Share

Aston Villa 2-2 Chelsea: Conor Gallagher’s late equaliser dents Villa’s top-four hopes


Aston Villa's Morgan Rogers scores against Chelsea in the Premier League
Morgan Rogers has scored three goals for Aston Villa since joining from Middlesbrough in January

Axel Disasi had a stoppage-time winner disallowed but Chelsea came from two goals down to dent Aston Villa’s top-four hopes in Birmingham.

Disasi thought he had sealed victory after he nodded home Benoit Badiashile’s cross but the video assistant referee (VAR) recommended an on-field review and referee Craig Pawson decided the latter had barged a Villa defender before the cross.

Chelsea’s players were incensed and crowded Pawson at the full-time whistle, while manager Mauricio Pochettino had a passionate discussion with Villa defender Ezri Konsa.

Villa, whose top-four hopes are now not in their hands as a result of the dropped points, had taken an early lead after John McGinn’s miscued effort deflected off Chelsea left-back Marc Cucurella and into the bottom corner.

The visitors responded well with Nicolas Jackson having an effort disallowed by the video assistant referee for offside, before the Senegal international planted a header against the base of the post.

Morgan Rogers doubled the home side’s lead after finding space on the left and tucking the ball into the near post through the legs of Trevoh Chalobah.

Chelsea found a route back into the game after catching Villa in possession high up the pitch, with Noni Madueke sliding a clever finish into the far corner.

The visitors pressed for an equaliser without creating too many opportunities, until Gallagher worked a shooting opportunity on his left foot and curled into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Both sides had chances to win the game before the disallowed goal, with Ollie Watkins slicing a cutback over the bar and Cole Palmer having a shot saved when dribbling through one-on-one.

Unai Emery’s side are seven points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, but Ange Postecoglu’s side have three games in hand, starting with Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal.

There was further concern for Villa too, with goalkeeper Emi Martinez withdrawn at half-time after appearing to struggle with a thigh injury in the first period, and any period of absence could damage them with their Europa Conference League semi-final this week.

Chelsea show resolve but problems remain

This was a positive result for Chelsea, especially after going two goals down, and they showed an abundance of character and resolve in the second half.

It was a vast improvement from being called “so soft” by Pochettino after their 5-0 defeat by Arsenal on Tuesday.

There were familiar issues in the first half though as Villa scored two soft goals, and Chelsea have now gone 14 games on their travels without a clean sheet.

Jackson should have scored the header that hit the woodwork, and while the finish was taken beautifully, he should have timed his run better with the speed he possesses.

They had more than 70% possession in the second half and had 13 efforts to Villa’s four.

Madueke is continuing to grow as a player and has scored three goals in the past six away games, while Gallagher has been one of Chelsea’s more impressive players this season.

They were furious with the disallowed goal but should gain belief that they were able to fight back at a side that occupy a Champions League spot and have the fifth-best home record in the league.

Villa collapse but Rogers impresses again

It is hard to know how this result will affect Villa’s top-four hopes, but with a home game against Liverpool sandwiched between trips to Brighton and Crystal Palace it may be damaging.

They were unusually soft in the second half, and failed to really lay a glove on Chelsea, apart from Watkins’ late effort.

The loss of Martinez was a blow, with his presence huge for Villa.

Emery will look at positives though, and Rogers is undoubtedly one of those.

They had to be patient to get his signature in January but were persistent, with Emery a huge fan of the 21-year-old.

The former Manchester City man has now scored in his past three games at Villa Park, and has an assist in the past five games too, having failed to register any goal involvements in his first five appearances.

His finish was superb, taken quickly and placed brilliantly in the bottom corner, out of reach of a fully-stretched Djordje Petrovic.

helpHow to play

Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.

Rating range key1 = Give it up10 = Pure perfection

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number1Player nameE Martínez

  2. Squad number2Player nameCash

  3. Squad number4Player nameKonsa

  4. Squad number14Player nameP Torres

  5. Squad number12Player nameDigne

  6. Squad number31Player nameBailey

  7. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

  8. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

  9. Squad number27Player nameRogers

  10. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

  11. Squad number11Player nameWatkins

  1. Squad number3Player nameDiego Carlos

  2. Squad number19Player nameDiaby

  3. Squad number24Player nameDurán

  4. Squad number25Player nameOlsen

  5. Squad number47Player nameIroegbunam

Chelsea

  1. Squad number28Player namePetrovic

  2. Squad number14Player nameChalobah

  3. Squad number6Player nameThiago Silva

  4. Squad number5Player nameBadiashile

  5. Squad number3Player nameCucurella

  6. Squad number25Player nameCaicedo

  7. Squad number23Player nameGallagher

  8. Squad number11Player nameMadueke

  9. Squad number20Player namePalmer

  10. Squad number10Player nameMudryk

  11. Squad number15Player nameJackson

  1. Squad number2Player nameDisasi

  2. Squad number31Player nameCasadei

Line-ups

Aston Villa

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1E MartínezSubstituted forOlsenat 45′minutes
  • 2Cash
  • 4Konsa
  • 14P Torres
  • 12Digne
  • 31BaileyBooked at 66minsSubstituted forDiego Carlosat 75′minutes
  • 8TielemansSubstituted forDiabyat 27′minutesSubstituted forDuránat 83′minutes
  • 6Douglas LuizBooked at 49minsSubstituted forIroegbunamat 75′minutes
  • 27RogersBooked at 64mins
  • 7McGinn
  • 11Watkins

Substitutes

  • 3Diego Carlos
  • 16Chambers
  • 17Lenglet
  • 19Diaby
  • 24Durán
  • 25Olsen
  • 29Kesler-Hayden
  • 47Iroegbunam
  • 71Kellyman

Chelsea

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 28Petrovic
  • 14Chalobah
  • 6Thiago SilvaBooked at 87minsSubstituted forDisasiat 90′minutes
  • 5BadiashileBooked at 90mins
  • 3Cucurella
  • 25CaicedoBooked at 49mins
  • 23Gallagher
  • 11MaduekeBooked at 90mins
  • 20Palmer
  • 10MudrykBooked at 82minsSubstituted forCasadeiat 90′minutes
  • 15Jackson

Substitutes

  • 2Disasi
  • 13Bettinelli
  • 31Casadei
  • 36de Souza Eugênio
  • 40Curd
  • 42Gilchrist
  • 63Acheampong
  • 67George
  • 78Dyer

Referee:
Craig Pawson

Attendance:
42,354

Live Text





Source link