Chelsea had an obscene amount of possession in this match, but really struggled to make it pay against a very well organized Villa team. This remember is a team that lost 8 v 0 the last time they visited Stamford Bridge, so the transformation in them is nothing short of remarkable.
In this match Chelsea started brightly enough, and after a tricky move early on racked up an own goal after a Hazard shot bounced off their keeper and onto the unlucky Antonio Luna. Chelsea barely put a foot wrong for the rest of the half (without really working out the Villa keeper unduly) but were made to pay for their lack of a cutting edge when, deep into first-half stoppage time, Gabriel Agbonlahor cut a ball back from the left wing to Christian Benteke. The Villa forward (who I must admit I thoroughly dislike as his skill barely masks his thuggery) took the ball down with his first touch, then - in a very Drogba-esque move - swiveled on a dime and buried the ball inside the near post.
Needless to say losing a goal just before half-time would've taken the wind out of the sails of the Chelsea team when they went in for their cut up oranges and Lucozade.
The expected Chelsea onslaught in the second half never eventuated, and while we continued to boss the possession, we certainly weren't bossing the match. And but for a couple of great save from Cech late on, Jose could lost his first home match at Stamford Bridge since the battle of Hastings.
Losing the match would've been harsh on us though. But if I'm being honest here, them losing is probably a bit harsh on them. But, thanks to a towering Ivanovic header late on (from a terrific Frank Lampard free kick) we snatched all three points, and the Jose revolution gathers pace.
For the second match on the spin we faded badly in the second half, though. Whether this is because Jose is pushing them too hard with double sessions at training, I cannot say. But one thing is for sure, it is way too early in the season for our lads to be running out of puff with half an hour to go.
Only really noteworthy mention from a Chelsea player perspective in this match was Juan Mata, who had a 'mare of a game. His inability to tackle or track back is often masked by his many touches of genius. But sadly there was no genius on display here. Just a player who seemed ill at ease with how the new manager wants him to play and produced a thoroughly forgettable display because of it.
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