Blues get the better of Aston Villa
Written By: Robert Halter
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was reunited with his former Blues captain John Terry, who was on the Aston Villa bench as assistant coach for the midweek fixture under the lights at Stamford Bridge, during early December. After a fine run by Christin Pulisic, a rising effort by Willian was beaten behind from Tom Heaton, in the fifth minute. In the nineteenth minute, as Willian found N’Golo Kante, the ball over to Mason Mount, was headed into Heaton. But in the twenty fourth minute through Willian’s assist, from Reece James’s delivery, a cushioned header by Abraham flew over Heaton, high into the centre of the goal, but it was a muted celebration by Abraham against his former loan club, Aston Villa. On twenty eight minutes, a cross by the Villa captain, Jack Grealish was headed down by Tyrone Mings into the reaches of Kepa Arrizabalaga, from a free kick, after Kante had pushed over Grealish. In the fortieth minute, after collecting a pass from Mateo Kovacic, running forward, Kante, sliced the ball over to the right. But in the forty second minute, the Villans equalised, when from a cross by Ahmed El Mohamady, the ball was headed down by Trezeguet, before he walked the ball into the right side of the net, from just a yard out. The first yellow card went to Mount for pulling down Matt Targett. Before the half time break, from Willian’s corner, a downward header by Kurt Zouma was caught by Heaton. Three minutes into the second half, Chelsea restored their lead as Willian’s cross was brought down on the chest by Abraham, and Mount volleyed the ball into the top right corner. In the fifty fourth minute, a deep delivery by Willian, just went past Abraham, at the far left post. After Wesley fell awkwardly under the challenge of Zouma, the Claret and Blue made a change of Douglas Luiz for Conor Hourihane. On the hour mark, having been played through by Kante, a low drive by Willian, was kept out at full stretch by Heaton, as he dived to his right. Targett got the next booking for clipping the heels of Willian. In the sixty seventh minute, Pulisic’s ball into the box, was played back by Abraham off Mings, before the Blues captain, Cesar Azpilicueta, slashed his strike over to the right. In the seventy second minute, a long range blast by Mount, went over the top with a slight deflection off Ezri Konsa Ngoyo. A minute later, Kante found Willian, who cleared the way for Abraham in the area, but he clipped the ball narrowly past the far left post. The Villans soon took off Trezeguet for Jota. In the seventy seventh minute, Azpilicueta assisted Pulisic, who turned past Jota, before having his shot saved by the left hand of Heaton, before the Villa keeper then stopped Abraham getting the rebound, at the base of the left post. Two minutes later, after Targett barged over Abraham, a free kick by Willian, was pushed by Heaton, onto the inside of the right post. In the eighty first minute, as Abraham tried to capitalise on a mistake by Mings, he rolled the ball into Heaton. A yellow card was then picked up by Kovacic for a rash challenge on John McGinn. After Abraham took a knock at the feet of Heaton, he pulled up injured and was soon replaced with Michy Batshuayi. On eighty five minutes from a headed pass by Marvelous Nakamba, the ball was blazed over from Mohamady. The Blues then took off Pulisic for Callum Hudson-Odoi. In the ninetieth minute, through a Mohamady cross, a header by Luiz, was pushed away from Arrizabalaga, at the foot of his near left post. In stoppage time, Jorginho appeared for Willian, who could not continue, as the match drew to a close with Chelsea beating Aston Villa by a slender margin of two goals to one which left Chelsea in the top four and Aston Villa in fifteenth place.