Aston Villa managed to hold a 1-0 lead against Chelsea until the hour mark, but Christian Benteke's sending off prompted a Blues revival. Now Chelsea are through to next year's Champions League, while the Villa are desperately relying on Arsenal to get a result against Wigan on Tuesday.
So here's a list of some things that happened during this match:
- Christian Benteke scores! Yeah, that's right, it was Villa that took the lead, through a lovely shot squeezed past Petr Cech at the near post. He then pulled up his kit to reveal a Petrov #19 shirt.
- Credit to Chelsea supporters -- even after Villa took the lead, they joined in the 19th minute applause for Stiliyan Petrov. Stan appeared to be biting back tears. I also appeared to be doing the same.
- Benteke stuck his elbow in the jaw of Cesar Azpilicueta. Benteke somehow manages to get just a yellow.
- Lee Mason gives a second yellow to Ramires for leaving his leg behind as he goes into a challenge against Gabby Agbonlahor. Chelsea down to ten.
- Really, it could've been Villa with ten, Chelsea with nine by the halftime whistle. Strangely enough, that's how it ended.
- Benteke put a boot in John Terry's chest, which is purely understandable for anyone that's ever come within fifty feet of the man. Alas, the referee didn't see it that way and he was shown a second yellow. No Bentekkers for the Wigan match.
- Seconds later, Frank Lampard scores an historic goal for Chelsea, equaling the club record of 202. And breaks every Villa supporters heart in the process.
- A scrambled goal line clearance on a shot from Gary Cahill. The defender is convinced he's scored, but somehow, it's not given. Views upon the replay differ depending on whether you're a Villan, a Blue, or a neutral.
- Terry left the match on a stretcher, which most likely signals the end of his career at Chelsea, if not his football career in general.
- Nope, I lied. Lampard broke the Villa supporters by scoring goal number 203 in the 88th minute. Bugger.
- Eden Hazard had his hamstring go, bringing Chelsea down to nine men and giving Villa hope.
- Never forget, hope is the root of all heartache. Sorry, Shakespeare.
- Incidentally, did you know "nada" means "hope" in Serbian yet "nothing" in Spanish? I'm pretty sure that tidbit defines this match.