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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Another home defeat for Chelsea - this time 0-1 to Villa as they slip to 14th in Premier League

Picture by Paul Lagan

By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea v Aston Villa


Oh dear – 10 man Chelsea have lost at home again.

The club are in a mess on the pitch and this 1-0 loss to Aston Villa, who had played in Europe during the week left a sour taste in the mouths of those Chelsea fans who remained.

Boos were as loud as some of the terrible play by the home side, who had all week to prepare for this potential tricky encounter.

Right back Malo Gusto was red carded thanks to a VAR intervention with the thick end of 35 minutes of regulation play remaining.

Add the additional 11 minutes and the Blues played a seeming age with the numerical disadvantage.

The west Londoners are 14th in the Premier league and are looking downwards rather than upwards at present.

The yellow card given to Nicolas Jackson means that he has accrued five and a one-match ban.

Some reasonable half-chances went begging, but this side continues to look like a bunch of individuals waiting to gel in to something more solid and dependable.

Both sides had the look of teams that wanted to attack, but were mindful that any mistake could cost them dearly.

To that end, too many passes were of low risk, which resulted in a lowering of tempo which made the game look stodgy.

The game livened up on 20 minutes when from a cleared Villa corner, the ball fell invitingly to Lucas Digne, who produced a magnificent left-footed volley that arrowed towards goal.

But Robert Sanchez was equal to the task, a tipped the venomous shot over his crossbar.

Sanchez repeated his acrobatics on 39 minutes, this time tipping over his bar a left-footer from Nicolo Zaniolo from much closer range.

Mykhailo Mudryk had his first run down the left, beating Matty Cash for pace. His left-footed byline cross was perfect for an in-running Chelsea player – just a shame there wasn't any.

Nicolas Jackson had the all in the net with two minutes on the clock, but he was well offside.

There were no changes by either side at half-time.

Raheem Sterling had the first chance of the second half, racing clear to a long ball, he got ahead of his defender but shot directly at Martinez at the near post.

Things got worse for the home side on 57 minutes when Malo Gusto was yellow-carded for a foul on Digne right in front of the Chelsea dugout.

But VAR intervened and recommended that referee Jarred Gillett check the screen, which he did and decided his original decision should be changed from a yellow card to red.

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino opted to replace ineffectual Mudryk for Ben Chilwell.

This was quickly followed by Cole Palmer and Lesley Ugochukwu – off came Jackson and Enzo.

This showed that Pochettino was playing to shut the game down and take the point.

0Then on a counter-attack, Villa scored – on 74 minutes.

Ollie Watkins outpaced the Chelsea rearguard and after first having his angle shot blocked by Colwill, his second effort went across Sanchez and in off his far post.

But the error was at the foot of Thiago Silva who lost the ball in midfield allowing the break to develop in the first place.

Striker Armando Broja was thrown into the action on 78 minutes, replacing another misfiring player Moises Caicedo.

Chilwell almost equalised seconds later but Martinez superbly blocked the shot for a corner.

Vila sub Jacob Ramsey forced another terrific save from Chelsea's man of the match.

The additional added minutes did nothing to suggest that the Blues could out of their slumber and Villa showed ultra professional composure right to the final whistle

Team: Chelsea, Sanchez, Disasi, Silva, Sterling, Enzo, Mudryk, Jackson, Gallagher, Caicedo, Colwill, Gusto

Subs: Bergstrom, Cucurella, Ugochukwu, Broja, Palmer, Chilwell, Petrovic, Maatsen, Washington

Aston Villa, Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Luiz, McGinn, Watkins, Digne, Pau, Diaby, Zaniolo, Kamara

Subs: Olsen, Tielemans, Chambers, Lenglet, Duran, Bailey, Dendoncker, Ramsey, Kellyman

Referee: Jarred Gillett


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