Chelsea’s habit of conceding late goals returned to haunt them again as defeat to Aston Villa saw the worst possible end of the year 2011. The good side is that the 33-year-old striker’s 23rd-minute spot kick helped the Ivory Coast international join Stamford Bridge greats Peter Osgood and Roy Bentley on 150 goals.
After weathering Chelsea’s early storm, Villa fell behind midway through the first half when Richard Dunne brought down Didier Drogba and the Ivory Coast international stepped up to beat Brad Guzan from the spot himself.However, the Blues could not hold onto their lead for long as Charles N’Zogbia cut the ball back to the outstanding Stephen Ireland, whose initial effort was blocked on the line by John Terry. The ball rebounded to the former Manchester City star who netted from close range.Villa gave as good as they got after the break but it was Chelsea that went close to taking the lead for a second time when Fernando Torres, with his first touch of the ball after coming on as a substitute, lashed a dipping 25-yard effort onto the crossbar.However, the home fans were stunned with seven minutes left when Stiliyan Petrov drilled his shot past Petr Cech and three minutes later when substitute Darren Bent made the game safe, calmly slotting the ball home after being set up by Ireland.
Villas-Boas replied when asked whether he feels his side can still win the league this season,
“I don’t think so. It is fantasy.
Our reality at the moment is a fourth-placed finish and that is not good enough. We have to continue to play for the best possible finish”
Chelsea’s title hopes now seem over after they dropped to fifth in the table, 11 points adrift of leaders Manchester City.Drogba’s future at Stamford Bridge is also uncertain after manager Andre Villas-Boas said talks over a contract extension had not been resolved.
Substitutes: Ferreira (in:Bosingwa, 75), Romeu (in:Lampard, 57), Sturridge (in:Torres, 62)
Booked : Terry and Cuellar
Man of the match: Stephen Ireland.
Match rating: 6/10.
Possession: Chelsea 61% Aston Villa 39%.
Attempts on target: Chelsea 5 Aston Villa 9.
- Drogba Scores 150th Chelsea Goal (nytimes.com)
- Chelsea 1-3 Aston Villa: Ireland, Petrov and Bent strikes stun Villas-Boas’ men as Blues make it four games without a win (goal.com)
- Villa shock Chelsea in late show (mirror.co.uk)
- Aston Villa stun Chelsea with 3-1 win (ibnlive.in.com)
- Dempsey goal sends Chelsea to 3rd straight consecutive draw (chelseanewsletter.wordpress.com)