• May 20, 2024
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Chelsea, villa share spoils in 2-2 draw

Chelsea, villa share spoils in 2-2 draw

Villa park,
Saturday, 27 April, 2024

Chelsea came from two goals down to clinch a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa at Villa Park, meaning the Blues have now lost just one of their previous 10 Premier League games.

It was a chastening night at the Emirates Stadium for Chelsea in midweek as they suffered a demoralising 5-0 defeat against the league leaders.

Mauricio Pochettino did not mince his words as he described his team as “soft” and claimed they “gave up.”

A visit to Champions League-chasing Aston Villa was hardly the next game Pochettino would have wanted for his side as they looked to bounce back, and things got off to the worst possible start as Marc Cucurella turned John McGinn’s shot into his own net.

From that point on, though, the Blues were the better team before the break and were inches away from equalising when Nicolas Jackson ran onto to Moises Caicedo’s lovely through ball to fire into the roof of the net, only for his strike to be ruled out for offside.

Jackson has been wasteful in front of goal to say the least in recent weeks, and he missed another golden opportunity here.

Cucurella’s cross found him in plenty of space in the box, but he could only hit the post instead of finding the bottom corner.

In the end, his profligacy was punished by Morgan Rogers’ composed strike from just inside the box on the stroke of half-time in what was a cruel blow for the visitors.

Chelsea, though, came out for the second period with continued endeavour and, shortly after the hour mark, they had the goal their performance deserved.

Cole Palmer’s press won possession back for his team, and after Conor Gallagher had passed the ball onto Noni Madueke, the winger stroked into the bottom corner.

Gallagher has been one of his side’s bright lights this term, and he stepped once more to curl a delightful left-footed strike into the top corner as Chelsea kept up the pressure on Villa.

With the scores level, both teams went in search of the three points, and Ollie Watkins, who had otherwise been quiet, fired a fantastic chance over the bar from close range.

That was before Palmer was thwarted in a one-on-one, and Axel Disasi had a goal ruled out following a foul from Benoit Badiashile in the build-up.

Neither, in the end, could find a winner, which means Tottenham Hotspur can close the gap to fourth place to four points if they beat Arsenal in the North London derby.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are still in the race for Europe themselves, although only a point does hurt their chances. Still, Pochettino will be pleased with his side’s reaction to going down.

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