Chelsea beat Aston Villa 2-0 at Villa Park on Sunday as Graham Potter made it five wins on the trot in all competitions and remain unbeaten as Blues boss.
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Mason Mount’s double did the damage as the pressure continues to build on Steven Gerrard at Villa.
Tyrone Mings made a terrible defensive mistake for Chelsea’s opener and Villa missed several big chances in the first half as Kepa Arrizabalaga had a fine game in goal.
After three-straight wins in the Premier League, Chelsea now have 19 points. Villa remain on nine points and have won just twice this season.
What we learned from Aston Villa vs Chelsea
Kepa stands tall to repay Potter’s faith: When Edouard Mendy suffered an injury, Chelsea fans will have feared the worst. However, Kepa has been brilliant in recent games and magnificent saves in the first half to keep his team ahead. Much-maligned over the last few years, Kepa is now ahead of Mendy and his ability on the ball seems to suit Graham Potter’s style much better. Most importantly, he seems to have improved his shot-stopping ability and presence.
Villa their own worst enemies: Steven Gerrard will feel like Villa are beating themselves right now. Tyrone Mings’ horrendous mistake gifted Mount the chance to put Chelsea ahead and better finishing would have seen them deservedly level at half time. When your luck is out and confidence is low, these are the kind of things which will happen.
Mount is back to his best: Two goals and three assists in his last three games for Chelsea prove that Mount is getting back to his best and the English playmaker suits Potter’s style of play very well. He pops up in dangerous areas, knits things together well and is made for this fluid style of play Chelsea will implement under Potter. Going forward, Mount will be one of the most important players if Chelsea will be successful under Potter.
Chelsea’s back four didn’t really work as they weren’t as fluid in their movement and looked a little disjointed. Still, they were dangerous on the break and that was enough. Villa’s first half display was much better but they couldn’t take their chances and that cost them dear.
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Stars of the show
Kepa Arrizabalaga: Magnificent saves in the first half to keep Villa at bay. Really taking his chance after Mendy’s injury.
Leon Bailey: Caused a lot of problems with his clever runs and Chelsea looked very shaky when he was on the ball.
Mason Mount: A fine finish for his first and a brilliant free kick with caught out Martinez.
Aston Villa head to Fulham on Thursday, Oct. 20. Chelsea make the short trip to Brentford on Wednesday, Oct. 19.
How to watch Aston Villa vs Chelsea live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 9 am ET, Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Mason Mount fires Chelsea into the lead after a costly mistake by Tyrone Mings.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 16, 2022
Key storylines & star players
Chelsea’s squad has taken to Potter’s tactics rather quickly (they are also unbeaten in three UEFA Champions League fixtures under Potter – 2W-1D-0L) and look far more comfortable now than they did to start the season under Thomas Tuchel. It was revealed this week that N’Golo Kane is set to miss up to three months, including the 2022 World Cup with France, leaving the Blues a bit short on both bodies and experience in central midfield. Kante has won the PL (twice), the Champions League and the World Cup (plus the FA Cup and Europa League) all in the last eight seasons of his brilliant career, but he is now 31 years old and will be out of contract in the summer. Priority no. 1 for owner Todd Boehly and the Chelsea recruitment staff is certainly a new focal point in midfield. For now, Potter is making do with Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
As for Aston Villa, the results have been better in recent weeks, but the performances have largely failed to inspire or excite. It required a hard reset, but Gerrard’s side is no longer leaking goals every game (just two in the four games, compared to nine in the first five). Of course, they have also failed to register 1.0 xG of their own in three of the four games, making for a one-dimensional approach, as is required at the moment.
Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Diego Carlos (achilles), Lucas Digne (ankle), Boubacar Kamara (knee), Ludwig Augustinsson (hamstring)
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) October 16, 2022
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: N’Golo Kante (hamstring – out for World Cup), Reece James (knee), Wesley Fofana (knee)
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 16, 2022