A frustrating afternoon all round for the travelling team as they saw many decisions go against them from referee Stuart Attwell. Villa probably should have known it was not to be their day as manager Dean Smith received a soaking from a sprinkler in the build up to the game.
Jed Steer: 5/10
When tasked with the responsibility of filling the influential boots of the isolating Argentinian. Emi Martínez. it seemed the Englishman between the sticks lacked conviction. It started off poorly as he was slow off his line to thwart Romelu Lukaku from sliding the ball under him to open the scoring, before being caught on his heels from an undercut pass from captain Tyrone Mings, allowing the home team to seal the game.
Matty Cash: 6/10
The right-back, tasked once again with long throw-in duty, was aided in his attacking efforts due to the extra defensive figure playing in a back five. The twenty-four-year-old enjoyed a 100% dribble percentage, along with three interceptions, three clearances, and six attempted crosses as well.
Ezri Konsa: 7/10
Undeniably the best performance out of the three centre-backs, the former Brentford defender had a busy evening as it became apparent that he would be the figure aimed for in any attacking set piece Villa possessed. However, his most memorable moment would come in the defensive third as a Chelsea corner looked to be going directly in before the ball somehow bounced up off Konsa’s thigh and onto the crossbar — que some very relieved faces in claret and blue!
Tyrone Mings: 5/10
The Aston Villa captain enjoyed a strong first half, as he marshalled his two centre-back partners and limited Lukaku to only a small amount of touches (apart from the obvious). However, it would be early into the second half when things would unravel as an undercut back pass was intercepted by the opposition and was instantly pounced upon, putting Chelsea into a 2-0 and seemingly ending any hope of an away side revival.
Axel Tuanzebe: 5/10
The Manchester United loanee was handed his second league start since re-signing in the summer as he looked to cement himself into Dean Smith’s first team plans. Yet that suddenly took a turn for the worse as his side’s resilient start was undone, allowing Lukaku to run in behind before showing his inexperience and sliding in to allow Chelsea their first of the game. Despite his early rush of blood, the youngster would recover to marshal the opposition attack to good effect for the rest of the game.
Matt Targett: 5/10
It seemed early on that the left-back was to suffer from the absence of any winger support in front of him as he would continuously look for an overlapping run in the attacking third to no avail.
Douglas Luiz: 7/10
Being the most defensive midfielder of the three, it was imperative the Brazilian retained possession to deny the opposition any cheap turn overs and this was done to good affect, with a ninety-five percent pass percentage — thus allowing his side to move into the attacking third more frequently. Luiz formed a successful partnership with young Jacob Ramsey as the latter looked to exploit the space in the opposition midfield, receiving the ball before turning and driving at the defence — something which proved to be so dangerous that it forced the opposition manager to bring a midfielder on at the half-time interval.
John McGinn: 7/10
Since recently admitting he feels fitter and sharper as the new season progresses, the Scotsman put on another impressive display away from home. The vice-captain, alongside Ramsey, shielded the ball successfully to break through the opposition’s defensive lines and work the ball forward towards the two attackers.
Jacob Ramsey: 7/10
Since coming back from isolation, the youngster was keen to put in a performance of the same calibre as the one that earned him plaudits when Newcastle travelled to B6 — and that is what he did as he continuously drove towards the Chelsea defence before unleashing a pass into the attackers to allow them a shooting opportunity.
Ollie Watkins: 6/10
Having been handed his first start of the season after making his first bow as a substitute against former team Brentford, the front man was eager to form a successful partnership with new partner, Danny Ings. The two often looked dangerous as they surged in behind the opposition back line, finding chances and a few miss hits let the striker down on this occasion. However, the potential of the pairing was clear for all to see as it seems only a matter of time before the two-start combining successfully to produce many goals this season.
Danny Ings: 6/10
Having successfully formed a partnership with Che Adams last season, the experienced goalscorer would have been looking to produce the same with Watkins in order to become successful for his new club. Ings was unable to add to his start of four goal involvements in four games against a resilient Chelsea side.
Leon Bailey: 7/10
Bertrand Traore: 6/10
Marvelous Nakamba: 5/10
MAN OF THE MATCH: Jacob Ramsey
The Villa youngster came back into Dean Smith’s starting line-up with real purpose and looked to create opportunities on a number of occasions. Surely, we’ll see more of young Jacob shining in a claret and blue shirt this season.