Chelsea needed a reaction in this game after a third loss in four on Saturday, but it were the in-form visitors who started on a more positive note. The Blues eventually grew into the game however, and started moving the ball around with some purpose, the front three working quite well, and bringing Chilwell into the game on the left with increasing regularity.
And it was precisely through that route that we’d take the lead just past the half-hour mark, with Giroud finishing well with his head at the near post from a Chilwell ball in.
The lead didn’t last too long into the second half however, with Villa taking advantage of a moment of disorganization at the back after Andreas Christensen had stayed down following a step up and a missed interception and a coming together with Jack Grealish.
Chelsea responded well enough to the equalizer, and dialed up the pressure, and even had the ball in the back of the net again after a scramble in the goalmouth from a corner, but Pulisic was (rightly?) called offside on the initial effort that was cleared off the line.
Chelsea continued to look for the equalizer, but never quite managed to create a telling chance. Werner came close with potshot from a loose ball, while a Chilwell volley grazed the outside of the post in the final few minutes. Villa were happy enough with a point, and even managed to hit the woodwork from 30 yards.
- Six changes from the Arsenal debacle two days ago, including a first appearance for Andreas Christensen in months. (But just a few changes compared to the team that beat West Ham however.)
- Werner for Giroud and Havertz for Jorginho the (attacking) changes. Lampard uses just 2 of his allowed 3 subs.
- Giroud starts, Giroud scores. It is known.
- The refereeing quality in the Premier League remains Sunday league level, at best.
- Still unbeaten at home since the Liverpool loss, but just 4 points in our last 5 games.
- Chelsea up to 6th, for now, but with at least one more game played than the rest of the teams around us. Mid-table, really, to close out 2020.
- Next up: Manchester City on Sunday ... maybe? City’s game against Everton today was postponed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 at City, and it’s unclear right now how that might affect their upcoming fixtures.