ASTON VILLA 0–4 CHELSEA
Alexandre Pato scored from the spot on his debut as Chelsea trounced a sorry Aston Villa side at Villa Park on Saturday.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek opened the scoring and Pedro added two more as Hiddink’s men sailed to victory, despite fielding a less experienced side.
Pato, who came on for the injured Loic Remy in the 23rd minute, scored from the spot to become the sixth Brazilian player to net on his Premier League debut.
Hiddink said: “At the end Pato could play a long period, he got his first goal, it was good, it was not easy for him in the beginning.
“I didn’t want to bring him on too early because he would have been killed when he was not physically up to the game.”
The Brazilian showed some nice touches throughout but it was Pedro who stole the show with his sixth Premier League goal and could have had a hat-trick had he not strayed marginally offside.
Hiddink gave a debut to January signing Matt Miazga as well as starting Baba Rahman, Loftus-Cheek and Kenedy with Jake Clarke-Salter coming of the bench in a team focused around youth.
“It was not the most difficult game to be honest, but the experience for them is good,” said Hiddink.
“For the club it is more important to see youngsters coming in every now and again and when it’s possible.
“They are coming up and climbing in the hierarchy of the club and this is very important.”
With little to play for and injuries to John Terry, Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard, as well as Diego Costa’s ban, Hiddink’s experiment paid off against a Villa side in disarray.
Chelsea now have the longest unbeaten run in the league stretching to 15 games, winning eight and drawing seven since the Dutchman took over.
In contrast, The Villains continue their capitulation at the bottom of the table, losing their seventh game in a row for the second time this season.
It is now a matter of time before relegation is confirmed for the midlands side, who sit 15 points from safety, as fans continue their bitter protest against the team and the owner Randy Lerner.
Care-taker manager Eric Black said they must remain focused: “If you’re bottom of the league and have won three games all season, you’re not going to be flying high.
“We have to be professional until the end, and do our utmost for the club and supporters.”
Hiddink’s men will travel to Swansea next Saturday, before welcoming Manchester City at the Bridge.
Image courtesy of Chelsea FC via YouTube, with thanks