Aston Villa tested Chelsea mightily on Wednesday night, but the Blues emerged victorious by 2 goals to 1 with the winner coming courtesy of a 73rd minute Branislav Ivanovic header. The match started off perfectly for Chelsea as early pressure on Brad Guzan’s goal led to their taking of the lead on 6 minutes, when Edin Hazard’s curling shot was parried by Guzan off his own defender and in. That defender happened to be Antonio Luna, who now has scored at both ends for Villa after just 2 games. It was all downhill after that for Chelsea as Aston Villa stiffened up at the back and began to somewhat control the match. It was still quite a shock though when they grabbed a late, late, late equalizer (did I mention it was late) through Christian Benteke (who else) with the final kick of the first half. The Belgian received a ball into the box from Gabby Agbonlahor before settling it down and smashing it off the post past a bewildered Petr Cech to level the score. Boosted by that goal, Villa started the second half well and had several chances of their own to take the lead with Agbonlahor and Delph having goes at goal. Chelsea finally kicked into high gear with the additions of Schurrle and Lukaku as subs, but it was Ivanovic who claimed the winner with a powerful header from a Frank Lampard free kick. The Serbian defender rose above everyone else in the box to direct home the curling ball and the goal stood despite a hint of offside. Villa had their chances to level though as Andreas Weimann had his sweetly struck half-volley repelled by Cech before Villa also had a last minute penalty claim denied by Kevin Friend, despite the ball clearly hitting John Terry on the arm, as Chelsea earned a hard-fought win at the Bridge.
Stat of Game: Shots (On Goal)Chelsea: 15 (3) Aston Villa: 7 (3)
Next Fixtures: Aston Villa home to Liverpool on Saturday, Chelsea away to Manchester United on Monday