22 Aug 2013

Chelsea two from two as Gunners make Europe

11:13 am on 22 August 2013

Chelsea saw off visitors Aston Villa 2-1 in this morning's Premier League football at Stamford Bridge, while fellow top London side Arsenal all but qualified for the European Champions League proper with a 3-0 win over Fenerbahce in Istanbul.

Arsenal dominated the Turkish side and barring a total meltdown in the return home leg, will qualify for the elite competition - which will be a relief to the club and manager Arsene Wenger as he looks to finally land some big signings before the transfer window closes Tuesday week.

But it was a different story for their cross-town rivals Chelsea against Villa.

Chelsea went ahead through an early own goal but Villa's Belgian striker Christian Benteke levelled things up right on the stoke of half-time, and Blues defender Branislav Ivanovic was lucky not to be sent off for a crude challenge before he scored the matchwinner on 72 minutes.

The home side also avoided a potential penalty equaliser for a handball in the box.

Back in the Champions League and it was a dismal day for the five home teams, who failed to muster a win between them in their first leg matches.

Schalke 04 were held 1-1 at home by Greek side PAOK, Swiss club FC Basel won 4-2 at Ludogorets Razgad and Austria Vienna, who have never reached the group stage, won 2-0 at 10-man Dinamo Zagreb.