Chelsea welcomed Aston Villa to Stamford Bridge on Sunday looking to improve on their poor form, but things did not go to plan.
Despite the Blues’ initial pressure, Villa had the first chance as Lucas Digne forced a top save from Robert Sanchez.
Mykhailo Mudryk slipped in Nicolas Jackson for Chelsea’s first chance, but Emiliano Martinez saved the Senegalese attacker’s effort.
Malo Gusto broke down the right flank and cut the ball back for Enzo Fernandez in the 35th minute, but he steered his effort wide.
Sanchez then had to pull off another stunning save as Nicolo Zaniolo’s volley from a well-worked corner had the Spaniard scrambling.
Axel Disasi had the ball in the back of the net for Chelsea, but it was ruled out for offside to leave the scoreline level at the break.
Raheem Sterling had two opportunities to give his side the lead in the second half., but Martinez stood in his way.
Gusto was dismissed for a tackle on Digne in the 59th minute. He played the ball, but the follow-through caught the former Barcelona man.
Chelsea were a man down and went a goal down as Ollie Watkins broke through before finishing from a tight angle to net his first goal of the season.
Martinez saved an effort from substitute Ben Chilwell following a delightful ball from Cole Palmer.
It became an end-to-end clash as Moussa Diaby forced another save from Sanchez, although the linesman raised his flag for offside.
Sanchez was at it again in the 83rd minute, stretching to push out Jacob Ramsey’s curled strike.
There were 11 minutes of added time, where Palmer forced Ezri Konsa to make a last-ditch block.
Villa secured the win while Chelsea continued the miserable run that has seen them win only seven out of 34 games this year.
Chelsea vs Aston Villa Player Ratings
Robert Sanchez (8/10) – The former Brighton & Hove Albion keeper made incredible stops to keep his side in this one. He has looked very good in Chelsea’s last two games.
Malo Gusto (4/10) – The France youth international was electric down his flank and sturdy defensively. However, he took a red card for an unnecessarily heavy challenge on Digne.
Thiago Silva (6/10) – The Brazilian should have fouled Diaby to stop Villa’s goal. Otherwise, it was a typically solid performance from O Monstro.
Axel Disasi (6/10) – The centre-back looked better than his previous showings. He looked solid in his duels and did his best to marshall the attackers in front of him.
Levi Colwill (5/10) – The young defender should have put Watkins off for the goal. He looked uncomfortable again playing at left-back.
Moises Caicedo (7/10) – He had arguably his best game in a Chelsea shirt. He was tackling and blocking while his passing was sharp and crisp.
Conor Gallagher (5/10) – Struggled to make any meaningful impact in the middle. He worked hard but couldn’t make anything happen today.
Enzo Fernandez (5.5/10) – Chelsea continue to use the Argentine midfielder too close to the opposition’s goal, taking away his ability to control games. He looked blunt in front of the goal.
Mykhailo Mudryk (6.5/10) – The Ukrainian winger had a bright game and threatened down the left flank but had to come off early after the Gusto red card.
Raheem Sterling (6/10) – He had two opportunities to give his side the lead but failed to take them.
Nicolas Jackson (4/10) – The striker struggled in front of goal again and picked up a silly booking that means he will miss their next clash.
Ben Chiwell (6/10)
Lesley Ugochukwu (7/10)
Cole Palmer (7/10)
Armando Broja (4.5/10)
Emiliano Martinez (8.5/10) (MOTM) – The World Cup winner made great saves to keep his side in this tie. Earned them a deserved clean sheet.
Matty Cash (5.5/10) – Mudryk roasted him a couple of times, but he survived the onslaught. Chelsea got some joy down his flank in the second half.
Ezri Konsa (8/10) – He had a solid showing today, marshalling Broja and Jackson to earn his side an important win and a clean sheet.
Pau Torres (6/10) – Made a few errors but bounced back to have an okay game against the Blues. He is adapting to the pace of the Premier League gradually.
Lucas Digne (6/10) – Struggled up against Sterling and Gusto in the first half but still managed to get forward and cause danger.
Douglas Luiz (7.5/10) – The Brazilian midfielder continued his fine form this season, looking imperious in the centre. He helped connect the midfield to the attack.
Boubacar Kamara (7.5/10) – The French international made superb interceptions and cut out dangers. He read the game well and used that to shield his defence today.
John McGinn (6/10) – It wasn’t his best showing in a Villa shirt, but he worked hard for his side in the middle and helped drag them forward.
Moussa Diaby (7/10) – Provided the telling assist today and looked very dangerous anytime he got forward. Worth every penny Villa shelled out for him.
Nicolo Zaniolo (5.5/10) – A few nice touches here and there, but he was not connected to the game. He needs to improve or might drop to the bench soon.
Ollie Watkins (7.5/10) – Anonymous for most of the game but came up with the important winner for his side to end his drought.
Leon Bailey (6/10)
Leandro Dendoncker (N/A)
Jhon Duran (5/10)
Youri Tielemans (6/10)
Jacob Ramsey (6.5/10)
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