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Aston Villa 2-2 Chelsea: Player ratings as Blues fight back to claim crucial draw

Chelsea came from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa at Villa Park, but the Blues failed to take advantage of West Ham United’s slip to climb above the Hammers on the Premier League table.

Villa took the lead in the fourth minute as Marc Cucurella deflected John McGuinn’s shot into the back of the net.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men tried to fight to get back into the game, and they came close. Nicolas Jackson broke Villa’s offside trap and finished neatly but his effort was ruled out by VAR.

The Senegalese striker then crashed a header off the foot of the post when he should have scored with the goal gaping.

Villa picked their moments to storm forward and chose the right one in the 42nd minute as Morgan Rogers doubled the lead. 

The England Youth international used Trevoh Chalobah as a decoy to angle a shot into Djordje Petrovic’s near post.

Villa looked ready to complete a double over Chelsea for the first time since 1990. However, the West Londoners had other plans.

Chelsea came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, and Noni Madueke got behind the Villa backline before flashing a shot wide.

Madueke pulled one back for the Blues on 62 after they won the ball high up the pitch, and he curled a finish beyond the substitute keeper Robin Olsen.

Madueke then provided the assist for another brilliant curled finish from Conor Gallagher for 2-2 with ten minutes to go, setting up an exhilarating end to the tie.

Cole Palmer, returning from an illness, missed a glorious chance to pull out a winner as Olsen made a fantastic stop to keep out the EPL’s top scorer.

There was some controversy when Axel Disasi headed the ball into the back of the net, but Benoit Badiashile was adjudged to have fouled Diego Carlos in the buildup. 2-2 it stayed.

Chelsea remain ninth on the league table, on the outskirts of European competition. They should get credit for securing a point, but their inability to shut up shop continues to hunt them.

Player Ratings

Djordje Petrovic (6/10) – His distribution was decent, and he could do nothing about either of the goals he conceded today. He made some vital saves to keep the Blues in the tie.

Trevoh Chalobah (4/10) – Chalobah struggled with positioning in this makeshift right-back position, and Villa played around him with ridiculous ease. It didn’t help that Noni Madueke was not sticking to his defensive duties.

Thiago Silva (6/10) – A 39-year-old Silva in a high line against Ollie Watkins is a recipe for disaster. The England international ran the Chelsea legend ragged at first, but he bounced back as the game wore on. 

Benoit Badiashile (6/10) – For reasons only the football gods are privy to, Pochettino has continued to trust the Frenchman despite his atrocious form. Interestingly, today was one of his better performances. He was more composed on the ball and more assured in his duels. 

Marc Cucurella (4/10) – Tony Bloom and Paul Barber should continuously receive praise for conning Chelsea to sign Cucurella for £57 million. The Spaniard comically plays without awareness of his surroundings while being blunt up top. He had another awful showing to add to his collection.

Moises Caicedo (7/10) – Pochettino’s shape left the Ecuadorian midfielder with acres of space to police, space that allowed Villa to bypass him easily. However, he began to assert himself in the game and put in a solid performance.

Conor Gallagher (8/10) – Gallagher’s pressing helped Chelsea back into this tie. His pressure helped force the first goal, and he scored the equaliser with a magnificent hit – a real captain’s showing.

Cole Palmer (5/10) – The Chelsea talisman missed the Arsenal game through illness and looked under the weather with a surprisingly subdued performance. He had an excellent chance to finish Villa off but spurned it.

Nicolas Jackson (6/10) – Once again, his all-round game was superb, but when it came time to stick the ball in the back of the net, he fell short.

Noni Madueke (7/10) – The England youth international was found wanting defensively for the first goal but helped pull one back with a gorgeous finish. He also assisted Gallagher’s terrific hit to take a point from the game.

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