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Chelsea vs. Aston Villa, Premier League: Live blog, highlights

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...as it happened: live blog, updates, highlights, lineups, etc

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Chelsea FC v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

LIVE BLOG

FULL TIME: CHELSEA WIN!

90+4min: Kovacic fouls Nakamba, and Villa have one more chance. Kepa collects the cross and the final whistle goes!

90+3min: Great work from Kante as Chelsea try to run the clock down, but find themselves in the Villa area. He plays in Batshuayi, but his first touch is loose and Villa can clear. Chelsea are back to win a throw.

90+1min: Kovacic wins another foul, as Jorginho replaces Willian, with Chelsea switching to a 4-3-3.

90min: A deep cross from El Mohamedy sees Douglas Luiz win a header against Zouma, who had slipped briefly. Fortunately, Kepa’s down to save at his post. Low-key great stop from Arrizabalaga there.

89min: CHO tries to counter, but is pushed off the ball — no call of course. Willian comes up limping afterwards, as Jorginho gets ready on the bench.

87min: Kepa collects a cross after James gets nutmegged out wide. Kovacic then wins a foul to settle things down.

85min: Hudson-Odoi on for Pulisic.

84min: A couple excellent blocks by Azpilicueta are followed by Kante blocking a Douglas Luiz volley. El Mohamedy drives high and wide from the subsequent corner.

82min: Abraham makes way for Batshuayi. He’s hobbling a bit, Tammy, after the recent clash of knees with Mings on the Pulisic chance.

81min: Kante gets turned by McGinn in midfield, but Kovacic is there to take one for the team and pull the Villa man back. Deserved yellow.

80min: Abraham nicks the ball of Mings on the high press, but settles for a quick long-shot, which is easily collected by Heaton.

79min: Targett bundles Abraham over on a bouncing ball 20-25 yards out, central. Mount and Willian conference over the ball; the latter takes and somehow doesn’t score, as Heaton pulls off another ridiculous stop, pushing the ball onto the inside of the crossbar, from where it bounces out. Heaton then is able to jump on the rebound as well before Pulisic can arrive.

77min: Heaton pulls off a magnificent stop (not that he knew much about it) to prevent Pulisic from scoring Chelsea’s third. Abraham appears to hurt himself in the process of trying to bundle in the rebound.

76min: Jota on for Trezeguet for Villa. Still no changes for Chelsea.

75min: Trezeguet wins a corner for Villa, which Chelsea work clear after some difficulty. Strong effort from Willian, Kante, and Pulisic as Villa hunt in groups.

73min: Chelsea counter through Kante, who finds Willian, who plays in Abraham making an excellent in-out run. He meets the pass with a first-time chipped finish, which just misses the far post. Could’ve used that one!

71min: Mount tries a spectacular 25-30 yard effort, which takes a deflection and flies just over the bar. Willian takes the corner, which is headed clear, but only as far as Kante. He doesn’t get his volley correct, and Abraham can’t quite contort his body to redirect it on target.

69min: Mount nicks the ball away from Mingsm, who chases him down and pushes him over from behind. Amazingly, the referee lets play carry on.

68min: Villa push as Trezeguet tries to weave some trickery. Eventually they settle for a cross from McGinn from the right, which misses everyone.

67min: Wonderful turn from Pulisic creates a crossing chance for Azpi, but his left-footed low effort is cut out just ahead of Abraham. The ball comes back out to Azpi and this time he tries a wild right-footed shot, which misses the far post by a fair distance.

64min: Kante’s through ball towards Abraham is cut out and Villa can turn upfield. A deep cross from the right has Grealish eyeing a spectacular volley, but he gets it completely wrong. Willian’s back to help run the ball clear, before getting tackled from behind by Targett, who gets a yellow for his troubles.

63min: A Grealish cross towards Wesley reminds everyone that the game’s not over. Chelsea clear through Christensen.

61min: Willian follows that up with a powerful drive that draws a great save from Heaton. Chelsea come again, this time working it to James wide open in the right channel. He’s in the area but instead of shooting, he plays it back to the middle, where Villa can clear for a corner, from which they complete the clearance.

60min: Another mazy run by Pulisic into the area, taking aim, but a wonderful last-minute block saves a goal for Villa.

59min: Douglas Luiz replaces Hourihane for the visitors and Wesley labors on after some treatment.

57min: Pulisic tries to bully his way into the area, but is crowded out and Villa can clear. In the ensuing aerial tussle, Wesley loses out to Zouma, and then stays down holding his back again.

56min: Chelsea set up shop in the Villa defensive third and eventually find Abraham in the area, but he runs into Pulisic as it gets a bit too congested. Chelsea hitting 80% possession numbers for the half.

54min: This time it’s Kovacic who drives the box, but his cutback is cut out for a corner, which is caught by Heaton in traffic.

53min: Chelsea counter after Grealish wins the ball from James but Abraham works back to help win the ball from him, but Willian’s cross this time is defended amazingly by El Mohamedy just ahead of Abraham, now back up in the attack, waiting for a tap-in.

52min: Pulisic drives the box and plays to Tammy, who tries a flick layoff to Willian, but Villa nip in.

50min: Mings’ pass back almost catches Heaton out, but it misses the net and Chelsea get a corner only. Mount takes, but Villa head clear.

48min: WHAT A GOAL BY MASON MOUNT!!! Chelsea attack through Pulisic and Willian, and he dallies on the ball for what seems like ages. But eventually he does chip in, finding Abraham who chests it back to Mount, who smashes his volley into the roof of the net. BANG! Pick THAT out. 2-1, CHELSEA!!!

46min: No changes for either side at half. Villa win an early foul 30 yards out after Trezeguet cons the referee with a theatrical fall. Grealish delivers into the area, but Kepa collects easily and gets Chelsea going up the right side.


HALF-TIME: Chelsea have had the better of play and the better of chances, but it’s all even the scoreboard. But surely no one was expecting a clean sheet. Going to need another goal or three.

45+2min: Trezeguet gets a shooting opportunity from 25 yards, but Azpilicueta blocks and Chelsea can come forward. Abraham knocks it down for Willian, but his powerful shot is blocked by a flying defensive body in the area. And that’s it for the first half.

45+1min: James’s latest cross is cleared for a corner by Mings. Willian swings it in from the right, Zouma climbs highest, but the power in the header is down rather than forward and Heaton can collect on the high bounce.

45min: Mount first in the book for pulling back Targett after losing the ball to him.

43min: Villa push for a second, but a cross from the left is well over the head of everyone.

41min: Goal. Villa. Trezeguet. Slick passing and ball movement from Villa sees them work it around for a cross from the right. Wesley misses his header, but Trezeguet’s there ahead of James to get a head on it. It’s a terrible header, but it hits his own knee and bounces in! They all count the same. 1-1.

40min: Chelsea win the ball from a long clearance and Kovacic releases Kante through the middle. He tries an audacious chip over Heaton, who’s just slightly off his line, but misses the goal entirely.

39min: Loose backpass from James gets Chelsea into trouble, but Zouma’s alert to clear. Wesley’s through ball from the throw goes nowhere, but Chelsea can’t play through the subsequent high press and Villa have a throw in Chelsea’s defensive third. Fortunately, all they do is play it backwards.

36min: Willian and James combine for a cross, but the latter’s low effort is cleared by Mings for a throw. Chelsea come again, but Abraham’s whistled for a foul on Hourihane.

35min: Willian goes for a jaunt in the right channel, but is eventually crowded by several defenders. Chelsea’s final ball still a bit sloppy.

34min: Willian does a Grealish and Villa head clear at the near post. Grealish pushes Kovacic into the advertising hoardings this time, but no call from the referee. McGinn and Azpilicueta get involved, too. Referee still nowhere. This could bubble over before long.

32min: Villa win a corner, which Greslish takes. Abraham heads clear at the near post for a repeat. Then Kovacic heads clear for a repeat of the repeat. Abraham heads clear this time and Chelsea can break through Kante, but Abraham’s square ball for Pulisic hits Mings on the heel and Villa can clear for a corner.

30min: Pulisic just misses Abraham with a square ball in the area, and Villa survive.

28min: Villa looking to respond and Grealish wins a couple fouls, one cheaper than the next. Villa swing in the free kick and Mings wins the aerial duel with Abraham, but his header is weak and Kepa can collect easily.

24min: GOALLLLL! ABRAHAM!!! Chelsea continue to press, peppering in crosses from the right. Willian tries one, but El Mohamedy clears with a fantastic header. Chelsea work it back around and this time it’s James who chips in, finding Abraham without a marker, and he makes no mistake. No celebration for Tammy due to his time at Villa last season, but a fantastic goal nonetheless! 1-0, CHELSEA!!!

23min: This time it’s Abraham who’s on the ball out wide left. He drives the box and tries to create his own shot, but it’s blocked by the defender and cleared.

22min: Chelsea’s next attack is from the left, but Azpi’s cross after a check-back is behind both Abraham and Pulisic and Villa can let it run out for a goal kick.

21min: Chelsea come again and this time it’s Willian who plays it in from the right. It’s just ahead of Mount, but Abraham’s there to take aim ... but it’s nicked off his toes just as he’s about to shoot.

20min: Chelsea win the ball from the goal kick and turn quickly upfield, Pulisic finding Mount central. But his left-footed shot is high, wide, and not so handsome.

19min: Chelsea work it around on the right side and Kante eventually crosses in, finding Mount in acres of space, but his header is weak and straight at Heaton.

17min: McGinn wipes out Willian in an act of pure retribution, but escapes without even a card. Zouma’s switch from the free kick does not find its target on the right flank.

16min: Pulisic and Azpi combine on the left for a cross, but Abraham’s touch is a bit heavy in the area and Villa can clear.

15min: Wesley and Zouma take a tumble into the advertising hoardings and the Chelsea man comes off worse. He eventually gets up, favoring his right leg. Looks like he’s going to try to run it off.

13min: Grealish goes on a run and crumples to the ground after a shoulder challenge from Christensen. Fortunatately, the referee does not buy it. Chelsea push forward and create a crossing opportunity for Willian from the right. It takes a slight deflection and Heaten can pounce on it before Abraham.

12min: James called for a foul on Grealish, who wears his socks so low, they might as well not be there. Chelsea clear the free kick and look to counter through Willian, but he turns back and gives the ball away.

10min: Chelsea win the ball through the high press and Azpi has a chance to chip in. Mings gets his header all wrong and Tammy takes a swing at the loose ball, but he whiffs completely and Villa can scramble it away.

9min: More sloppiness as Willian doesn’t release Pulisic quick enough, and then when he does, Pulisic had already stopped.

8min: A wayward long ball from Christensen is far too long for Azpilicueta. Earlier, a 1-2 between Kante and James went awry. Chelsea not too fluid just yet.

5min: Chelsea break through Willian and Pulisic, as the latter drives forward from the midfield line. He plays it wide to Willian who goes for an angled powerdrive. Heaton blocks that for a corner, which Villa eventually clear at the second time of asking.

4min: Tammy’s first involvement is to knock down a ball for Mount, who lays it on for Pulisic, but a Villa defender is across to clear. Mount is then whistled for a foul, and Villa can clear.

3min: Wesley stays down after an awkward fall from an aerial duel with James. Seems okay to carry on, but favoring his back.

2min: The teams feeling out each other early, as Villa’s possession ends in an offside and Chelsea try to press the issue down the left flank, but not advancing very far.

KICK-OFF: The rainbow flags are out, and so are the teams, and even a giant banner in the Shed End for John Terry, Captain, Leader, Legend. Much respect! But now it’s time for some football. Villa get us going.


John Terry returns to Stamford Bridge for the first time since leaving as Premier League Champion in 2017, but the focus really needs to be on the team themselves, who are looking to get back on the winning track after back-to-back league defeats and just one win in the last five games in all competitions.

Tammy Abraham’s fit to start!

Here we go!


Chelsea team news (4-2-3-1):
Arrizabalaga | Azpilicueta (c), Zouma, Christensen, James | Kovacic, Kante | Pulisic, Mount, Willian | Abraham

Substitutes from: Caballero, Tomori, Emerson, Jorginho, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi, Giroud

Aston Villa team news (4-3-3)
Heaton | Targett, Mings, Konsa, El Mohamedy | Hourihane, Nakamba, McGinn | Grealish, Wesley, Trezeguet

Substitutes from: Nyland, Engels, Lansbury, Jota, Kodjia, Douglas Luiz, Taylor


Date / Time: Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 19:30 GMT; 2:30pm; 1am IST (next day)
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Chris Kavanagh

On TV: none (UK); none (USA); Star Sports 3 (India); Canal+ Sport 2, SuperSport 5 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Amazon Prime Video (UK) — this is £7.99/month if you don’t already have Prime, or just sign up for the 30-day free trial, which will cover the Boxing Day streams as well; NBC Sports Gold (USA); HotStar (India); DStv Now (NGA)


Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!