Villa made a strong start to the game, putting Chelsea on the back-foot and chasing shadows. But the home side didn’t make their initial superiority count, and Chelsea grew into the game and started exerting some of our usual control.
Mount almost got lucky with a mis-hit cross, and Chelsea’s misfortune got worse from there as Reece James inadvertently guided a cross beyond his own goalkeeper to gift Villa the lead against the run of play.
Chelsea mounted a quick response and equalized from the spot a few minutes later, after Callum Hudson-Odoi was fouled from behind and Jorginho made no mistake.
A positive change at half-time saw the introduction of Romelu Lukaku, and the move paid off ten minutes later when he headed in a Hudson-Odoi cross to give Chelsea the lead.
Mason Mount missed a glorious chance halfway through the half to make sure of the three points, which proved increasingly concerning and Chelsea grew increasingly tired and Villa put fresh legs and the pressure on. Mount and Hudson-Odoi then missed a couple more glorious chances late on just for good measure and extra heart palpitations.
Fortunately, we were not made to pay for all those misses, with Lukaku earning a penalty late on with a bulldozing run on a solo counter, and Jorginho again making no mistake.
- Just a few changes from last weekend’s draw against Wolves, with Kanté and Hudson-Odoi coming back into the side and Azpilicueta and Ziyech dropping out.
- Potential injury concerns for Chalobah, Silva, and Kanté — all taken off early. Lukaku, Christensen, Kovačić on as the subs. Pulisic deputizing at right wing-back.
- Chelsea playing more of a 3-5-2/5-3-2 with Kova on, with CHO and Lukaku up front
- Jorginho now with 9 goals on the season to lead the team, all penalties
- Chelsea level on points with Liverpool, who now have a game-in-hand after today’s postponement. City remain six points ahead. Arsenal six points behind.
- Next up: Brighton at home on Wednesday