Chelsea 3-3 Aston Villa - TYPICAL CHELSEA!!!

Regular readers of my blog will know that from time to time I talk about "typical Chelsea". I also refer to the fact that if you ...

Regular readers of my blog will know that from time to time I talk about "typical Chelsea". I also refer to the fact that if you have been a Chelsea fan like I have for years (30 years in my case) then you will know that Chelsea being Chelsea can give us fans a hard time at different stages of a season. Yesterday against Villa was the perfect example. To go in front, then find ourselves behind, to then fight back to lead the game but still throw it away with just minutes of injury time left, was typical Chelsea!.

Chelsea started the game making two changes, one enforced as Bruma came in for the suspended Ivanovic and one tactical as Ferreira came in for Jose Bosingwa. Villa had recalled their experience in the side with Richard Dunne back in alongside Collins, Petrov and Reo Coker in the middle, Agbonlahor out wide left with Young up front in behind Emile Heskey. Gerrard Houllier hadn't come to Stamford Bridge to defend and credit to him. Most sides come to the Bridge these days and play five in midfield so it was surprise to see Villa play two up front.

Villa had the first chance of the game as Agbonlahor pulled his shot wide of Cech's goal. Young's then attempted cross found its way heading towards the top corner so Cech had to backpedal quickly to knock it over the bar for a corner.

Chelsea were sitting back and off of the Villa players. Villa's midfield had time and space to pick their passes and Chelsea were put under pressure.

Chelsea's first attempt of any note came as Malouda managed to head towards goal under pressure but couldn't get any real power in his effort and the ball went wide.

Chelsea 1-0 Villa (Lampard pen).
Chelsea then made their breakthrough. The ball was played up to Lampard outside of the box, under pressure he flicked the ball up in the air into the area and Malouda set himself to bring the ball down. James Collins had other ideas and climbed over Malouda to try and head the ball clear, Malouda went down under the challenge and the referee pointed to the spot. You have to say if this was outside the box it would be a free-kick so even though Villa's fans and their players were complaining, you cannot make a challenge like that in the box. Frank Lampard stepped up and smacked the ball home to make it 1-0 Chelsea.

szólj hozzá: Ch1-0As[]

At this stage I am thinking to myself right Chelsea calm yourselves down and play your football. We still had been sitting off Villa and not pressurising the ball enough. Now we were a goal up you could see confidence returning hopefully, however, this didn't happen.

Villa took the game once more to Chelsea and to be fair had more than enough chances to equalise before the break. Clark headed the ball over the bar from 6 yards with a free header and then Richard Dunne sliced the ball wide from 3 yards when it would have been easier to score!.

Chelsea 1-1 Villa (Young Pen)
Villa again were taking the game to Chelsea and a reckless challenge in the box from Michael Essien gave them a chance to level up. The ball was down our right hand side near our own box and rather than being thumped clear down the line Chelsea were needlessly overplaying. The ball eventually found it's way to Ferreira, Clark worked hard to put him and the ball under pressure and blocked his attempted clearance. The ball rebounded into the box and as Reo Coker had made a run onto the ball, Essien dived across and took his legs away. Stupid tackle again from Essien, definite penalty. Ashley Young stepped up and rifled the ball into the roof of the net to make it 1-1. You have to hold your hands up and say it was no less than Villa deserved. Half time 1-1.

szólj hozzá: Ch1-1As[]

As the second half kicked off again I was thinking the same thing once more, Chelsea needed to play at a quicker tempo, pushed higher up the pitch and had to stop Villa crossing the ball into the box. Up till this point Villa were able to play their crosses into the box and hadn't been put under pressure. I was hoping that this would be an area Carlo would have pointed out to eradicate in the second half.

Chelsea 1-2 Villa (Heskey).
Within minutes of the restart Chelsea were punished. Villa had a free kick 35 yards from goal. All the big guns were up front once more for Villa. Young floated the ball across the box to the right wing where Downing had time and space to bring the ball down. Once again Villa were not closed down quick enough and he was again afforded time and space to get a dangerous cross into the box. This time he floated cross to the far post and it was met by Heskey who had out jumped the impressive Bruma and gave Cech no chance from 6 yards. Once again, it was deserved because of the way Villa started the second half. Chelsea hadn't got going at all.

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Chelsea then began to dominate possession of the ball. I keep finding it hard to understand how we take forever to wake up in games and in recent weeks make it hard for ourselves and yesterday again was one of those occasions.

Chelsea then forced a chance as Ramires made a surging run towards the area, Drogba's attempted shot found it's way to Ramires wide right of the penalty spot around 15 yards out, he struck the ball towards the far post and across the reach of Freidal but the ball went wide.

Then Frank Lampard had a chance. Following up from a ball into the box, the ball was flicked up over the Villa defence and as the Villa defence closed him down, he volleyed the ball down into the ground towards goal, Freidal read it and pushed the ball over the bar. Anywhere either side and you would have been confident he would have scored, still a good save from Freidal.

Chelsea were well on top now and Lampard again was pulling the strings. This time he picked the ball up around 30 yards out, saw a run made by Malouda out wide right and threaded a ball between their defence and Malouda was onto it, cutting in from the right and he found himself 12 yards out outside the near post, Freidal came off his line and as Malouda struck the ball goal wards with his right foot, Freidal blocked his shot. Another good save by Freidal.

The hardworking Ramires then came off for Kalou and Kalou provided Villa with something to think about down our right hand side. Again Kalou would waste opportunities to cross the ball or play a pass and once again frustrated the players and the fans. If he could add a final ball to his game or to play with his head up, he could be a match winner by himself. At the moment he just isn't doing it.

One instance I can give you about Kalou was when he danced his way through a challenge from one defender and passed another and found his way inside the box wide right. Instead of thinking about playing the ball square, he tried three different step overs which didn't fool Dunne, as Kalou tried to knock the ball passed him, Dunne read it, and made a great tackle and Kalou ended up face down on the pitch!.

Villa were holding firm at the back, Freidal was making saves and you couldn't see Chelsea scoring to be honest. They were first to every ball and to the majority of the second ball inside the box. At this stage Villa offered very little in attack as it was all Chelsea.

Chelsea 2-2 Villa (Drogba).
Chelsea did manage the breakthrough as Didier Drogba held his composure in the box and drilled the ball into the net via a deflection or two from the Villa defence doing their best to block his shot at goal. 83 minutes were on the clock a cross came over, Drogba chested the ball down inside the box and Kalou was onto it like a flash. He tried to get anything he could on the ball six yards out but once again Freidal was off his line and blocked his attempt. The ball came out to Drogba and rather than hit the ball first time 8 yards out wide right of the goal and under pressure from a Villa defender diving at his feet, he moved the ball wide of the challenge and struck it home!.

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It was now wave after wave of Chelsea attack as we hoped Chelsea would continue to play at the tempo they were now. Chelsea were now first to every ball and challenge. Every time Villa tried to get the ball forward, either JT or Bruma would step in and win the ball and move it forward to continue to push the Villa defence backwards.

Chelsea 3-2 Villa (Terry).
Chelsea pressure got rewarded with a goal with minutes of normal time remaining. Bosingwa on for Ferreira made a run down the right but it was stopped as he was tackled by Albrighton, but he then lost the ball as Essien put him under pressure. Essien was away down the right wing and with the best Chelsea cross of the game found Drogba who's snap header from 12 yards looked like a goal. Once more Freidal was up to it and pushed the ball away. The ball came out to JT who side footed the ball as calm as you like into the empty far corner of the net. Chelsea had done it, it was a fantastic fightback and we were now 3-2 in front!!. The celebrations afterwards showed just how much that goal meant to the players, the staff and the fans!.

szólj hozzá: Ch3-2As[]

With the game kicking off we had five minutes of injury time to hold out. Surely Chelsea, after fighting that hard to get back into the game first of all and then into the lead, wouldn't throw it away again.

Chelsea 3-3 Villa (Clark).
Chelsea were sitting back again, took our foot off the pace once more and allowed Villa to come forward. Villa had a free kick on the half way line and again the big guns came forward. Young played the ball into the box and it was cleared on the edge of the box by Bruma. The ball came down to Albrighton, as he took a touch Sturridge came in with a half hearted attempt to close him down, Albrighton read it and move the ball to his right away from his challenge. He then had space to curl a cross into the box under no pressure at all.

He crossed the ball to the far post, Chelsea's defence was caught ball watching (If you look at the video below, keep your eye on Cole and Lampard) and Clark under no pressure at all, stole in at the far post and glanced a header into the bottom corner to make it 3-3!. Lampard had left his man and not followed the run and Ashley Cole rather than follow the ball in, stood firm with his hand up for offside. It wasn't given and the goal stood. Villa had fought back and Chelsea had let it slip away again!.

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I couldn't believe it, after all that we had thrown away three points again and we all knew it. Within the space of five minutes us fans had gone from euphoria to despair and I am afraid that's part and parcel of being a Chelsea fan at the moment.

Looking back at the game you have to say it was a fair result. Villa were always a threat going forward especially in the first half. They set themselves to attack and Emile Heskey love him or hate him was always a danger. They are down at the foot of the table at the moment but if they keep playing like that they will be out of it in no time. The fact that they never gave up is a credit to them.

For Chelsea I am left with a range of emotions still this morning. From frustration at seeing the way we started the game, feeling annoyed as we continued to sit off Villa's midfield and allow them space to play their football, to satisfaction seeing Lampard get his first goal since his injury problems, Frustration once more seeing Essien make yet another reckless tackle that gave away the penalty, To anger seeing Downing have time and space to cross the ball for Heskey to score, To hope when Drogba scored to make it 2-2, Ecstatic when JT slotted the ball home to make it 3-2 and then despair seeing Villa get back to 3-3.

So it's a point at home that so easily could have been none, then one, then all three but back to one again. Credit to the Chelsea players for not giving up and eventually playing at our normal tempo, pressurising the ball and closing Villa down.

It's such a shame that for the majority of the game we didn't and it has cost us twice and is yet another blow to our fading title hopes.


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