[Player Ratings] Chelsea 2-1 Aston Villa: Ivanovic Header Seals Win For Blues

By on August 21, 2013

Eden Hazard Chelsea

Branislav Ivanovic’s second half goal proved decisive in a tense encounter which saw Chelsea overcome Aston Villa 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were playing their second home game in four days and entertained a young Villa side on a high from their weekend win at the Emirates Stadium. Jose Mourinho’s side started in storming fashion- as they did against Hull on Sunday- and took the lead through an Antonio Luna own-goal; the ball deflecting off the defender after Eden Hazard’s shot was saved on 7 minutes.

VOdds

Chelsea failed to capitalise further on their early dominance and allowed Villa to level moments before half-time through Christian Benteke. The powerful Belgian forward was expected to leave Villa Park this summer but decided to sign a new contract, and the man who bagged two at the weekend raced to the top of the scoring charts with a superbly executed finish.

Villa were more than a match for Chelsea in the second half but it was the home side who took the initiative when Ivanovic grabbed the winner, heading home from a Frank Lampard free-kick on ’73. The game wasn’t without controversy however, as Villa contested the referee’s decision to only brandish a yellow card to Ivanovic after he caught Benteke with a loose arm. The incident occurred moments before the Serbian’s winning goal, rubbing even more salt into the Villa wounds.

Chelsea also survived a late appeal for a penalty after it looked as though captain John Terry may have handled in the area, however the referee waved away the protests. A loud cheer- and a simultaneous sound of relief- from the the home faithful greeted the final whistle, as Chelsea moved to the top of the Premier League.

Player Ratings

Cech- 7- was rarely called upon in the first half but pulled off a string of fine saves in the second. Not much he could do to stop Benteke’s clinical finishing.

Cole- 6- one of the England international’s quieter games in a Blue shirt. Competent enough. Reliable in defence but did not do enough in attack.

Terry 6- appeared to struggle at times with the powerful and domineering presence of Benteke, but overall marshalled his defender’s well.

Cahill-5- the England centre-half had a torrid time when Chelsea played Villa away last season, and it did not look any more enjoyable this time round. Not his best performance.

Ivanovic- 7- we saw two sides to the Serbian’s game here: the match-winning side, and the ugly side. Secured 3 points for his side with a powerful headed goal, but could easily have seen red for what looked like an intentional elbow on Benteke.

Lampard- 8- continued where he left off from Sunday. The weekend’s goal scorer turned provider here, demonstrating how much the England veteran still has to offer Chelsea. Had a great game.

Ramires- 7- a much improved performance from Sunday. The Brazilian was more his energetic self and provided his defence with a solid screening when Chelsea lost possession.

Oscar-8- another brilliant showing from the Brazilian midfielder. Has taken to the role of Chelsea’s play-maker in chief like a duck to water. Involved in Chelsea’s attacking play from start to finish and always looked like causing Villa problems. My MOM.

Mata- 5- so often Chelsea’s saviour last season, the Spaniard looked half the player here. Fitness seemed to be affecting his performance, tiring in the second half  to be replaced by Schurrle.

Hazard 8- Benteke may be the Belgian on everyone’s lips at the moment, but Hazard was a threat from start to finish. His pace and agility was a constant worry for Villa and he found himself in excellent positions thanks to some mazy runs, only to be thwarted by Brad Guzan.

Ba- 5- failed to demonstrate the kind of link-up play we’ve come to expect of a Chelsea centre-forward (ala Didier Drogba). Spent much of the game in offside positions and never really threatened.

Subs

Schurrle- 6- showed some neat touches when introduced just after the hour mark but made little impact. Steady start to life at the Bridge

Van Ginkel-4- introduced with just 6 minutes remaining so no chance to make much of an impact.

Lukaku- 6- looks the best option up-front for Chelsea at the moment. Held the ball up well, showed close, tidy control and brought others into play. Finishing touch was lacking however.

If you haven’t seen the goals you can watch them here.

What did you make of Wednesday’s game? How good was Chelsea’s football at times? Is this a better Chelsea side than Mourinho’s last one? Should Ivanovich have been sent off? Who was your Man of the Match?…please leave your comments below.

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12 Comments

  1. Dennis Oletukovie

    August 21, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Well done boys d@ was a brilliant performance but still need more goals attempts and threat in upcoming games including a better performance in d defence. Oscar MOM is brilliant. Up chelsea!

  2. Holte64

    August 21, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    They say that refereeing decisions favour the bigger teams (teams with more history, superior support etc) but I don’t agree after tonight’s game – I thought that most went Chelsea’s way.

  3. Chuksville Herbert

    August 22, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Chelsea played well today more than their first match against Hull city. I think they are improvin with more and more matches as they play on. Oscar was pretty fantastic – was just everywhere. Lampard seems more stronger than last season. Ramirez held his own in the midfield. Hazard was a constant threat in the villains defense. In Chelsea’s defense, Terry and Cahil should make sure the close up the spaces so that their opponent or their strikers will not have space to shoot. There is too much space in Chelsea’s defense and this should be sorted out now before the big game against man u on monday. Oscar is my man of the match in a row. Go for goal Chelsea! Go for the title!!!

  4. Santoswezzy

    August 22, 2013 at 2:21 am

    Up chelsea! The said that d refree was at chelsea side that’s all lies dispite invanovic elbow was consided a yealow card after all benteka stil elbowed invanovic and was still given the same yealow card so no centiment here. Thanks 2 all chelsea player’s 4 given der best most easpecaliy oscar my mom n my man hazard.pls we need 2 improve more and last thanks 2 the happy one we love u.

  5. 4lan

    August 22, 2013 at 5:10 am

    I said it b/4 d match dat Cahil always strugle against villa. Nevadless,gud work 4rm chelsea against a gud villa side.Nw,i’ll like 2 see Azpilicueta on mondai cux he may b able 2 deal wit Evra’s pace dan Iva would do nd either of Cahil/Terry pavin way 4 Iva in d middle. Pls, dont start luiz, he’s nt always @ his best against Manchester…..Cech…Azp,Cahil,Iva,Cole…Ramires,Mikel…Hazard,Oscar,Shurrle…Lukake. Dat’ll b my lineup against Manchester…up bluzzz!

  6. Ismail olatunde

    August 22, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Is a fantastic match

  7. gabriel

    August 22, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Was quite a match, a physical one though. Mata should never had started he is better against flexible teams like fulham arsenal man united and other teams that do not play physical games. Lukaku was fantstic but needs to know when to make an assit and give a shot on goal. I believe for now torres should be the first choice striker and ba be sold to where he can adapt

  8. Akinsolablues

    August 22, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I quite agree with oscar being the MOTM. Villa really gave a good fight and i hope rooney/eto signs. If mikel is fully fit he can come in for lamp. Cahill to make way for iva against man u and azpi at the right back. ‘Sometimes you have to win on effort rather than quality’.

  9. JAMENC

    August 22, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Just lyk my brodas has started, Oscar is the MOM…Bt, Lampard long pass was much @the first half

  10. Tiro4real

    August 22, 2013 at 9:26 am

    It very good game but chelsea need to improve in attack more and not to play canter to much.

  11. Mudeez

    August 22, 2013 at 9:52 am

    tight game…i looking forward to luiz against united

  12. Pingback: CHELSEA 2-1 Villa: Lambert Left Livid

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