Chelsea ended the 12 months with only one win in 5 as Anwar El Ghazi’s controversial equaliser earned Aston Villa a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Olivier Giroud, so usually the scourge of the guests, put Chelsea forward with a wonderful near-post header from Ben Chilwell’s cross (34), which means the striker has now scored in 10 objectives in 10 video games towards Villa, and has eight in eight for Chelsea.
However El Ghazi’s far-post end by means of the legs of Edouard Mendy from Matty Money’s cross (50) angered Chelsea, with the hosts wanting a foul on Andreas Christensen from Jack Grealish within the build-up.
Either side did their finest to win it; John McGinn struck the bar with a superb long-range effort, sub Jacob Ramsey curled inches broad, whereas for Chelsea Christian Pulisic was denied by Emi Martinez’s save and Chilwell lashed a fantastic volley simply broad in stoppage time.
The end result means Villa transfer as much as fifth, six factors off leaders Liverpool with a sport in hand, whereas Chelsea go sixth on the identical factors, however having performed two video games greater than Villa.
Chelsea: Mendy (5), Azpilicueta (5), Christensen (5), Rudiger (6), Chilwell (7), Jorginho (6), Kante (6), Mount (6), Hudson-Odoi (6), Pulisic (7), Giroud (7)
Subs: Werner (5), Havertz (5)
Aston Villa: Martinez (7), Money (7), Konsa (7), Hause (7), Targett (7), Luiz (7), McGinn (8), Grealish (6), Traore (5), El Ghazi (7), Watkins (6)
Subs: Ramsey (NA), Davis (NA)
Man of the match: John McGinn
How Villa fought again to earn helpful level
After the 3-1 defeat by Arsenal on Boxing Day, Frank Lampard picked a Chelsea XI that included simply two of their six summer season signings, and the hosts went again to fundamentals with a dogged first-half efficiency following three defeats in 4.
Grealish was, on the entire, stored quiet, however managed to check Mendy from the sting of the field after being proven onto his proper foot. Grealish himself then sloppily gave the ball away on the different finish, just for Pulisic to strike broad after pouncing when he ought to have hit the goal.
Kourtney Hause then headed over unmarked from a Grealish free-kick, whereas Money blazed over after Mendy had fumbled a cross.
However it was Giroud – who else? – who netted the opener. After Chilwell was present in area on the left, his supply was waist-height for Giroud, however the Frenchman stooped down low brilliantly to flick a header close to publish previous the attain of Emi Martinez.
It ended Villa’s run of over seven hours with out conceding, whereas Giroud has now additionally scored in seven straight video games towards Villa.
Chelsea might scent a second as Villa retreated after the aim – Villa struggled on Chelsea’s proper as Chilwell routinely discovered time to cross – however Villa levelled in controversial model as El Ghazi bought his fifth aim in 5 video games having scored simply 4 in his earlier 37.
Benefit had initially been performed to Villa as Christensen collided with Grealish, however the Villa man recovered earlier than spreading out broad to Money, who discovered El Ghazi unmarked on the close to publish to show residence from a number of yards out.
Replays confirmed Christensen was damage by Grealish’s dangling leg as he regarded for the foul, however the defender had additionally caught Grealish along with his again foot. VAR opted to not evaluation, and the aim was given.
The sport was poised as either side pushed for a winner; McGinn, tireless and decided all through, struck the bar with a beautiful 30-yard effort, whereas Martinez tipped over Pulisic’s personal long-range effort.
Villa sub Ramsey’s first motion was to curve inches broad of the far publish from the sting of the field. Chelsea’s personal sub Werner lifted an effort over the bar as his seek for a aim reached practically 700 minutes.
Frank Lampard introduced in six new faces in a significant shake-up following their defeat at Arsenal. Three had been on the again – Azpilicueta, Christensen and Rudiger got here in for James, Silva and Zouma; Zouma and James did not even make the bench.
Elsewhere, Abraham and Werner dropped to the bench alongside midfielder Kovacic, with Giroud, Hudson-Odoi and Jorginho coming in.
Villa made simply the one change from the 3-0 win over Palace on Boxing Day as Konsa changed the suspended Mings. Barkley was ineligible towards his guardian membership.
Villa’s hearts had been in mouths in stoppage time as Chilwell lashed a first-time volley from an angle simply broad, however the draw was honest as Dean Smith’s aspect confirmed once more how aggressive they’re, having misplaced simply considered one of their final 9 away video games.
Chelsea, nevertheless, finish 2020 on a destructive notice having entered the winter interval with a lot promise, taking simply 4 factors from a potential 15 since December 12.
- Chelsea have misplaced simply considered one of their final 14 Premier League residence video games (W10 D3), with that lone defeat coming towards Liverpool earlier this season.
- Since shedding at Liverpool in July, Aston Villa have solely suffered one defeat of their final 9 away video games within the Premier League (W5 D3).
- Since his Premier League debut in August 2012, Olivier Giroud has scored extra headed objectives than another participant within the competitors (32).
- Ben Chilwell equalled his Premier League season-best tally of 4 assists, with the Chelsea defender having as many aim involvements on this marketing campaign as 2019/20 (6 – 2 objectives, 4 assists).
Chelsea host Manchester Metropolis within the Premier League on Sunday January 3 at 4.30pm, stay on Sky Sports activities Premier League, earlier than then internet hosting Morecambe on Sunday January 10 within the FA Cup third spherical at 1.30pm.
Villa now go to Manchester United on New Yr’s Day at 8pm, stay on Sky Sports activities Premier League, earlier than internet hosting Liverpool within the FA Cup third spherical on January 8 and seven.45pm.