Aston Villa 2-2 Chelsea: Player ratings as Blues denied comeback win by controversial VAR call

  • Aston Villa surrender two-goal lead in draw at home to Chelsea
  • Noni Madueke and Conor Gallagher cancelled out a Marc Cucurella own goal and strike from Morgan Rogers
  • Last-minute Axel Disasi winner ruled out by VAR for foul in build-up
Chelsea fought back to claim a draw
Chelsea fought back to claim a draw / James Baylis - AMA/GettyImages

Chelsea put a dent in Aston Villa's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League with a comeback 2-2 draw on Saturday evening.

Unai Emery's side raced into a two-goal lead at Villa Park but collapsed after half-time and were only denied defeat thanks to a controversial VAR call deep into stoppage time.

Mauricio Pochettino proved he certainly has not lost the Chelsea dressing room as his young and depleted side did extremely well to come from behind and leave the West Midlands with a point.

How the game unfolded

For the second time this week, Chelsea went behind after four minutes. Lucas Digne's cut-back was met by John McGinn, whose shot trickled in off the shins of Marc Cucurella.

Digne himself found the side-netting with Villa's next attack, combining well with Morgan Rogers down the left flank before lashing a half-volley towards Djordje Petrovic's goal.

Chelsea thought they had brought themselves level after 16 minutes. Moises Caicedo's long ball over the top was met by Nicolas Jackson, who ran into the box and dinked the ball over Emi Martinez. However, after a lengthy VAR check, Jackson was shown to have been marginally offside.

Jackson went close again to equalising when his header from Cucurella's cross bounced back off the Villa post.

The visitors did well to impose themselves on the game but conceded a second goal against the run of play just before the break, with Rogers creating a yard of space for himself just inside the box and firing in at the near post.

After the break, Noni Madueke finally started to get something out of his duels with Digne, cutting inside the full-back before letting fly, but his curled effort drifted wide.

He wasn't to be denied with his next chance. Conor Gallagher robbed Douglas Luiz and the ball fell to Madueke, who slotted past Villa's substitute goalkeeper Robin Olsen.

With the clock ticking down, Chelsea found a deserved equaliser. Villa retreated deeper and deeper, allowing Gallagher to have a free shot from the edge of the box, finding the top corner with his weaker left foot.

Villa didn't create much in the second half but spurned a great chance to snatch back the victory when Matty Cash crossed for Ollie Watkins, but he skied his effort in front of the Holte End.

The hosts nearly gifted Chelsea all three points. Diego Carlos' lazy clearance was pounced upon by Cole Palmer, who waltzed into the box and was denied by the feet of Olsen.

And from the resulting corner, Chelsea thought they had claimed the victory. Palmer's delivery fell to Benoit Badiashile at the back post, and he hooked it back in for Axel Disasi to prod in. However, after a VAR check, Badiashile was punished for a shove on Carlos - which the Brazilian didn't even appeal as a foul - and the goal was chalked off.

Villa Park roared back into life and Emery's men had one last chance to go back in front, with Jhon Duran heading over from a corner to round off a breathless evening of action.

Aston Villa player ratings (4-4-1-1)

Lucas Digne, John McGinn, Morgan Rogers
Villa went into half-time two to the good / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

GK: Emi Martinez - 6/10 - Hauled off at half-time due to a hamstring injury but was barely tested in the opening 45 before his withdrawal.

RB: Matty Cash - 6/10 - Didn't have to do too much in order to keep Cucurella and Mudryk quiet.

CB: Ezri Konsa - 6/10 - Strode forward with confidence but he and his Villa teammates found it difficult to cope with Chelsea's pressure in the second half.

CB: Pau Torres - 6/10 - Equally as bold and brave with the ball before Villa had the wind knocked out of them.

LB: Lucas Digne - 6/10 - Arguably the best player in the opening 45 before Madueke woke up and gave the Frenchman something to think about in his own defensive third.

RM: Leon Bailey - 6/10 - Enjoyed a lively first half, running at Cucurella with ease, but didn't see as much of the ball in the second.

CM: Douglas Luiz - 4/10 - Gave the ball away leading to Madueke's goal and seemed constantly rattled by Caicedo in the midfield battle.

CM: Youri Tielemans - 6/10 - Brought off midway through the first half with a groin injury. Had opened the game up a couple of times with his passing beforehand.

LM: Morgan Rogers - 7/10 - Took his goal extremely well. Every touch was pristine and he was hardly lacking in confidence.

AM: John McGinn - 6/10 - Shifted back into a deeper role after Tielemans was taken off, which seemed to disrupt Villa's tactical plan. Effective at bringing energy in midfield but little else.

CF: Ollie Watkins - 5/10 - Got very little out of a rather unfamiliar centre-back partnership in Silva and Badiashile.


SUB: Moussa Diaby (27' for Tielemans) - 4/10 - Did very little after coming off and was hauled back off again before the end of the game.

SUB: Robin Olsen (46' for Martinez) - 6/10 - Claimed some high crosses early in the second half, though didn't do a lot to inspire confidence all the same. Kept Palmer out at the end with a huge save.

SUB: Diego Carlos (75' for Bailey) - 4/10

SUB: Tim Iroegbunam (75' for Luiz) - 5/10

SUB: Jhon Duran (83' for Diaby) - 5/10

Subs not used: Calum Chambers, Clement Lenglet, Kaine Kesler-Hayden, Jhon Duran, Omari Kellyman


Unai Emery - 5/10 - Villa were a little fortunate to go into half-time two goals up and their lack of initiative meant giving up two points come full-time was a deserved outcome.

Chelsea player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Noni Madueke
Madueke was excellent after the interval / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

GK: Djordje Petrovic - 5/10 - Could maybe have done more for Rogers' goal but was completely confounded by Chelsea's slow defending for the first.

RB: Trevoh Chalobah - 5/10 - Too slow to close down Digne leading to Villa's first goal. Sometimes tucked into a back three when Chelsea were in possession.

CB: Thiago Silva - 6/10 - Tried to take charge at the back, but took a while to get going and this only became evident when Chelsea were already behind.

CB: Benoit Badiashile - 6/10 - Wasn't afraid to step forward into attacking areas or play long balls in behind the high Villa backline. Denied a last-gasp assist in such cruel fashion.

LB: Marc Cucurella - 4/10 - A torrid time at both ends of the pitch. When Chelsea were chasing an equaliser, their forward players seemed to funnel all of their attacks to the right flank.

CM: Moises Caicedo - 7/10 - One of the Ecuadorian's most authoritative games in a Chelsea shirt. Got stuck in and showcased his passing range.

CM: Conor Gallagher - 8/10 - Chelsea's captain stepped up when they needed him. Aggressively pinched the ball off of Luiz leading to Madueke's equaliser and did it all himself to bring the Blues back to level terms.

RW: Noni Madueke - 7/10 - Had little to shout about in the first half but was excellent after the break, playing a huge role in Chelsea's comeback.

AM: Cole Palmer - 6/10 - Didn't have a bad game but this was a more quite one by his standards. Kept play ticking in the final third, particularly when his side were on the up in the second half.

LW: Mykhailo Mudryk - 4/10 - As was the case with Cucurella, Chelsea players seemed to suss that going down the left to Mudryk was not their best hope of scoring goals.

CF: Nicolas Jackson - 6/10 - Put himself about but again didn't have that cutting edge to score himself.


SUB: Cesare Casadei (90' for Mudryk) - N/A

SUB: Axel Disasi (90' for Silva) - N/A

Subs not used: Marcus Bettinelli (GK), Ted Curd (GK), Alfie Gilchrist, Josh Acheampong, Tyrique George, Kiano Dyer, Deivid Washington


Mauricio Pochettino - 6/10 - Chelsea still clearly have a lot of issues, but they're equally as capable at turning on the style and upping the ante.

Player of the match - Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher
A captain's performance / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages