Date: 21st August (EPL MotD 3 pre-poned) , Home
FT: Chelsea 2-1 Aston Villa
Luna(OG ) (Assist: Hazarad)
Ivanovich (Assist: Lampard (FK))
- Chelsea started strongly but not as strong as against their previous opponent Hull. This was partly in fact due to Juan Mata getting his first start. He is coming from an injury and will take some time to hit top form.
- Mourinho opted to make only 2 changes to the team which started against Hull which felt a lot strange especially after the rotation we saw with Rafa Benitez. It still early in the season though but I expected Lamps to be on the bench. This might be partly due to the fact that Mou is taking his time to massage the egos of his players.
- Frank Lampard did deliver a great curving ball into the box but if he should start against top oppositions is a question Mou needs to think hard about. Rafa didn’t play Terry or Lamps in main matches but Rafa knew that he will leave at the end of season. Mou on the other needs all the players on his side and extract the best out of them. Lampard footwork is not what it was 6 years ago and he is slower. He can’t put tackles like Ramires, Mikel or Essien. It will be interesting to see if Lamps starts against United or Bayern.
- Chelsea were untroubled for the whole first half except the goal at 47:50. Aston Villa tried to play long balls throughout the match. Mou touched upon this after the match, “Ball goes to Guzan (keeper) and then it’s to Benteke, again and again. Villa fought for a result but didn’t play a lot“
- After Chelsea went ahead, Oscar went deep on the right and then he effectively played 10 minutes in the pivot while Lampard pushed ahead eventually being substituted by Van Ginkel.
- The Red Card Shout: Most of the media outlets report that Iva should have been shown a red card. They said Iva elbowed Benteke. Well as I showed in another post Iva DID NOT thrust his elbow into Benteke’s face. In fact, there was 0 contact with Benteke’s face which he held while he went down.
- The Penalty Shout: Aston Villa were in fact denied a chance to equalize. Chelsea fans can argue that Gabby fouled Terry when he pushed Terry a bit downwards but the reality is that the ball caught Terry’s hand when it was in a clearly unnatural position [inside a dangerous area].
- Villa constantly tried to harass the referee throughout the game and 3 players [no 15, Benteke & Guzan] got yellow cards just because of this. Paul Lambert, on the touchline, played his part showing discontent at each decision throughout the second half.
- Overall, Chelsea were a bit lucky to get 3 full points here. Yes, they did dominate the match 80% of the time but they were unable to create clear cut chances. Jose Mourinho didn’t say anything about that. No top manager will ever criticize his team!