Anelka fires Blues past Villa

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Luiz Felipe Scolari may have an injury crisis on his hands but Chelsea's title challenge continues apace, with Aston Villa the latest to be swept aside in a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

First-half goals from Joe Cole and Nicolas Anelka kept Scolari's men at the top of the Barclays Premier League, and it could have been more but for the reflexes of Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

The hosts, already without the services of Didier Drogba, Deco, Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Essien, were missing Alex from their starting line-up and then saw midfielder Cole limp off.

Anelka, struggling with muscle spasms before the match, was also taken off at the break meaning Franco di Santo was Scolari's frontline striker for 45 minutes.

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Didier Drogba
Joe Cole
Nicolas Anelka
Premier League
Ricardo Carvalho
Brad Friedel
Aston Villa
Franco Di Santo
Michael Essien

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