When we see Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and John Terry on the score sheet, usually this is the cue of a big win, but sadly the usual isn’t the case at Stamford Bridge at the moment, as Chelsea were held to a 3-3 draw against the visiting Aston Villa side.
Both teams went into the game not in the best of forms and it will be fair to say that both the managers were under a little pressure to get a result.
Chelsea made two changes at the back, with Jeffery Bruma coming in for the suspended Ivanovic, the first full start in the League for the young Dutchman, and Paulo Ferreira replacing his Portuguese counterpart, Jose Bosingwa, at right-back.
Villa had a clear strategy to put pressure on Chelsea players and not to give them time and space, and decided to target two defenders in particular, as Agbonlahor took up a position beside Paulo Ferreira and Heskey tried to outmuscle Bruma.
Both the players gave a good display under pressure although it had to be said that due to Agbonlahor’s constant threat the Portuguese seldom made forward runs.
The Blues took the lead in 23rd minute after Malouda was clipped by James Collins and Lampard stepped up to put Chelsea ahead. Villa went close through Clark and Dunne initially and then got the equaliser late on in the half with a penalty as well when Essien fouled Reo-Coker in the box.
Despite the two goals, the first half was marred by the constant fouling by the Villa players. Six bookings in the first half tells it owns story, although Blues fan who saw the Bolton game might have an argument against this.
It was felt that we failed to capitalise on our early goal and let Villa comeback into the game, but the fact was that the constant fouling stopped Chelsea to get going as an attacking force and resulted in a all too familiar story for the Chelsea fans as another far from convincing first half display left a lot to be desired.
The second half begin in a shaky manner as Heskey headed in an early goal from an Ashley Young, whose play-acting drew constant criticism from the Chelsea fans throughout the game, cross to give Villa the lead and heap more pressure on the Blues.
In these hard times this might have taken the stuffing out of the players and for a moment it looked like that as well, but as Villa realised that they cannot continue to foul their way through the match and sat back, Chelsea started to slowly claw their way back into the game.
Both Lampard and Malouda forced saves from Friedel as Chelsea poured forward. Jose Bosingwa and Salomon Kalou were introduced to provide further impetuous to the Chelsea attack.
Kalou used a more direct approach and ran at defenders, something which we didn’t really do before his arrival, thereby causing trouble to the Villa defence. Time was running out for us, but there were signs that we could get back into the game, and these optimisms were justified when Didier Drogba equalised after the initial Kalou shot was saved by Friedel.
The whole ground joined in the celebrations, but there was more to come from the Blues. Chelsea continued to attack in search of the winner, and the reward came when Collin’s clearance from Cole’s cross went to Terry and he slammed it in into the right hand bottom corner, sending everybody into a delirium and I honestly mean, Delirium!
Everybody was still celebrating the goal and thinking about the five additional minutes when the final twist in the game came. Marc Albrighton, who came on late on for Agbonlahor, sent in a cross from the left, and Clark was allowed to get in a free header to shock the home fans.
In a matter of minutes, Chelsea fans experienced two extremes of emotions and had to accept the harsh reality this result brought, we are now six points behind leader Man Utd who have game in hand as well. If our defence of League title was hanging by a thread after the Arsenal game, you can assume yourself what kind of a situation it’s in now.
There are problems at Chelsea right now and we don’t know who has the answers to those problems. The only thing we as fans can do is get behind our team in any way possible, we enjoyed when the team were on a roll, but now they need our support when we aren’t getting the right results and Matthew Harding stands showed how to do that on any match day, they never stopped and backed the team throughout.
Carlo Ancelotti was disappointed to see his side give away their hard work in a moment of complacency, he said; “I think everyone thought the game was finished there but we needed to play again for five minutes and we needed to stay more in focus in those minutes.
“We managed to score in the last minute of the game but we needed to be focused until the end because we conceded a goal.
“We could have avoided the last minute with more focus, we could have won this game.”
Chelsea (4-3-2-1): Cech; Ferreira (Bosingwa 56), Bruma, Terry (c), Cole; Ramires (Kalou 72), Essien, Lampard; Anelka (Sturridge 78), Malouda; Drogba.
Goals Lampard (pen) 22, Drogba 83, Terry 89