Aston Villa vs Chelsea 23/5/21 – Full Match Report

Blues lose at Villa Park yet still secure a top four finish.


With 37 Premier League games played in what has been an unorthodox season, Chelsea played their final game of the campaign against Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.

The Blues went into the game looking for their fourth successive victory at Villa Park, having also won 10 of their last 12 games against the Villans.

However, Dean Smith’s side earned a 1-1 draw back at Stamford Bridge in December, with his side impressing throughout the current campaign.

Ahead of the game, Thomas Tuchel made one change to the starting eleven that powered past Leicester on Tuesday, as Mateo Kovačić replaced N’Golo Kanté in the Chelsea midfield. On the other hand, Aston Villa’s side was entirely unchanged following their victory at Spurs on Wednesday.

The game was of significant value to Chelsea, who were in need of the points in order to secure a top four finish. There was however less on the line for Villa – who were hovering around the mid table mark.

First half:

The Blues started the game positively, with a flurry of shots being blocked by what was a stubborn Villa defence. On the 10th minute, a chance fell for Timo Werner who had an opportunity to convert from close range – but the German struggled to direct his header on target.

4 minutes later, defender Ben Chilwell had a shot saved comfortably saved by Emiliano Martínez. Moments later, former Blues player Bertrand Traoré was also denied by Édouard Mendy at the opposite end.

The visitors later had chances for Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner – with neither of the players being able to take their opportunity and capitalise.

Suddenly, the hosts were uplifted by the roar of the 10,000 fans in attendance. There were chances for both Bertrand Traoré and John McGinn – however both players failed to hit the target.

Despite the game remaining at 0-0, Chelsea’s league position was in constant change as the game progressed with results around the league altering their destiny.

One thing the Blues needed to avoid was falling behind, which is exactly what happened on the 43rd minute as Traoré fired Villa ahead with a powerful effort off the crossbar.

Despite their chances in the first half, Chelsea was rattled by a late Villa sucker punch. Going into the break, it was Dean Smith’s side who led.

Second half:

Thomas Tuchel was forced into making a substitute at half time as Kepa Arrizabalaga replaced Édouard Mendy in goal. The Senegalese international was hurt after colliding with the post in attempt to save Traoré’s previous effort, causing for Arrizabalaga to play the remaining 45 minutes.

Chelsea needed a reaction early in the second half and they almost got it, as Christian Pulisic’s deflected effort bounced just wide of the post. The Blues also had an opportunity through Mason Mount, who saw his volley blocked to keep Villa’s lead alive.

On the 51st minute, Bertrand Traoré was involved again – this time drawing a foul inside the penalty area with Jorginho the culprit. Villa went on to double their lead following a powerful penalty conversion from Anwar El Ghazi.

The Blues were now facing a fifth-place finish, which would see them potentially miss out on Champions League football next season.

Just 5 minutes after the goal, Timo Werner had the ball in the back of the net. However, the German’s misfortune continued as his goal was once again disallowed having been found guilty of being in an offside position. Chelsea later had chances through Mateo Kovačić, Ben Chilwell and substitute Kai Havertz – but neither were able to claw the visitors back into the game.

On the 70th minute, the Blues were given a lifeline as Ben Chilwell converted Christian Pulisic’s cross. The ball was scooped off the line by goalkeeper Martínez, but his efforts wasn’t enough, with goal line technology intervening and coming to Chelsea’s rescue.

In the hopes of finding an equaliser, Chelsea continued their search for a second with efforts from Kai Havertz, César Azpilicueta and Ben Chilwell. However, Villa remained strong and continued to hang on to their lead.

On the 88th minute, Blues skipper Azpilicueta saw red with Jack Grealish, and was sent off for his alteration with the England midfielder.

In the dying minutes of the game, Thomas Tuchel and his team were made aware of Spurs’ 4-2 victory at the King Power Stadium – which resulted in Chelsea shifting back into fourth position despite trailing at Villa Park.

With the full-time whistle eventually blowing, the Blues were relieved to discover that they will be playing in the Champions League once again next season.

After the whistle:

Firstly, credit must be given to Dean Smith and Aston Villa – who put an end to their bad record against the Blues by securing all three points back in front of their home fans. Although Chelsea had a strong grip on the game, the Villans were able to make the most of their chances and managed to put the icing on the cake.

Villa have enjoyed a successful season and will look to build on their strong foundations in next year’s season.

For Chelsea, the defeat could have been a whole lot more costly had Leicester beaten Tottenham. The Blues were fortunate to remain in fourth place, given what was an unconvincing performance at Villa Park.

Chelsea was dominant for most of the game, yet still lacked conviction as they missed a catalogue of chances. The Blue’s scoring issue continue to trouble them, with their lack of goalscoring threat costing Chelsea valuable points towards the end of the season.

Although the Premier League season has come to a close, Chelsea can still look forwards to next weekend’s Champions League final against Manchester City. The Blues will look to use their recent form as a learning curve, with there being everything to play for next week in Porto.

Final score:

Aston Villa 2-1 Chelsea.

- Traoré (43’).

- El Ghazi (52’ pen).

- Chilwell (70).

BBC Sports player of the match:

Kai Havertz (Chelsea).


Aston Villa (4-2-3-1): Martínez; Konsa, Hause, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Nakamba; Traoré (73’), Grealish ©, El Ghazi (79’); Watkins.

- Subs: Chukwuemeka (73’), Ramsey (79’).

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy (45’); James, Silva, Rüdiger; Azpilicueta ©, Jorginho (60’), Kovačić (66’), Chilwell; Mount, Pulisic; Werner.

- Subs: Arrizabalaga (45’), Ziyech (60’), Havertz (66’).


Stuart Attwell.


Aston Villa (29%) vs Chelsea (71%).


Aston Villa (6) vs Chelsea (23).

Shots on target:

Aston Villa (3) vs Chelsea (7).


Aston Villa (2) vs Chelsea (9).


Aston Villa (11) vs Chelsea (12).

- (credit | BBC Sport).

Match highlights:

- (credit | Sky Sports Football).


Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).

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