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Chelsea 2 – Aston Villa 1: Late Branislav Ivanovic goal seals Blues’ second win (Video)

Aug 21, 2013, 4:41 PM EST

 

It was far more difficult than Sunday’s opener against Hull City, yet ultimately, Chelsea still claimed full points. Backed by an early own goal from Antonio Luna and a late header from Branislav Ivanovic, Chelsea posted their second win of the season, their six points leaving them on top of the Premier League after today’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.

Christian Benteke, with his third goal of the season, temporarily brought Villa even just before halftime, and with a collection of second half counters that pierced Chelsea’s defense, the visitors looked on the verge of a second straight upset. Ultimately, after a first half that saw them maintain 70 percent of the game’s possession, Chelsea re-asserted control of the match, eventually crafting Ivanovic’s winner.

As they did at Arsenal, Aston Villa set up to absorb pressure and play on the counter, an approach that backfired in the sixth minute. That’s when Oscar fed Eden Hazard behind the Villa defense, with the Belgian’s cross from the byline eventually leading to Luna’s own goal.

Villa persisted with their approach, and although a patient Chelsea seemed willing to sacrifice threats for possession, Paul Lambert‘s tactics eventually paid off. In the third minute of injury time, Gabriel Agbonlahor broke down the right side of Chelsea’s defense before playing a ball into the middle of the penalty area for Benteke. The Belgian international unloaded on a left-footed shot that beat Petr Cech, sending the side into half time even.

Along the way, Villa had lost another central defender. Saturday in North London, Nathan Baker had to be removed early with an ankle injury. At Stamford Bridge, Ciaran Clark came off in the 43rd minute after an accidental kick from Demba Ba opened a cut in his head. Clark would go on to be replaced by Jores Okare and receive five stitches.

source: Getty ImagesIn the 73rd minute, moments after his foul set up a chance Villa nearly converted for a second, Ivanovic took advantage of one of Villa’s fouls. Ashley Westwood drew a yellow card along Villa’s left, allowing Frank Lampard to deliver a perfect ball to just outside the six-yard box for the Chelsea right back.

Though Andreas Weimann nearly equalized in the 86th minute, Chelsea went on to a 2-1 win, pushing their record to 2-0-0. While Villa couldn’t replicate their Arsenal result, they finish their early London tests with three points, an outcome Lambert surely would have taken before the season started.

Lineups

Chelsea: Petr Cech; Branislav Ivanovic, Gary CahillJohn TerryAshley Cole; Frank Lampard, Ramires; Juan Mata (Andre Schürrle 65′), Oscar (Marco van Ginkel 84′), Eden Hazard; Demba Ba (Romelu Lukaku 65′)

Aston Villa: Brad GuzanMatthew Lowton, Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark (Jores Okore 43′), Antonio Luna; Karim El Ahamdi (Aleksandr Tonev 82′), Ashley Westwood, Fabian Delph; Gabriel Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke, Andreas Weimann

  1. the0verheadwire - Aug 21, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    The ref was too lenient and it cost Villa points. Ivanavic should have gotten red before he scored the goal for that tomahawk chop on Benteke and Terry should have been called for a hand ball. These things happen, but Villa was looking like a threat. They’ll hopefully have a good season instead of feeding from the bottom like last year.

    • danielofthedale - Aug 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      Kama is a witch! Villa fans have nothing to complain about since they were the beneficiary of some awful officiating against Arsenal that handed them 3pts.

      • mmarshel - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:12 AM

        Arsenal had no chance in that game anyhow — the score was 3-1 — take away the penalty Villa still wins that game – an 11 man Arsenal was still ineffective == Villa bossed them and deserved the win regardless..

  2. brentlew - Aug 21, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    When streaming NBC Sports Extra, how do I get the ads at the
    top to go away?
    Neither ESPN nor Sky has these silly ads at the top.

    Watching Barca x Atletico right now, no ads.

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