Chelsea vs Aston Villa – Premier League: Live score and updates
Chelsea 0-2 Aston Villa LIVE: John McGinn scores long-range STUNNER to double Unai Emery’s side lead after Ollie Watkins’ opener at Stamford Bridge – heaping more pressure on under-fire Blues boss Graham Potter
Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for the Premier League clash between Chelsea and Aston Villa.
And VAR confirms that there will be no penalty.
It looked on the replay as though the ball hit his shoulder, and would have been a particularly harsh call.
Chelsea are adamant that they should have a penalty.
Felix storms into the box and gets his shot off, but as the ball comes back off Martinez, Felix claims it struck the arm of Mings.
VAR will take a look…
Chelsea really need something, and soon.
Chilwell sends a corner from the left into the box, but Koulibaly’s header is too heavy and goes just over Martinez’s goal.
Huge half hour or so to come now.
And there’s a double change for the Blues.
Kante is on for his first minutes since Auguest alongside Madueke for Loftus-Cheek and Mudryk.
McGinn with an absolute stunner!
Luiz takes a corner towards the front post, where Chambers manages to flick it back to Ramsey on the edge of the box.
The youngster lays it off for McGinn, who charges on to it and almost passes it into the left-hand side of Kepa’s goal from outside the box in emphatic fashion to make it 2-0 to the visitors!
Chilwell hauls Luiz down as he looks to counter and picks up a yellow.
Really poor decision – the Brazilian was heading straight for James. There was no need to make the challenge from Chilwell, and he’s been booked for his efforts.
Stamford Bridge wastes no time letting the referee know their feelings after Mings wins a free-kick on the edge of his box.
Felix, in Villa’s defence, takes out the centre-back’s ankle as he looks to break from inside his own box, and duly goes down.
Villa’s propensity to play out the back caused them some issues in the first period, and Mings was only a whisker away from being dispossessed in a very dangerous area.
Chilwell does exceptionally well out on the left to bring down a long diagonal from Fernandez, spinning and taking it down first time with the outside of his left boot and making for the box without missing a step.
His cross along the ground is just as good, but there is nobody charging in at the back post to tap in what would be a great equaliser.
Cucurella then takes a wild strike from range that flies over the bar – that one might still be on it’s way out the stratosphere.
Chelsea have come out all guns blazing, and Loftus-Cheek does really well to keep the ball in play and picks out a good cross, with Mings just beating Havertz to the ball in the air.
The Blues keep hold of the ball, and are sending it back and forth across the pitch to find a gap in the armour.
Fernandez goes down screaming for a foul after feeling a hand on his shoulders, but the referee is unfazed and play continues, much to the Argentine’s chagrin.
Well Kamara – who has only just come back from injury for this one – was playing in midfield, but it looks for now as though Villa have gone to a back five, with Chambers slotting in alongside Mings and Konsa.
Chilwell has a speculative effort from range, but it doesn’t trouble Martinez.
There’s a change at the break, with Kamara off for Chambers.
Away we go in the second half!
Chelsea trail at the break after a really well-taken lob by Watkins, for those of you just joining us.
Behind at the break.#CheAvl pic.twitter.com/VFsnjhfBiE
Leading at the end of a wild first 45 at Stamford Bridge. 👊 #CHEAVL pic.twitter.com/R55fIVWuMd
It was a brilliant half of football, which started off with a bang, as we had early chances for both Watkins and Mudryk, but it was the Villa forward who got the first goal of the game.
It was Watkins’ fifth goal on the road in as many games and he was on hand to profit from some poor defensive decision-making by Cucurella, lifting the ball over Kepa in the Chelsea goal inside 18 minutes.
Chelsea were able to mount a threat on Martinez’s goal, drawing several good saves from the Argentine, but the high intensity press and midfield work from the visitors kept the pressure on the Blues back three.
Mudryk spurned a golden opportunity for Chelsea to draw level, before Chilwell had a goal disallowed for offside as the hosts began to ramp up the pressure, but the whistle went consigning Chelsea to a 1-0 deficit at the break.
There’s plenty of action still to come from Stamford Bridge – especially if the first half is anything to go by – so don’t go anywhere!
Mings brings down Havertz just inside the halfway line, and Chelsea will have enough time to build one last attack.
But that attack down the late is blocked well by a claret and blue shirt and the referee blows the whistle to bring an end to a brilliant first half as boos are heard from pockets of Stamford Bridge.
Ben Chilwell thinks he has it in the back of the net, but it’s not going to count.
The England defender has his arms all over Ashley Young as he meets Enzo Fernandez’s cross and the referee blows for a free-kick.
Another great save from Martinez!
Chelsea attack down the right, and it is pulled back to Havertz in the box.
The German takes a few too many touches, though, and it gets stuck under his feet, before the shot eventually comes on the swivel.
But Martinez dives down to his left to step the shot, which comes through a crowd of bodies, as Chelsea start to ramp up the pressure at the end of the first half.
Chilwell is down in some pain after Young charges down his clearance.
There didn’t look to be too much in it, but looks on the replay as if the England right-back has caught the top of the ex-Leicester man’s foot.
He’s back up on his feet now, which will be a relief to Blues fans.
Once again, a sloppy pass out the back from Chelsea invites a hurtling counter from Villa, as the Blues continue to invite pressure on themselves.
It’s relentless from Villa, who continue to hunt down every stray ball.
Villa try to build another attack down the right, but Kovacic is slightly too eager in cutting out the danger and picks up the second booking of the game.
Chelsea have a corner turned behind for a second set-piece, which is delayed as a result of Cucurella making a nuisance of himself inside the box.
The cross does eventually come in, and after pinballing inside the danger area, Felix scuffs a good opportunity wide.
In fact, it’s come off a Villa defender for another corner.
This time Martinez claims with ease.
Credit to Chelsea since conceding the goal they have increased the intensity of their attack in the search for an equaliser.
But just as quickly as they get forward, Villa have bodies back inside the box.
However, Chilwell almost gets a very lucky goal, taking it down well on his chest inside the box, but from an acute angle he can only find the outside of the post.
Chelsea have proen themselves capable of troubling Villa in this opening half hour or so, it’s just their defensive fragility that has cost them.
There has been good interplay between the front three, but Mudryk throws away a gorgeous opportunity to draw level.
The Ukrainian is fed through the middle and from the edge of the box has the goal looming large in front of him, but his finish is poor and televises where he is going to put it, allowing Martinez to simply get his body begin what was an ultimately tame effort straight down his throat.
Chelsea are playing a very dangerous game against the high intensity of Villa in midfield.
A poor pass out from the back is picked out by Ramsey, and the youngster bursts forward at great pace and reaches the box.
Just as he looks to pull the trigger, James is back to put in a brilliant challenge.
Chilwell is incensed that he hasn’t been given a penalty, after going down under the challenge of a Villa defender, but replays show it was outside the box, although he did have his heels clipped.
Seconds later Havertz stings the palms of Martinez with a good effort inside the box, but again the Argentine gets down well to prevent the equaliser.
Luiz then hits the referee with the ball and calls for the game to be stopped, but the Brazilian had the ball back at his feet, so possession had not been turned over and therefore the official had no obligation to halt the game.
Luiz was not happy, judging by his gesticulations.
Chelsea have another corner, and this time they play it short.
James gets his head up and sends a peach of a cross in towards the front post where Fernandez gets his head to the ball.
It’s a tough header, and he just can’t get the right contact on it and it flies just wide of the near post.
Chelsea look to respond instantly, as Felix jinks his way through three Villa defenders inside the box before unfurling a brilliant shot into the bottom corner, but Martinez is down well to turn it past the post.
Moreno then leaps highest at the resulting corner and clears the danger for Villa.
We saw Chelsea’s inability to deal with the long ball very early on, and this is absolutely woeful defending.
Luiz simply plays a ball over the top from deep inside his own half, and with three centre-backs at the back, Cucurella decides to commit himself to the ball as it heads for Koulibaly’s head, missing his header.
With both defenders in no man’s land, Watkins allows it to bounce before simply lofting it over Kepa’s head to put Villa in front.
Off the bar!
Ramsey and Buendia combine brilliantly in the top-left corner of the pitch after the youngster had committed several defenders before finding the Argentina.
Buendia then lays it off for McGinn on the edge of the box, but the Scot’s effort clatters off the bar!
Great opportunity for the visitors, who show Chelsea what they can do in attack.
A really poor pass from Mings and Chelsea can break with Villa having pushed bodies high up the pitch.
Felix picks it up on the halfway line and holds it far too long, and is almost in the box by the time he releases Havertz, who can only run into trouble.
Musryk was in acres of space on the left, but also went uncalled on by Felix.
Chelsea then make a meal of the resulting corner, with Kovacic’s volley almost going out for a throw.
It’s been all Chelsea in terms of possession, as you’d expect given Emery’s willingness to set up his teams without the ball.
But in terms of chances it’s been very even, with Watkins and Mudryk both coming close early on so far.
Chelsea have enjoyed good time on the ball in the final third, but Villa hold firm.
James looks to link up with Loftus-Cheek, but Moreno does really well to get to the ball first and earn a free-kick.
It’s a brilliant midfield battle brewing away at Stamford Bridge.
McGinn and Luiz are battling for every sniff of the ball with Kovacic and Fernandez, and it’s pinging around the centre of the park every time one team looks to come forward.
Loftus-Cheek – playing at right wing-back – is calling for a penalty from a Moreno challenge inside the box, but the England international looked to have gone down a little too easily there, nothing coming.
And just a moment later it’s Watkins who almost gets the opener!
It’s a long ball up from Martinez from a goal kick which finds McGinn.
The Scot takes a touch and lays it through to Watkins who, despite coming up against three Chelsea centre-backs, gets his shot off, but drags it just wide.
Really poor defending from Chelsea, which fortunately for them goes unpunished.
Breath-taking start to the game.
Oh it’s a glorious chance for Chelsea but a great save from Martinez.
Villa try to play out from the back, but Martinez’s pass to Kamara finds the midfielder a bit lax in possession, and Mudryk latches onto it.
But the goalkeeper stands his ground brilliantly and prevents the Ukrainian from scoring his first goal at his new club.
It’s the Brazilian who takes it, but it flies straight through to Kepa.
He looks to start a quick counter, but Havertz is scythed down by Kamara and it’s an early yellow card for the midfielders.
Douglas Luiz wins a free-kick in a potentially dangerous area inside the Chelsea half after he intercepts Koulibaly’s poor pass.
Within the first minute Chilwell is found in acres of space down the left after a gorgeous ball from James, but the left wing-back’s cross is a shocker and soars straight out of play.
Seconds later Kovacic gets the first shot of the game away, but it is just as poor as his team-mate’s earlier cross.
All Chelsea so far, but nothing to trouble Martinez just yet.
There’s the whistle, and Aston Villa get us underway at Stamford Bridge!
Well it’s almost time now, with the teams lining up in the tunnel.
Enzo Fernandez shares an embrace with his World Cup winning team-mate Emi Martinez, although the goalkeeper looks a little less upbeat then his compatriot as he gets himself ready to take on the Blues.
Good noise at Stamford Bridge – we should be in for a real treat this evening.
Kick-off just a few moments away now as they take to the field.
We’re a little over five away from kick-off at Stamford Bridge now.
Aston Villa come into this one in brilliant nick. Since Emery’s arrival, only five teams have a better points tally in the Premier League.
His side have picked up 26 points to Chelsea’s 17, and scored twice as many goals as Graham Potter’s side (24-12).
A lot of talk about Chelsea needing a big run of results to mount a late charge for Europe, but given these two start the day on the same number of points, the same surely applies to Villa under Emery.
But one man in the side will surely be a sight for sore eyes for Chelsea fans and players alike.
N’Golo Kante could feature for the first time under Graham Potter, having been injured since the club parted ways with Thomas Tuchel at the start of the season.
He’s been able to get a few minutes under his belt with the development squad, but could be making his first start since August.
And he could be putting pen to paper soon on a new deal at the club, with talks reportedly progressing into the final stages.
For more on that one, check the link below.
There was a time when Mason Mount looked set to become Chelsea’s posterboy for the future, in a similar way to Bukayo Saka at Arsenal, Phil Foden at Man City and Marcus Rashford at Man United.
But his future at the club has come into question in recent months, with contract talks failing to come to fruition and links with the likes of Liverpool and Bayern Munich persisting.
His manager has been quick to praise his attitude amid all the uncertainty, though.
‘It’s been tough for him. How he’s acted has been top,’ Graham Potter said.
‘He’s had niggling injuries and noise and speculation. He’s a professional, a top professional and a good lad.
‘Sometimes in your career things aren’t optimal and you have to act well and that’s exactly what he’s done.’
The Blues have only managed 10 wins in the Premier League this season – a campaign that has largely been memorable for all the wrong reasons in west London.
But there is some solace to that record, with all 10 of those coming against sides starting the day in the bottom half of the table – including a 2-0 win over the Villans earlier in the season.
Today would be a brilliant day for Graham Potter to break his own five-game run of home matches without a win against Aston Villa (two draws, three defeats).
And Emery – who knows what it’s like to be sacked by a Premier League giant – has offered his opposite number today some words of support.
The Spaniard called for Graham Potter to be given ‘time’ at Chelsea ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.
For more on that one, check the link below.
Emery’s work at Villa Park has been exceptional having taken over a side that looked likely to be drawn into the relegation dogfight.
Eight wins and two draws in 16 games since taking over in all competitions is a fantastic record, and a win or draw here today would make it five in a row unbeaten for the visitors for the first time since 2020.
In fact, a win takes them above Chelsea and with results going their way this weekend it could put them as high as ninth in the table.
Quite the turnaround since Steven Gerrard’s sacking.
We’ve seen that Villa struggle against Chelsea – but their woes on the road against the Blues are even worse.
It’s 12 years since Villa managed a rare away victory against Graham Potter’s side, with a 3-1 triumph in the league back in 2011.
In a 19-match run, it’s only five draws to take any joy from, with 13 defeats against the Premier League giants.
And it doesn’t make it much easier for him, given that Aston Villa have a terrible record against this evening’s opponents in the Premier League.
In the last 11 meetings in the top-flight, Villa have only won once, with the Blues dominating the tie, sealing nine victories and drawing once.
That sole win for the Villans came only a couple of years back on the final day of the 2020-21 season.
Unai Emery has emerged as one of the top coaches in European football, largely due to his work in his home country with Villarreal, taking them to the last four of the Champions League after wins over Bayern and Juventus.
But one thing he just doesn’t seem to have got his hugely-talented head around is beating Chelsea.
The former Arsenal and PSG boss has won only once against the Blues, with the Gunners back in the 2018-19 season.
It’s one win, two draws – with one of those resulting in a penalty shoot-out defeat in a UEFA Super Cup final – and three losses with an aggregate score of 7-12.
Arsenal fans will remember that 4-1 Europa League final defeat in Azerbaijan with particular disdain.
And it’s a big day for one Chelsea man in particular.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – still the most expensive goalkeeper in the world – is making his 100th Premier League appearance for the hosts tonight, and what a journey it’s been for him.
We all remember the infamous exchange with Maurizio Sarri in the League Cup final, and at one point it looked as though his Chelsea career was all but over.
But he’s back between the sticks making his 20th appearance of the season in the league – can he mark it with a 35th clean sheet?
The Chelsea boys are here! 👋 #CheAvl pic.twitter.com/ME2vaKvm1Q
Changes from both sides this afternoon.
It’s three from the hosts, with Fofana and Pulisic missing through injury, with Badiashille also dropping out, and Cucurella, Loftus-Cheek and Mudryk take their places in the starting XI.
For Aston Villa, Emery makes a pair of changes, as Cash and Bailey drop out for the veteran Young and Kamara.
Here’s the teams for this evening’s action!
This is your Aston Villa team to face Chelsea. 👊 #CHEAVL pic.twitter.com/507zqL3tlc
Graham Potter leads the Blues to the home changing room including the likes of Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell.
But it’s fair to say the clouds have looked darker over Stamford Bridge at earlier points in the season. Chelsea are on their best run of form since October.
Graham Potter has been under pressure given Chelsea enter the last few weeks of a forgettable season sitting bang in mid-table, yet they could win their fourth game in five against Aston Villa today.
Welcome to our live coverage of the action as it happens from Stamford Bridge.
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