The John Terry-Frank Lampard story has been overrun at this point, now it was a crucial three points on the line for either side. Chelsea with their hopes of staying top 4, and Villa with the hopes of jumping out of that lethal relegation zone on the opposite end of the table.
It was always going to be one dominated in possession from Chelsea, but it was a matter of if Villa could weather that storm and focus on keeping the ball out of the net.
That’s how it went in the first half, with chances coming here and there for the away side. Mason Mount had a left-footed strike at the top of the box palmed away from Ørjan Nyland was the most notable actual save. But some dangerous crosses came even more dangerously close to connecting for a tap-in. Mount and Willian were the main providers in that aspect.
Villa played their half well, defending fairly comfortably albeit deep in their own half. And at the end of the first half the hosts had won 9 fouls.
With those 9 fouls, the big chance came in the 43’ when Jack Grealish dribbled off a quick free kick, who laid the ball off for Douglas Luiz to whip in a beautiful cross to the back post. A mixture of Anwar El Ghazi and a sliding Kourtney Hause had their first shot saved off the line from Kepa, but Hause was quickest to react again and managed to get the ball in the side/back of the net.
The center-back’s first goal for AVFC was a big one, and Villa led 1-0 at the half.
Chelsea made a double change in the 55’ as the American Christian Pulisic came on for Reuben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley came on for Mateo Kovacic.
Aly Samatta came on for Kienan Davis two minutes later in the 57’.
Pulisic seemed to be a key sub for Frank Lampard and Chelsea, with a back-post finish to equalize in the 60’.
Three minutes after the equalizer, Olivier Giroud found his goal and put Chelsea ahead. Standard Villa if I do say so myself.
Double change for Villa came in the 70’. Marvelous Nakamba on for Conor Hourihane and Trezeguet on for Anwar El Ghazi.
A familiar face came onto the pitch at Villa Park in the 80’, Tammy Abraham came on for the goal-scorer Olivier Giroud.
Chelsea looked the more likely to score, with a handful of corners in succession, but nothing coming from it.
Final change for Villa came in the 86’. Jota came on for John McGinn, and he immediately had a chance that whistled just wide of the post.
Other than some free kicks that came to little, that was the final big chance of the match. Chelsea saw out their comeback victory to a 2-1 win at Villa Park.
2-1 Chelsea Full-Time. Villa sit in 19th still, heading to Newcastle midweek on Wednesday.