, we kept the ball. The result was a consequence of our dominance.”
Southampton remain Chelsea’s closest rivals after winning 2-1 at home to Queens Park Rangers, with Ryan Bertrand and Graziano Pelle finding the net either side of a Charlie Austin effort.
United climbed six places to seventh, eight points below Chelsea, after seeing off West Ham 2-1 at Old Trafford, but their victory was overshadowed by the red card shown to captain Rooney for violent conduct.
Injury problems forced United manager Louis van Gaal to give a debut to 19-year-old centre-back Paddy McNair.
But they took a fifth-minute lead when Rooney swept home Rafael da Silva’s cross to become the outright third-highest scorer in Premier League history with 176 goals; one more than Thierry Henry.
Radamel Falcao set up Robin van Persie to rattle in United’s second goal mid-way through the first half, but Diafra Sakho reduced the arrears for West Ham by nodding in after Enner Valencia’s header hit the bar.
Rooney was shown a straight red card in the 59th minute for kicking out at the fleeing Stewart Downing — his first club dismissal since March 2009 — but United’s 10 men held on to secure victory.
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