Not the result we wanted but we get top four.
Chelsea travelled to Birmingham to take on Aston Villa with top four at stake while Villa were 11th and would remain 11th regardless of the result. Villa though were playing in front of 10,000 of their fans after what has been a tough year. There was plenty of emotion and after the season that Villa have had all the big results and emotion poured out over 90 minutes for them. Tuchel selected the lineup that many predicted with Mendy in goal. A back 3 of James, Silva, and Rudiger. Azpilicueta, and Chilwell were the wing backs with Jorginho, and Kovacic as the midfielders. Mount, Pulisic, and Werner started up front. It was a good lineup and there were no qualms. Villa selected a 4-2-3-1 with several key players on the pitch like Martinez, Grealish, Watkins, etc.
Chelsea started the first half brilliantly and for 40 minutes we dominated play as usual. Several chances and half chances, several misplaced shots in front of goal as nothing seemed to be going in. It really felt like we should have finished that game in those opening 40 minutes. Villa in the 43rd minute got a goal via Traore after confusion in the box. Chelsea then imploded a bit and were lucky to get into half time only a goal down.
Mendy was injured trying to save that Traore goal as his ribs hit the post and Kepa came on in the 2nd half for him. Jorginho then conceded a penalty in the 52nd minute and El Ghazi stepped up to make it 2-0 for Villa. Chelsea were truly up against it now and for sure we would need results elsewhere to go our way. The Blues did rise to the challenge though and the remaining 40 odd minutes was all Chelsea. Martinez had to make some key saves and we scored early on but Azpilicueta was offside as he had made a pass to Werner. Chilwell got a goal back in the 70th minute as the ball just about managed to get over the line. Chelsea were then denied a clear penalty as Mings handled the ball in the box but VAR didn’t even look at it. The agenda is so clear. Azpilicueta was sent off in the 89th minute as Grealish made a tackle on him and Azpi lashed out. Chelsea did not manage to get the goal but because Spurs beat Leicester it meant that Chelsea finished 4th in the table securing Champions League football for next season.
Chelsea Team Review
Mendy was not at fault for the 1st goal and he tried his level best to keep it out. One can only hope that he is fit and back for the Champions League final. Kepa was good in the 2nd half and really didn’t have anything to do. The penalty was not on him either and there was nothing he could do about it.
Reece James had a decent game as the RCB while he played as a defensive midfielder when Chelsea were chasing late on. Silva and Rudiger were strong but a defensive lapse led to the 1st goal. Chilwell was probably the best defender as he was a constant threat down the left hand side and probably should have had more than a goal. Azpilicueta had a solid 1st half as everything was coming down the right hand side but a lapse in concentration led to the red in the 2nd.
Jorginho didn’t have the best of games and was at fault for several ball losses throughout the game. The penalty was also his fault. Kovacic was decent but came off for Ziyech in the 2nd half. Mount had some really good chances but his shots went wide. Havertz came on for the 2nd half as well and made a little impact.
Pulisic didn’t have the greatest of games but hopefully he can gain the form if called upon for the CL final, he did get the assist for the Chelsea goal. Werner was very lively but again missed some good chances and that has been the story of his 1st season at Chelsea. Ziyech did well when he came on and created some good chances including playing in Pulisic for the assist. Finishing still remains a problem for Chelsea.
Tuchel picked the perfect lineup and it was Chelsea who were wasteful. Tuchel get’s the job done and he get’s Champions League football. That is the main objective off the list and now there is a chance for one very very big bonus.
Chelsea get the job done not having won. The results prior to this game especially the win against Leicester were key. We finish 4th in the table but our season is not over as we have one massive game left to play. COME ON CHELSEA!!!