Aston Villa left feeling the blues following Chelsea comeback

Aston Villa threw away a two goal lead at Villa Park as Chelsea put on a second half show to come away from Villa Park with a point.
Aston Villa v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Aston Villa v Chelsea FC - Premier League / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Villa got off to a flying start when Marc Cucurella put through his own net after just four minutes following good work down the left by Lucas DIgne. Digne pulled the ball back for McGinn who's scuffed effort was deflected into the corner by the unfortunate Chelsea left-back.

The first half saw Chelsea dominate possession and they looked to have levelled the score when Nicolas Jackson ran through and slotted into the roof of the net. However, VAR intervened and found Jackson to be offside. Relief for Villa. Chelsea continued to create chances with the ball but Villa were looking dangerous on the counter attack.

Moments before the half time whistle some good play from Matty Cash led to the ball being played to Rogers on the left hand side and he coolly put the ball through the legs of Chalobah into the near corner from just inside the box. 2-0 to Villa at half time.

Morgan Rogers
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Despite the positive score line for Villa it was clear that the team were fatigued. Compared to the high standards that the fans are used to seeing from the team this season, Villa were sloppy in possession and were losing the ball very frequently.

Chelsea were applying pressure from the front but Villa didn't look after the ball well enough. Villa weren't helped either by two players having to leave the pitch with injury. Youri Tielemans had to depart with a groin injury half way through the first half and the frustration he showed as he left the pitch will be a worrying sign and may well be the last time we see him this season.

Goalkeeper Emi Martinez will now also be a worry for Villa as he didn't reappear for the second half. Martinez was seen receiving treatment on his thigh in the first half and the injury was clearly significant enough for him to have to be replaced by Robin Olsen.

Youri Tielemans
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The second half was one that Chelsea dominated. Villa continued to give up possession easily and it was looking increasingly likely that the visitors would find a way back into the game. That's exactly what happened on 62 minutes as Douglas Luiz was dispossessed by Gallagher on the edge of his own box and in the end Noni Madueke fired the ball into the far corner with his left foot.

The Chelsea pressure continued and having gone close on numerous occassions they finally had their equaliser through Conor Gallagher with ten minutes to play. Gallagher had all the time in the world on the edge of the box as the Villa midfield stepped off and he curled the ball into the far top corner past the despairing dive of Olsen.

As this was a Premier League game there was of course some VAR drama. Chelsea thought they had won the game in stoppage time as Disasi headed past Olsen from inside the six yard box.

However, referee Craig Pawson was told to view his monitor to check a foul on Diego Carlos in the build up which clearly showed he had been shoved in the back by Badiashile before he crossed the ball to set up the goal. The correct decision was reached but again football fans have been left frustrated at the poor state of refereeing. Full time score: Villa 2-2 Chelsea.

Conor Gallagher

The result sees Villa move ahead of top four rivals Spurs by seven points with Spurs having three games in hand. Despite the feeling of disappointment at giving away a two goal lead again, similar to the Brentford game a couple of weeks ago, Villa will be happy with the point.

The team were clearly feeling the strain of a recently packed fixture schedule and with injuries ramping up game by game the squad is paper thin. When asked what Unai Emery thought of the game and result he said:

"Very happy. Today we achieved one great objective to get Europa League and still be contenders to try and get the fourth position and Champions League"

Unai Emery

Emery showed his normal level of class post-match and focused on the positives and the bigger picture. Disappointing to have let the lead slip and not take the three points, yes. However, Villa have excelled this term and are in a position that fans would not have expected in their wildest dreams at the start of the season.

The result does now mean Villa cannot finish lower than fifth place and qualification for the Europa League next season is confirmed. Villa will, of course, hope for better and go on to cling on to their top four spot.

The players and fans alike will be watching on today as the North London derby takes place and hoping Arsenal take the three points to support Villa's Champions League claim.

Villa's next challenge will be at home to Olympiacos on Thursday night in the Europa Conference League semi-final first leg. With injuries to key players it will be a test for Emery to get the team and set up right for what will be a tough game and the beginning of a tough, but exciting, final few weeks of the season.

Aston Villa v Chelsea FC - Premier League
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