Chelsea failed to pick all three points in back-to-back games after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa in Monday night’s Premier League game at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues were hoping to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat to Arsenal at the weekend, but had to settle for the share of the spoils with Villa.
Following the stalemate both Chelsea and Villa missed the chance to move into the Premier League top four.
The first big chance of the game came in the 12th minute and fell to Christian Pulisic, who raced onto a sloppy pass from Jack Grealish to burst into the box but could only hit the side netting with his strike.
Kortney Hause was picked out by a fantastic Grealish delivery from a free-kick but the defender sent his header high and wide.
Pulisic had another huge chance to put Chelsea ahead in the 31st minute too after a cross into the box ricocheted around and caused panic among the Aston Villa defence, but he hooked his effort over the bar.
Two minutes later though the Blues took the lead through Olivier Giroud, starting ahead of Timo Werner, when he stooped low to direct Ben Chilwell’s cross into the bottom left corner. That was the first goal Villa had conceded since the end of November.
Mason Mount was next to go close for Chelsea when he created an opening after twisting and turning his way past a number of defenders in the box but he fired his shot over the bar.
Villa got the equaliser in the 50th minute thanks to Anwar El Ghazi, who got in behind the defence to meet Matty Cash’s delivery and side foot his volley through Edourd Mendy’s legs.
There was some controversy about the goal as Andreas Christensen was down injured during the phase of play following a collision with Grealish, however VAR ruled there was nothing doing and the goal stood.
Chelsea thought they had retaken in the lead in the 67th minute when Cesar Azpilicueta found the net, but it was disallowed as Pulisic was offisde in the build-up.
Chelsea looked the more likely to find a winner with Pulisic, who had been lively throughout, having a long-range attempt tipped over in the 79th minute and Chilwell seeing an effort deflected behind for a corner moments later.
Although, Jacob Ramsey almost nicked it for Villa with his first touch but he couldn’t quite curl the ball into bottom right corner as it rolled inches wide.
Chilwell almost topped off a fine individual performance with a winner in the 92nd minute but his volley flashed across the face of goal and narrowly wide as the points were shared.
Meanwhile, the other Premier League fixture between Manchester City and Everton, due to be played this evening was postponed following cases of coronavirus.
City lodged a request with the Premier League today (Monday) to rearrange the match following an increase in positive COVID-19 test results received by the club this morning, on top of the cases reported on Christmas Day.
This rise has created uncertainty and the Premier League Board received medical advice that the match should be postponed.
The Board agreed to rearrange the game as a precaution, and further testing will now take place tomorrow.
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