Sunday, 8 February 2015

Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea match report Saturday 7th February 2015

Aston Villa finally managed to find the back of the net after almost 11 hours but failed to grab the points as Jose Mourinho earned his first win at Villa Park.

Jonas Okore scored his first goal for the Villans to end a drought stretching back to December last year but the delight from the goal-starved Villa fans was short-lived as  Branislav Ivanovic scored his fifth goal in six matches at the stadium to win the game for Mourinho's side.

Aston Villa were bolstered by last season's heroic 1-0 victory over Chelsea but any hopes of a repeat result were swept away in the seventh minute when Oscar burst down the right and found fellow countryman Willian on the right hand side of the box. He slipped the ball into the area where it was poked home from close range by the Eden Hazard.

Villa, who dropped main striker Christian Benteke after a string of poor performances, looked lively through Gabby Agbonlahor who had his team's best chance of the first half when he met a cross from the left but could only head over from six yards.

Paul Lambert's half time talk certainly worked as the Villa players came out for the second half a completely different team and immediately took the game to the Londoners .  Two minutes in and more than 35,000 home fans were finally rewarded for their patience after some lovely trickery by Carles Gill produced a cross from the right hand side to the far post where Okore was there to head home completely unmarked. Ten hours and 59 minutes of famine and frustration for fans and players was finally over. 
Paul Lambert's men were so unused to scoring in a game that sadly they decided to sit back and allow Chelsea to  come onto them with the predictable result. Sixty-six minutes gone and Blues' left back Cesar Azpilicueta forced his way into the area and as Villa defenders failed to clear,  his cross was met by right back Ivanovic who powerfully struck home from 10 yards.

As time ticked away, Chelsea showed why they are Champions elect by shutting up shop. Mourinho sent on John Obi Mikel to sit deep and despite the introduction of Christian Benteke, Villa couldn’t find a way through the formidable blue line. With Manchester City managing only a point with Hull, Chelsea now sit seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.

After the game Jose Mourinho praised Villa who he said were a difficult team to beat.

"Aston Villa have very good players and it is difficult to prepare against them as they can change the way they play. We showed good ambition after they scored. We pushed hard and got  a very important victory."

However, the Blues manager was not yet ready to clear a space in the team's trophy cabinet for the Premiership crown. "Seven points is nothing when there are 42 points to play for," he said. "Everyone can take points off each other in this league. I take things step by step."

Villa boss Paul Lambert was full of praise for his team's performance and disappointed they did not get something from the game. "We did not deserve to lose. We had a good tempo in the game. We scored a great goal and I thought the performance was very good," he told the press. "We set a standard today and if we play like that in the coming weeks, we will pick up points."

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