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Aston Villa 1 vs. 3 Chelsea MW 19 Review

Big win on Boxing Day!

Chelsea took on Aston Villa at Villa Park for MW 19 of the Premier League season. Villa selected a strong XI with the likes of Ings, Watkins, Buendia, Luiz etc all starting in their lineup. Gerrard was missing from the game because he tested positive for Covid and missed the game. Tuchel selected a strong lineup as well with Mendy in goal and a back three of Chalobah, Silva, and Rudiger. James, and Alonso started as the wing backs with Jorginho and Kante in midfield. Hudson-Odoi, Mount and Pulisic started up front. It was a strong lineup and Lukaku was back on the bench as well. 

Chelsea dominated possession as per but Villa had the better chances in the opening minutes of the game. No shots on target for Mendy to face but there was a threat in and around the box. The positive Villa pressure resulted in them getting the lead in the 28th minute after a cross into the box was deflected into the net by Reece James who had had a poor half until then. Chelsea woke up post the goal and we replied back by equalising in the 34th minute after Hudson-Odoi was brought down in the box. Jorginho stepped up and converted the penalty to bring Chelsea back into the team. Villa had several more half chances before half time but Chelsea had to make big improvements in the 2nd half to shift the tide.

Chalobah came off at half time apparently due to injury as Romelu Lukaku joined the fray for 45 minutes. Reece James shifted to right centre back while Pulisic moved into the right wing back role. Immediately there was an improvement as Lukaku gave us a focal point up top. The Belgian was a handful for Mings and Konsa and meant that they had to deal with something in the box now. Pulisic also looked more lively in a wider role and was able to dribble at the Villa defence. Mount also seemed to have renewed energy as he chased everything down. Silva had to come off as well due to an hamstring issue as Christensen came on to replace him. Lukaku drove forward and played in Alonso who set it up for Hudson-Odoi who’s effort was tame. Lukaku then gave Chelsea the lead in the 56th minute as Hudson-Odoi found the Belgian via a cross and the ball was headed into the net. A very good goal. Kante then had to come off due to injury as well as Kovacic came on. Mount was then played into the box and he dribbled past Martinez but dragged his shot wide. In the final moments Hudson-Odoi played through Lukaku who took the ball and drove forward shaking off Targett and forcing Konsa to bring him down to concede a penalty. Jorginho stepped up once again and finished the deal to seal the win.

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

No clean sheet for Mendy in this game but he could have slightly done better for the own goal. Other than that there wasn’t much for Mendy to do in this game with only one shot on target to face. Simple game.

Defenders

The back three didn’t have the best first half and looked a bit disjointed mainly because the midfield was so open. Chalobah came off due to injury and so did Silva so that isn’t great. Reece James did not have the best first half but he did improve in the 2nd although he looked very tired by the end of the game. Alonso would fall under the same bracket. Christensen came on in the 2nd half and did well. 

Midfielders

Jorginho and Kante did not have the best first half as Villa willingly dribbled through them. Kante had to come off in the second half due to injury and that wasn’t good news. Mount did well overall and really showed hunger in the game. There were two good chances that he could have scored though. Kovacic came on in the 2nd half and brought some press resistance to the midfield. Jorginho also did well to score his two penalties taking his tally to 9 goals this season.

Forwards

Hudson-Odoi wasn’t the best in the 1st half much like the other players but he did well to draw the equalising penalty. In the 2nd half he was much better and got the assist for Lukaku and sent him through for the third goal as well. Hudson-Odoi has improve his finishing though. Pulisic played up front for the first 45 and it was a thankless task but he did shift to right wing back in the 2nd half and he had more joy and was much more of a danger man. Lukaku changed the game though when he came on and man handled the likes of Konsa and Mings. We faced all these mid table teams when he was out and these are the type of games we signed him for in the first place. A very good 45 from him and long may it continue.

Manager

Tuchel was happy with the three points but he was not happy with the fact that several players were forced into playing 90 minutes. 3 more injuries apparently and the fact that we only have 3 subs in the Premier League really does hamper the squad. 5 subs is key and Tuchel has repeated that time and time again. 

Chelsea go level on points with Liverpool and remain 6 points behind City. Liverpool have a game in hand though but Chelsea did well in this game. It was a must win one and we did and hopefully Lukaku and Chelsea can carry this momentum forward now. 

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