Updated: Dec 29, 2021
Jorginho converts a double from the penalty spot as Chelsea return to winning ways in the Premier League.
Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).
After picking up just five points from their previous four Premier League games, Chelsea looked to return to their early season form in their Boxing Day clash against Aston Villa.
The Blues were sitting comfortable at the top of the league until just a few weeks ago. Thomas Tuchel’s side have since surrendered their position and slipped beneath both Manchester City and Liverpool, who continued their hot form whilst Chelsea went cold.
Their opponents however entered the game carrying momentum after being boosted by the appointment of Steven Gerrard – who missed the game after testing positive for COVID-19.
In the opening 20 minutes of the game, the hosts looked dangerous on the break and had opportunities to punish Chelsea, who looked short in numbers at the back. However, both Trevoh Chalobah and Thiago Silva were excellent in their recoveries and kept the game at 0-0.
Overall, it was the visitors who were in control of the ball as they dominated possession in the early stages. Mason Mount came close to an opener as he whipped the ball towards goal from a crossing position, and was inches away from finding the lead.
Five or so minutes later, the hosts were ahead after Matt Targett’s cross skimmed the head of Reece James, beating Édouard Mendy who was caught off guard.
The Blues however responded brilliantly and were level six minutes later as Matty Cash brought down Callum Hudson-Odoi inside the penalty area. The decision was given immediately by Martin Atkinson, with Jorginho doing the business from 12 yards.
The first half later came to a close, with nothing to separate the two teams.
After starting the game without a recognised striker, Romelu Lukaku made his return after being brought on at half-time and replacing Trevoh Chalobah.
The presence of the Belgian caused an immediate impact and changed the game, as Chelsea looked a whole lot more dangerous in their attacks. On the 52nd minute, Matty Cash came close to converting an own goal in a similar incident to the opener.
Three minutes later, the Blues were ahead, with Romelu Lukaku guiding the ball beyond Martínez following a delicious cross from Hudson-Odoi.
As the game rolled on into the hour mark, both teams remained in the hunt for a fourth goal in the match. Chelsea came the closest on the 66th minute, with Mason Mount missing what was almost an open goal in a glorious chance to extend his team’s lead.
Aston Villa’s first shot on target arrived on the 79th minute, with substitute Anwar El Ghazi firing from just outside the penalty area.
Although there were chances for Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi in the dying stages, Chelsea eventually got their third with Jorginho converting another penalty in the 93rd minute.
After the whistle:
Maybe if Steven Gerrard was on the touchline things could have gone differently for the Villans, who looked well below par in the match.
The hosts never really got going in the game, and as mentioned, managed just one shot on target in the 90 minutes.
That being said, all credit has to be given to Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea, who were deserved winners on the evening. The introduction of Romelu Lukaku changed the game, with the Belgian having too much power for the Aston Villa defence.
The Blues return to action on Wednesday, where they will look to gather another three points against Brighton and The Bridge.
Aston Villa will be without Steven Gerrard in their next game too, which is set to be a trip to London as they take on Brentford on January 2nd.
Aston Villa 1-3 Chelsea.
- James (28’ og).
- Jorginho (34’ pen, 90+3’ pen).
- Lukaku (56’).
BBC Sports Player of the match:
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea).
Aston Villa (4-3-1-2): Martínez; Cash, Konsa, Mings ©, Targett; Sanson (76’), Luiz, Ramsey; Buendía (74’); Ings (73’), Watkins.
- Subs: Traoré (73’), Chukwuemeka (74’), El Ghazi (76’).
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Chalobah (45’), Silva (52’), Rüdiger; James, Kanté (63’), Jorginho ©, Alonso; Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Pulisic.
- Subs: Lukaku (45’), Christensen (52’), Kovačić (63’).
Aston Villa (42%) vs Chelsea (58%).
Aston Villa (8) vs Chelsea (10).
Shots on target:
Aston Villa (1) vs Chelsea (4).
Aston Villa (2) vs Chelsea (5).
Aston Villa (8) vs Chelsea (11).
- (credit | BBC Sport).
- (credit | Chelsea Football Club).