After a more than poor start to the season, with only 2 wins from a possible 8, it was vital Chelsea got back to winning ways. It was the perfect game to do so, against an Aston Villa side that has only won one game all season. Mourinho decided to ring the changes in the starting line up, bringing in Baba Rahman for the injured and out of form Ivanovic, and introducing 18 year old Ruben Loftus Cheek for his first start of the season. It was great to see Diego Costa back in the starting line up after his 3 match ban ended, and he played a key role, as we registered only our third win of the season. A stand out emission from the team was last year’s player of the season Eden Hazard, who was dropped due to defensive mistakes and disappointing performances.
The game took no time to get going. Aston villa gave the ball away to Pedro, who ran at the defence before playing in RLC, whose blocked shot went narrowly wide of the goal. It didn’t take long for our defensive frailties to show once more. Baba was knocked off the ball too easily as Alan Hutton beat him, before the Villa full back had a shot well saved by Begovic. There was a shout for a penalty not long after when Villa gave away the ball once more, leaving Costa bearing down on the goal, only to be brought down by Richardson in the area, with no reward. It was soon after this when Chelsea got the goal they deserved. A risky kick out from Guzan followed by an awful touch from Richardson put Willian in, who played it across the box to Diego Costa, who tapped it into an empty net.
It wasn’t long after the break before Villa gave the ball away again in a dangerous area, and after giving Fabregas space to pick out a perfectly clipped ball to Diego Costa, the forward controlled it brilliantly before turning inside and in an attempt to play in Willian, the ball cannoned off Hutton and into the back of the net. It was reminiscent of the brilliant understanding Costa and Fabregas showed last year. After the second goal, the game continued the same way. It was almost all Chelsea, and continuous gifts presented by Villa allowed us chance after chance to increase our lead. We could not do so however and the game ended 2-0 giving us a much-needed victory, putting us 11th in the table and 6 points of the top four.
It wasn’t the most incredible performance from Chelsea, and the Villa mistakes may have played a large part in the win, but a win is a win. Diego Costa looked very dangerous on his return, constantly posing a threat to the Villa back line, scoring the first, playing a huge part in the second, and bringing hope to Chelsea fans that he can replicate his scintillating form of last season. Baba Rahman looked a bit shaky on his first Premier League start, getting caught out a couple of times, but it was his first start, so we can’t judge him yet. Willian once again looked brilliant, being involved in everything good we did. He has been our best player so far this season and could really play a pivotal role in our season. Fabregas looked much more like the player of last season, controlling the game from the midfield, and playing some lovely balls to Costa.
On the whole, the defence looked better, we looked much more dangerous going forward and although this wasn’t the greatest of tests, getting a clean sheet and a win will do wonders for the team, and sets us up nicely for a tough game next week against 4th placed West Ham.
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