CHELSEA slipped to yet another hapless defeat as Ollie Watkins scored the only goal in a 1-0 win for Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.
The game had been in the balance until the hour mark when Malo Gusto’s red card for a high tackle – given after a VAR check – saw the Blues go down to ten men.
AFPMauricio Pochettino watched his Chelsea team fail to score again and slip to a third defeat in the opening six games[/caption]
ReutersEnzo Fernandez endured a poor afternoon, shanking a good opportunity horribly wide[/caption]
APOllie Watkins scored the only goal of the game as Aston Villa won 1-0[/caption]
A rare mistake from Thiago Silva saw England hitman Watkins race through on the counter to score his first Premier League goal of the season and earn Villa all three points.
The defeat means the Blues slip further down the table and fail to register a goal for the third time in their opening six games.
Here’s how SunSport’s Tom Sheen rated the Chelsea players on Sunday afternoon…
Robert Sanchez – 8/10
Probably the home side’s best player on the day, which says a lot about where this current Chelsea team finds themselves.
Made two incredible saves in the first half, tipping over ezquisite volleys from Lucas Digne and Nicola Zainola and was also assured in his other work. Could do nothing about Ollie Watkins’ goal and produced another late save to keep it 1-0.
APGoalkeeper Robert Sanchez was Chelsea’s top performer, making a couple of stunning saves[/caption]
Malo Gusto – 4
Performed well in the first-half, getting forward at every opportunity and providing the Blues with good width. Should’ve had an assist but Enzo Fernandez shanked a good cut back.
Unfortunately sent off for a rash tackle on Lucas Digne after about an hour following a VAR check from referee Jarred Gillett.
PAMalo Gusto was sent off – after a VAR check – for a high tackle on Lucas Digne[/caption]
Axel Disasi – 5
Defended robustly when he needed to and proved he is a physical threat with a disallowed goal.
However, has still not convinced he is top quality in possession – the point illustrated perfectly when he burst through on goal and sliced a shot horribly wide and then later with a couple of wayward crosses.
Thiago Silva – 4
His uncharacteristic mistake lead to Watkins’ winner, with the Brazilian legend miscontrolling the ball in the middle of the pitch after a Chelsea attack broke down.
The Villa counter was ruthless and proved to be decisive.
Levi Colwill – 5
It’s hard to look past the fact he is a centre-back playing at left-back. Although comfortable on the ball and a good defender, modern full-backs in top teams have to attack.
Colwill rarely joins in and often left Mudryk to go one-on-one rather than provide him with an overload.
Conor Gallagher – 5
Wearing the captain’s armbandis clearly important to Gallagher as he started the game like a runaway train and continued in that vein, covering huge amounts of ground.
However, as the match went on – and especially after Chelsea needed more when going down to 10 men – he lacked the quality to really unlock any dooes or provide decisive touches.
Moises Caicedo – 5
Dictated things in the first half and everything good that Chelsea produced flowed throuigh the midfielder.
He tired as the game went on and his influence waned, before he came off with ten minutes still to play.
Enzo Fernandez – 3
Perhaps you can blame the change in postion or the unfamiliarity of new team-mates and a new system.
But, whatever the added context, the base argument is that a £105 million should be producing more and having much more of an influence on the game. Wasted arguably Chelsea’s best chance when he shanked a Gusto cut back with his left-foot, with the ball going out for a throw.
GettyMauricio Pochettino needs more out of £105 million midfielder Enzo Fernandez[/caption]
Raheem Sterling – 5
Huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow the Aston Villa door down. Was guilty of over-dribbling on a couple of occassions and picking the wrong option on a couple of other occasions.
Still looked like Chelsea’s most likely goal threat overall, but that’s an extremely low bar considering how the Blues have struggled in front of goal in 2023.
Mykhailo Mudryk – 7
Had an extremely promising first half and was dangerous in a couple of one-vs-one situations, looking something like the player Chelsea thought they were buying. Found Nicolas Jackson with a brilliant through-ball to set the striker through on goal and then beat Matty Cash to fire a cross into the box – with no one on the end of it.
Was unfortunate that Gusto’s red card meant he was the player withdrawn, as it was one of his brighter outings.
Nicolas Jackson – 3
Looks completely devoid of confidence, over-dribbling, waiting too long to pass and constantly being caught in offside positions.
Made a fantastic run to get on the end of Mudryk’s through-ball, but his first-time poked effort was well saved. Also picked up yet ANOTHER yellow card after blocking Martinez’s kick-out and was withdrawn soon after. He’s now banned for a game.
ReutersNicolas Jackson endured another tough afternoon up front for the Blues and is now banned after picking up a fifth yellow in just six games[/caption]
Ben Chilwell (for Mudryk – 60) – 4
Had Chelsea’s best chance to equalise and simply had to do better – was put through on goal just moments after Villa took the lead but, with an age to pick his spot, fired tamely at Emi Martinez.
Another player that looks to have totally lost his confidence.
Lesley Ugochukwu (for Jackson, 68) – 5
Came on and provided a huge surge of legs and enegy in the middle of midfield, especially with the Blues a man light.
However, another player where you have to question if he has that elite quality for a team that supposedly have top four aspirations. Caught in possession a couple of times and doesn’t appear to have the vision to play incisive passes.
Cole Palmer (for Fernandez, 68) – 4
Hard to make an impact in this type of game, coming on a goal down with only 10 men, but must do better.
Played it safe too often in possession and snatched at his one clear sight of goal, aiming a weak effort at goal that was blocked by a defender.
Armando Broja (for Caicedo, 79) – 4
Received a huge roar from the home fans after he came on, playing his first game in almost 11 months after a serious injury.
Don’t hold your breath that goalscoring woes are over just yet, Chelsea fans – Broja had one sight of goal, even though he was offside, and skewed a free header horribly wide of goal.
Subs not used: Lucas Bergstrom, Djordje Petrovic, Marc Cucurella, Ian Maatsen, Deivid Washington.