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Aston Villa logo
Premier League | Gameweek 35
Apr 27, 2024 at 8pm UK
Villa Park
Chelsea logo

Aston Villa
2 - 2

Cucurella (4' og.), Rogers (42')
Luiz (49'), Rogers (64'), Bailey (66')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Madueke (62'), Gallagher (81')
Caicedo (49'), Mudryk (82'), Silva (87'), Badiashile (90+10'), Madueke (90+10')

Late Chelsea winner denied in pulsating four-goal Aston Villa draw

Late Chelsea winner denied in pulsating four-goal Aston Villa draw
© Reuters
Chelsea have an injury-time winner ruled out in an engrossing 2-2 Premier League draw with Aston Villa, who let a 2-0 lead slip on home soil.

Chelsea saw a last-gasp winner ruled out but nevertheless completed an impressive comeback to hold Aston Villa to a 2-2 Premier League draw at Villa Park.

Another miserable away day was on the cards for Mauricio Pochettino's troops, as an early Marc Cucurella own goal and fine Morgan Rogers strike seemingly put the Lions on course for success.

However, two curling efforts from Noni Madueke and Conor Gallagher unexpectedly drew the visitors level, before a combination of Axel Disasi and Robin Olsen saw Chelsea register their third deep into added time, but the VAR room intervened for a foul on Diego Carlos, much to the Blues' fury.

Enraged Chelsea men remonstrated with Craig Pawson at full time, but their protests fell on deaf ears as they settled for the point which leaves them ninth in the rankings, while Villa stay fourth but are no longer in control of their Champions League destiny.

Seven points above Tottenham Hotspur having played three more games, the Lions now gear up for the first leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final with Olympiacos on Thursday, the same day that the Blues host the Lilywhites in London derby action.

Fourth-minute lightning strikes twice for Chelsea

It was one out one in regarding the Chelsea engine room, as Cole Palmer recovered from illness to take the place of the stricken Enzo Fernandez, while Douglas Luiz displaced Moussa Diaby in the hosts' XI.

However, after conceding with just four minutes gone in their 5-0 hammering at the hands of Arsenal, an identical tale befell the Blues at Villa Park, and it was another move down the left that did the damage.

Aston Villa's Morgan Rogers celebrates scoring their second goal on April 27, 2024© Reuters

Pau Torres was allowed to saunter forward unchallenged before laying off Lucas Digne, whose cross was met with a first-time strike by John McGinn, which looked to be heading wide before an unfortunate deflection off of Cucurella's shin.

McGinn could count himself fortuitous that his scuffed shot was turned in by the Spanish left-back, although the Blues were briefly on level terms in the 17th minute, when Nicolas Jackson lifted the ball into the roof of the net.

The Senegalese striker hesitated to celebrate, though, as Chelsea anxiously awaited the outcome of a VAR review, and true enough, Villa's high line had caught Jackson half a yard offside.

Having over 70% possession did not translate into gilt-edged chances for the men in blue, but their hopes of a turnaround received a fillip when Youri Tielemans went off injured with 27 minutes on the clock; Diaby was brought on as McGinn dropped into a deeper role.

The ante was soon upped by Chelsea, but the ever-wasteful Jackson added to his catalogue of misses in the 34th minute, heading a Cucurella cross off the base of the post from eight yards out.

As Pochettino's side failed to make their periods of possession count, a ruthless Villa maximised theirs to double their lead in the 42nd minute, as Morgan Rogers found a gap between Trevoh Chalobah's legs and at Djordje Petrovic's near post with a fine strike from the edge of the area.

The former Middlesbrough winger mimicked Cole Palmer's 'cold' celebration as the Lions entered the break with a healthy advantage, but they emerged for the second half without first-choice goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez - apparently due to a hamstring issue - as Olsen took his place in between the sticks.

Gallagher stunner precedes Disasi drama

However, the Swede was powerless to prevent Pochettino's men from finally putting one of their chances away in the 62nd minute, as Conor Gallagher robbed Luiz of the ball just outside the Villa penalty area, and Madueke coolly curled a low strike into the far corner to give the Blues hope.

Unlike their second-half capitulation at the Emirates, if Chelsea were to go down in the West Midlands, they were going down swinging, as Palmer's first-time curler from the edge of the D in the 77th minute flew just wide of the post.

Lions boss Unai Emery saw fit to beef up his backline with the introduction of Carlos, switching to a five-man defence in a bid to quell the Blues' attacks, but that move did not pay off.

With 81 minutes gone, Gallagher - who sparked Madueke's equaliser with terrific pressing - was given licence to shoot from the edge of the box as Villa failed to close him down, and the midfielder obliged, bending a fabulous left-footed strike into the top corner beyond Olsen's fruitless reach.

An 88th-minute opening to render Chelsea's fightback inconsequential passed Ollie Watkins by in the 88th minute - the Englishman leant back too much and spooned Matty Cash's cross over the top - and the Villa man should have rued that wasted opening in the fifth minute of injury time.

A scuffed clearance from Carlos presented the ball to Palmer in a dangerous area, and the playmaker jinked his way into the Villa box, but his low effort deflected off the underside of Olsen's leg and trickled behind for a corner.

While Villa dealt with the initial set piece, the recycled ball back into the box from Benoit Badiashile was met by Disasi, whose header clipped the bar before deflecting into the net off of the hand of Olsen.

There were shades of Martinez's own goal versus Arsenal in February 2023 as Villa protests began, but there would be a reprieve for the Champions League chasers, as Badiashile's shove on Carlos was deemed to have crossed the foul threshold, ensuring a share of the spoils after an unforgettable battle.

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