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Villa 2 - 0 Chelsea


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Aston Villa 2 - 0 Chelsea F.C.

7.jpg2 September, FA Premier League, Villa ParkChelsea's unbeaten league run stretching back 18 matches to January, was finally undone by Aston Villa, who ran out 2-0 victors at Villa Park._44092424_chelsea203.jpgA frustrating run at Villa Park continued, where Chelsea have not won in the league since 1999. A header from ex-Fulham defender Zat Knight on his debut two minutes after half-time finally beat the impressive Petr Cech, before Agbonlahor added a second following a breakaway by Ashley Young.Despite Chelsea's excellent early-season form of three wins and a highly-creditable draw at Anfield, it was Villa who were first to make their mark on the game. With just four minutes gone, it took a strong pair of fists from Cech in the Chelsea goal to palm away a rifled shot from Gabriel Agbonlahor.By the twenty minute mark, Chelsea had begun to move through the gears, and it took a wonderful save from Scott Carson to prevent Shaun Wright-Phillips making the breakthrough. The England winger cut inside from the flank and played a one-two with Florent Malouda before shooting hard and low. The on-loan Aston Villa goalkeeper dived to his right and tipped the ball beyond the post.Chelsea signalled their intent with long-range attempts from Michael Essien and Florent Malouda, but the FA Cup holders were missing the steel of Frank Lampard in the centre of midfield; the Chelsea vice-captain missing through injury. Moments after Wright-Phillips' attempt, John Terry headed over from a Malouda corner. Chelsea were coming closer and closer to breaking the Villa backline.A frustrating day for Didier Drogba was capped off when the powerful Ivorian was limited to shooting from outside the Villa penalty area, with Martin Laursen and Zat Knight providing formidable opponents to the man who hit home twenty times in the Premier League the previous campaign. Drogba showed great technique to take down a lobbed pass from Florent Malouda, but launched his shot well wide of the target.Wright-Phillips again went close before the half-time break, this time hitting the side netting, before Chelsea made a close shave of things at their own end, as Luke Moore fluffed his acrobatic overhead kick._44092495_knight416.jpgIn the second period, it took a great save from Petr Cech just 49 seconds after the restart to keep things level. Ashley Young launched a shot at the Chelsea goal, but the Czech Republic international palmed over. The resulting corner saw Villa finally take the lead, with former Fulham defender making the breakthrough. Climbing above Drogba, the defender made no mistake in burying the ball into the back of the net, although Ashley Cole on the line may have done better.José Mourinho changed his attacking options when he introduced Claudio Pizarro and later Salomon Kalou and Joe Cole, but it was already too little, too late. Chelsea were again turning up the heat and but for a few nervous moments for the home side, Chelsea were finding everything but the back of the net.Terry wasted Chelsea's best chance of an equaliser when he headed over from a Joe Cole corner, and Salomon Kalou poked wide in the dying seconds. But it was Villa who scored the final goal of the game on the breakaway.With the Chelsea midfield camped on the edge of the Villa area, the pace of Ashley Young, Luke Moore and Gabriel Agbonlahor was the final nail in the coffin for Chelsea, as the covering defenders were left chasing shadows before Agbonlahor put the ball in the back of the net. Matters went from bad to worse as Didier Drogba hobbled off with a serious injury during stoppage time._44092458_terry220.jpgAston Villa: Carson, Mellberg, Knight, Laursen, Bouma, Agbonlahor, Reo-Coker, Barry, Young, Moore, Carew (Petrov 79).Subs Not Used: Taylor, Harewood, Gardner, Maloney. Booked: Reo-Coker, Barry, Agbonlahor, Carew. Goals: Knight 47, Agbonlahor 88. Chelsea: Cech, 7 Belletti, 6, Terry, 7, Alex, 6, Ashley Cole, 6, Wright-Phillips, 7, Makelele, 6, Essien, 6, Malouda, 7, Mikel, 6, Drogba, 5,Subs Used: Pizarro, 6, Joe Cole, 6, Kalou, 7,Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Ben-Haim. Booked: Drogba. Att: 37,714. Ref: Mark Clattenburg

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