Chelsea recovered from behind to overcome Aston Villa 3-1, with Romelu Lukaku scoring his first Premier League goal since September to maintain Chelsea in the title chase.
Villa took the lead thanks to an own goal by Reece James, but Jorginho immediately equalised from the penalty spot in a match between two of the numerous English clubs affected by the coronavirus.
Due to a positive test for draws against Everton and Wolves last week, Lukaku was one of Chelsea’s absentees, causing them to lose ground in the title battle.
However, he came off the bench at halftime and had an almost immediate impact by heading home Callum Hudson Odoi’s cross.
In stoppage time, the Belgian’s blazing run earned a second Chelsea penalty, which Jorginho converted home.
Thomas Tuchel’s side draw level on points with Liverpool, who have a game in hand, and close to within six points of Manchester City, who beat Leicester 6-3 on Boxing Day.
Villa manager Steven Gerrard was placed in isolation after testing positive for Covid on Christmas Day.
Gerrard has made an immediate impact since taking over in November, but this was just another reminder of the distance he needs to close to go back into the Premier League’s top three after defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool.
On 28 minutes, James opened the scoring by flicking Matt Targett’s effort past his own goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Due to Matty Cash’s harsh challenge on Hudson-Odoi inside the area, the lead lasted only six minutes.
Despite all of his goals coming from penalties and the penalty shootout, Jorginho was Chelsea’s top league scorer last season.
Jorginho was Chelsea’s top league scorer last season despite scoring all of his goals from penalties, and he is the Italian international’s top marksman in all competitions this season with nine penalty kicks.
Lukaku will hope to rectify that in the coming weeks as the club’s record signing rediscovers his form following a rocky start to his second term at Stamford Bridge.
Since suffering an ankle injury in October, he has yet to play in the Premier League, and his positive test for Covid came just as he was getting back to full fitness.
Chelsea, on the other hand, will need Lukaku to be in top form if they are to launch a real title push in January, when they will face Liverpool and Manchester City.
Mason Mount pulled his shot wide with the goal gaping after rounded Martinez, and Chelsea should have been more comfortable winners.
In a one-on-one situation, the Argentine spread himself to deny Hudson-Odoi.
Late on, Ezri Konsa could only halt Lukaku by dragging him down, and Jorginho got the better of Martinez once more from the penalty spot.