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BlueLion.

Aston Villa 0-0 Chelsea

Started by BlueLion.,

30 posts in this topic

Aston Villa 0-0 Chelsea

cfc00villa.png

Chelsea were twice denied by the woodwork but were indebted to goalkeeper Petr Cech as they battled to a deserved point against a resilient Aston Villa.

With Manchester United dropping points at home to Roberto di Matteo's West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea were presented with the chance to extend their lead to seven points at the top of the Premier League, but Carlo Ancelotti's side were unable to capitalise. Ultimately, the draw was a fair result and Chelsea will be pleased to have avoided defeat on a ground where they have won just once in the last twelve attempts.

The home side, now under the management of ex-Liverpool and Lyon coach Gerard Houlier, were tenacious and went close on two occasions early on, but almost fell behind in the second half when Branislav Ivanovic thumped a header against the post from a Florent Malouda corner. Villa rallied and hit the woodwork themselves through Ciaran Clark, but Chelsea were denied the three points when Nicolas Anelka's header bounced onto the bar.

Both teams were struggling with various injuries, though Chelsea perhaps had the most notable absentees with Frank Lampard, Alex, Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou amongst a host of players out for the champions. Nevertheless the Blues demonstrated great character despite their depleted squad, and for long periods dominated their opponents.

Villa Park has always been a bogey ground for Chelsea and things looked ominous for the visiting team when Petr Cech twice had to rescue his side. First, ex-Manchester City star Stephen Ireland burst through and fired wide after being distracted by the onrushing Chelsea goalkeeper, before a strong left wrist from the Czech Player of the Year denied John Carew.

Chelsea's start had been sluggish but there were signs of their starting eleven finally waking up after the half-hour mark had passed. Michael Essien had the best chance of the first half for the table-topping Blues; firing straight at Brad Friedel from the edge of the box, but Chelsea were gradually beginning to show more speed and guile in their passing and movement.

Villa continued to pressure forward and attempted to build on a promising start, but Chelsea's defence were doing their utmost to maintain parity; Ivanovic typifying the Blues' never-say-die attitude with a heroic block to deny Ireland's fierce attempt.

But whilst their defence was on peak form despite the loss of Alex, Chelsea's attack was lacklustre in the absence of Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard - the latter of whom scored four against the same opposition in a 7-1 trouncing in March. In fact, it was the first time in 11 months that the Blues had begun a match without their talismanic attacking duo, and with Nicolas Anelka's tendency to drift out wide, they found themselves lacking options inside the box as the first half came to a dour conclusion.

The second half was far more entertaining and Chelsea's performance cranked up a gear or two. Ancelotti responded to a poor showing prior to the interval by taking off the ineffective Gael Kakuta and replacing him with Yuri Zhirkov. The response was emphatic; the Blues dominated the entire second period and were massively unlucky not to take an early lead as first Clark stopped a dangerous Malouda cross before Friedel denied the French captain with a smart save.

It was becoming evident this match would be decided by a single goal - and a game of fine margins was highlighted when Ivanovic's header came back off the post after a super delivery from Malouda following a Chelsea corner. At the other end, Villa were left cursing their luck in similar fashion as Clark headed against the foot of the post - Clark had been an early replacement for the crocked Richard Dunne and was playing brilliantly alongside James Collins at the heart of the Villains' defence.

Chelsea almost had the last laugh when Anelka was presented with a glorious chance but he could only head into the ground under pressure - only to see his effort bounce onto the top of the bar and over. It was a glorious but difficult opportunity for the Frenchman; and fortunately for him and Chelsea they were not made to rue such a chance.

Cech again raced to Chelsea's rescue in stoppage time and he came out to rush Nigel Reo-Coker into a wayward shot after the ex-England Under 21 captain had stolen possession from young Josh McEachran. Bursting through, he found himself forced to take the shot early as Cech made himself big, and thankfully the Blues survived.

Ultimately it was a well-deserved point for Chelsea - a point that they will willingly take considering their woeful run of results against Villa in the recent past. Manchester City can tomorrow close the gap with a win at Blackpool, but with the Manchester derby coming up and a nicer run of fixtures for the Blues to come, this point can certainly help form the cornerstone to Chelsea's title assault this season.

___________________________________________________________________

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ferreira (Bosingwa 76), Ivanovic, Terry ©, Cole; Essien, Mikel, Ramires (McEachran 76), Kakuta (Zhirkov 46), Anelka, Malouda

Villa (4-4-1-1): Friedel; Beye, Collins, Dunne (Clark 12), Warnock; Downing, Reo-Coker, Petrov ©, A Young; Ireland (Sidwell 84); Carew (Delfouneso 75)

The TalkChelsea.net Man of the Match was Chelsea's number 3, Ashley Cole

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Interesting man of the match pick their BL. I personally would've gone for Downing, but I can see why you chose Cole.

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In all honesty, Ash looked a bit off the pace today. Had trouble keeping up with their wingers initially. For our best player today, would've gone for Malouda myself. Cech probably had his best performance so far this season. The game would have been over before it even started had he not thwarted Ireland and Carew. Big Pete looked good today.

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malouda for me by a mile ..tremendous work rate

agree 100%

I feel Zhirkov deserves credit for his work rate and his link up play with Ramires proved effective today as well!

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Frustrating day, but then again I was expecting that. The game really lacked pace which didn't help our attack. McEachran's yellow was a joke. Great to see Bosingwa back as well.

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malouda for me by a mile ..tremendous work rate

agreed, Florent put in work today and tried his best to bag one.

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In all honesty, Ash looked a bit off the pace today. Had trouble keeping up with their wingers initially. For our best player today, would've gone for Malouda myself. Cech probably had his best performance so far this season. The game would have been over before it even started had he not thwarted Ireland and Carew. Big Pete looked good today.

Ash was brilliant :blink: But I can agree about Malouda, he was very good and his work rate was exceptional.

Am i the only one who thinks ramires played a blinder ?

No, I thought he was great once again. The last two games he has been influential in helping our defence.

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Tough away game and we're a point better off than last seasons corresponding fixture. I thought Ivanovic was superb and showed why many prefer him to partner Terry ahead of Alex.

I thought Kakuta was very disappointing. Too small, no real speed and don't see what all the hype is about. The team improved a lot once Zhirkov replaced him, why Zhirkov didn't start ahead of him was confusing.

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I thought Kakuta was very disappointing. Too small, no real speed and don't see what all the hype is about. The team improved a lot once Zhirkov replaced him, why Zhirkov didn't start ahead of him was confusing.

Messi seems to have no probelms against premier league teams such as arsenal, and he's pretty small. :rolleyes:

Same for jack wilshere, micheal owen and paul scholes amongst countless others in the premier league.

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Messi seems to have no probelms against premier league teams such as arsenal, and he's pretty small.

Are you suggesting Kakuta is anywhere near as good as Messi?

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No.

Height on the other hand, can never be a reason for any player being disappointing.

Of course but when a player does't have much to offer technically you look at their physical aspects. He has no speed or power. What does he actually have that's a useful attribute? Walcott is a god awful footballer but his pace is a real asset for instance.

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Of course but when a player does't have much to offer technically you look at their physical aspects. He has no speed or power. What does he actually have that's a useful attribute? Walcott is a god awful footballer but his pace is a real asset for instance.

Are you suggesting that Kakuta is shit technically?

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Are you suggesting that Kakuta is shit technically?

Answer the question; what does he actually do or what attributes does he have that can be useful for Chelsea? I remember Robben at 19 would run past opponents like they weren't there. Mikel at 19 had immense strength and passing ability. Kakuta just doesn't do anything but is ridiculously hyped.

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Zola 5 ft 5

Messi 5 ft 7

Kakuta 5 ft 8

Answer the question; what does he actually do or what attributes does he have that can be useful for Chelsea? I remember Robben at 19 would run past opponents like they weren't there. Mikel at 19 had immense strength and passing ability. Kakuta just doesn't do anything but is ridiculously hyped.

Pace, Skill & Vision.

He can become the 'spark' when nothing else seems to be working. He's young and needs more first team experience, and apparently he wasn't even 100% fit today.

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Answer the question; what does he actually do or what attributes does he have that can be useful for Chelsea? I remember Robben at 19 would run past opponents like they weren't there. Mikel at 19 had immense strength and passing ability. Kakuta just doesn't do anything but is ridiculously hyped.

When Robben came to Chelsea he has played 90 matches in Erdevisie! Stoch also did very well there. How good for Chelsea is Neymar going to be? His playing style is really slow, he doesn't have that good vision and is not a team player. Another ridiculously over-hyped.

I won't argue anymore how good he is or he isn't, but you really piss me off with some of your comments.

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Zola 5 ft 5

Messi 5 ft 7

Kakuta 5 ft 8

Pace, Skill & Vision.

He can become the 'spark' when nothing else seems to be working. He's young and needs more first team experience, and apparently he wasn't even 100% fit today.

Pace - quite clearly doesn't have pace that can be labelled as an attribute. That much is obvious.

Skill - is this the same type of useless skills that Joe Cole had? Those big windmill stepovers that were just embarrassingly bad?

Vision - I'll agree with that one. Having the vision is one thing though however, making the pass is another.

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