Chelsea hosted Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in a must-win league match for both teams on Monday, December 28, 2020. Unfortunately for the struggling London club, the best the Blues could get from the home match was a point.
The draw means that Chelsea have only managed to record a win in their last 5 Premier League games. Their last match before they hosted Aston Villa, was a London derby that ended in tears for Frank Lampard and his boys. Arsenal which were on a 7-winless run stunned Chelsea 3-1 to reinforce their fight for survival in the league.
When most Chelsea fans thought the club would use the visit of Aston Villa to bounce back and probably return to being a title contender, the club could not protect a 1-0 lead for 90 minutes against Villa. The visitors’ Anwar El Ghazi scored in the 50th minute to cancel Olivier Giroud’s 34th-minute opener.
At the end of the match, Frank Lampard admitted that his players are going through a difficult patch, adding that the club had the opportunity to defeat Aston Villa with their 5 shots on target as against Villa’s 2 shots.
“It’s a draw against a good team, the performance was good, we deserved to win the game but we don’t”, said Lampard. “We’ve come through a difficult patch, that we want to improve. We saw a lot of signs of a good attitude in the team, without quite having it in the final third.
“It leaves us having to do more of the same because the season is tight. We’ve had a little difficult time, and today I saw some really good signs that I liked.
“I had some ideas to make changes anyway because we have a squad of players ready to play. The changes were to try and keep a bit of balance in the team, and to try to freshen up. I was pleased, I’m not disappointed with anything tonight other than the fact we conceded that goal and didn’t score another.
“I was pleased with the players that came in and pleased with the attitude.”
Meanwhile, the build-up to Aston Villa’s equalizing goal against Chelsea is seen as being controversial because, during the build-up, Chelsea’s players were trying to call the attention of the referee to a suspected foul on Andreas Christensen from Jack Grealish. However, nothing happened.
Christensen was left lying on the pitch unattended while Aston Villa were on the move to score the equalizing goal. Beyond that, Lampard said he wasn’t sure whether Grealish fouled Christensen but he was sure an Aston Villa’s player committed a handball before the goal was scored.
“I think there was a handball, and the fourth official was very close to us. I’m not sure (why) it wasn’t given, it should have been handball”, said Lampard.
“I haven’t seen the Christensen-Grealish incident. I didn’t think there was much in it at the time, I’m not sure it was a foul or not. I haven’t reviewed that referee-wise.”
The 1-1 draw left Chelsea in the 6th spot on the league table with 26 points in 16 league games. The club is currently 7 points away from first-placed Liverpool. While Aston Villa now sit on the 5th spot with the same number of points as Chelsea but with superior goals difference.