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West Ham United
March 15, 2014
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: C. Foy
• Attendance: 40084
F. Delph 82'
FT: AVL 1-0 CHE - a stunning, dramatic end. Delph's goal blows the title race wide open. Mourinho joins Willian and Ramires in those that are dismissed. Man City with three games in hand, Liverpool and Arsenal with two. This will prove to be a stunning race to the finish. Villa in 10th, and they'll feel that safety is confirmed. Until next weekend, good night!!
90' + 5'
FULL-TIME: ASTON VILLA 1-0 CHELSEA
90' + 4'
Red Card Ramires
90' + 4'
MOURINHO IS SENT OFF! What a dramatic ending. Mourinho is shown his orders also, following Ramires after questioning the referee. Jose looks baffled.
90' + 3'
RED CARD - Ramires: The Brazilian is shown a second booking, and he is off. Foul challenge. Chelsea down to nine.
90' + 2'
DELPH!! Should've been 2-0. Fine ball from Westwood who finds Delph clear with acres of space. Cech makes a fantastic save onto the bar, and it's a corner.
90' + 1'
Stony faced Mourinho on the touchline as Villa consolidate their lead, and holding the ball to record in what would be a fantastic result. But Lambert urges his side to attack!
Yellow Card Ramires
FOUR minutes added on at the end of the second half.
BENTEKE! He can't double the lead. Moves well into the centre, holding off his marker, and slams the ball towards Cech, who makes a save. Yellow card for Ramires from an earlier foul.
Benteke holds the ball well, and finds El Ahmadi. Villa keeping possession well on the far side. Such a disciplined performance from the hosts.
Guzan screams at his team-mates to hold it together, what a result it would be for Paul Lambert's men.
Aston Villa on course for two consecutive home games with a victory in the league since August 2011. And the first within a season since August 2010.
Assist Marc Albrighton
Goal Fabian Delph
GOAL! Aston Villa 1-0 Chelsea - Delph plays it wide, with Albrighton providing a powerful low cross. Delph with a stunning backheel into the net. Superb goal. Shock lead. Nine minutes to go.
A cheeky finish from Delph, but one that may have ramifications for the Premier League title race. Villa on course for their first home win over Chelsea since 2009.
Matic reprimanded for a strong challenge on Westwood, with the hosts wasting a free-kick from a decent opportunity.
SUBSTITUTION - Aston Villa: Joe Bennett is off for Ciaran Clark.
Yellow Card Ron Vlaar
HAZARD! Wide. Free-kick taken low and powerful by the Belgian winger, but he strikes well wide of goal. Entering the final stages of the game now.
DELPH! Poor finish. Delph shows good control to beat Cahill, and with the goal opening up for the Villans, he strikes horribly, with his strike going well wide.
Mourinho watches on in frustrated mood. With Manchester City beating Hull 2-0 with ten men earlier, can the current Premier League leaders do the same? The Blues cannot afford to drop points, with City enjoying two games in hand.
Corner to Villa, as the temperature begins to rise. Villa bringing on a substitute now.
John Terry plays the ball from the back, attempting to locate Ramires, but Delph concedes for a throw-in. Ivanovic with a powerful cross whipped in, towards Schurrle, but a heavy touch takes it beyond him.
Chelsea deploying long ball tactics with Demba Ba forward, a lofted ball helped on by the substitute, but Bacuna clears the danger.
Twenty minutes to go at Villa Park, with the league leaders being held by a Villa side who have just one win in their last five. Lambert's men have been conservative in possession, but have done superbly so far.
Chelsea down to ten men, do Aston Villa smell blood? They have come closest in this half.
RED CARD - Willian: A soft yellow, but it is a second booking, and Willian is OFF! Mourinho is furious with the officials there. Willian seems to brush aside Delph, and is handed his marching orders there.
Yellow Card Christian Benteke
SUBSTITUTION - Chelsea: Demba Ba replaces Fernando Torres.
SUBSTITUTION - Chelsea: Oscar has been replaced by Andre Schurrle.
Jose Mourinho readying a double substitution - with one eye on the UEFA Champions League return v Galatasaray on Tuesday.
BENTEKE! What a chance. That should've been 1-0 there. Fine ball from Bacuna who picks out the Belgian on the edge of the area, and he pings an effort narrowly wide.
Torres has been rather quiet thus far, attempting to drop deeper to involve himself at the edge of the box. Has a shot blocked, but Villa break at speed.
Villa have done really well to limit the creativity and influence from Chelsea's strong attacking quartet. The likes of Vlaar and Bacuna have fared well thus far.
Hour gone at Villa Park, and Chelsea not able to break down a strong Villa defence, but 30 minutes still to play.
Delph rescues the ball back for his side, but with Villa momentarily forced back, Bacuna drives forward on the opposite flank. Cannot get past Azpilicueta, and instead fouls him.
Another offside call, this time for Eden Hazard, who collects the ball in an offside position. Tempo has dropped, with the game at a steady pace now.
Willian offside again down this right flank, as Oscar holds off his man to try and needle a pass for his compatriot, arriving from the wing. Ten minutes gone in this second half, 0-0 still.
Opening for Villa, as Benteke keeps possession after an overhit cross from Bacuna. Westwood takes over, towards Delph as Bacuna attempts a second cross into the box. Benteke offside this time.
Ramires latches onto a measured pass from Willian on the edge of the box, but he is denied by the offside flag. Mourinho shares a joke and a smile with Lambert on the touchline, nonetheless.
Hazard plays a quick free-kick, cleared by Delph, but Matic a presence around the box, as he attempts to resurrect the move, but Vlaar on hand to divert the ball away.
OSCAR! Fine save from Guzan. Fantastic save from Ivanovic, with the goalkeeper misjudging the delivery. Oscar turns in his marker before attempting a strike. Scythed down by El Ahmadi, with Guzan clawing away, but the Brazilian slams the rebound over the bar.
Free-kick to Villa. Delivered deep into the box, with Agbonlahor on the end of it but Ramires is on hand to hoof away the ball from the box.
Oscar with a sumptuous delivery into the box, helped on by Hazard, but a heavy touch sees the defender bring it away. Chelsea have started strongly.
UNDERWAY in the second half. No changes to report after the interval.
HT: AVL 0-0 CHE - A decent first half at Villa Park, with one major talking point. Matic's goal disallowed just before the break, with the linesman spotting a handball in the process. Right decision? Of course. Finely poised as we await the second half.
45' + 2'
HALF-TIME: Aston Villa 0-0 Chelsea
45' + 1'
Oscar's free-kick is taken by Guzan with consummate ease. No power in the shot whatsoever.
Yellow Card Joseph Bennett
TWO minutes added on at the end of the first half.
YELLOW CARD - Bennett: The left-back is booked for a challenge on Ramires who was on the verge of breaking clear. Mourinho waves his arms around on the bench. He was looking for a red. Nonetheless, free-kick.
Great from the assistant referee. It appeared that Chris Foy had awarded the goal, with a long pause occurring before Matic had gone off to celebrate. But it remains 0-0.
GOAL? NO. A mess in the box. Confusion reigns after Willian's cross evades Terry, who goes to ground, taking a clutch of Villa's defence with him. Matic unannounced at the back chests the ball before rifling towards goal. Guzan cannot keep it out, and Matic goes off to celebrate. It just so happens the assistant spotted a handball by the Serb.
Oscar with a neat back heel. He picks out Ramires, who in turn attempts to find Torres, but Vlaar intervenes. Hazard retrieves the loose ball, beating Bacuna, and he has won himself a corner.
BENTEKE! Chance out of nothing. Agbonlahor picks out his strike partner. The ball comes at an awkward pace and height, but the Belgian picks himself off the ground to launch a stinging shot towards goal. Just wide.
Benteke holds up well, allowing Agbonlahor to drive the hosts forward, but Villa have looked a bit toothless in attack as the ball goes astray. Chelsea now on the counter, but a strong defence holds them at arm's length.
Corner to Chelsea. Taken by Willian, with Bacuna heading away at the first attempt. Benteke with a rather poor pass fails to conjure up something, as Chelsea recover possession.
Hazard attempts to latch onto a loose ball inside the penalty box, but is thwarted by the referee's whistle for offside. Westwood picks out El Ahmadi, who cannot take advantage at the other end.
Willian with a fine first time pass for Oscar on the right. Oscar has time to think about his next choice, but turns to another quick pass for Torres, with Baker intercepting well.
Hazard penalised for handball, as the referee awards Villa a free-kick. TV replays show that the Belgian can be very disappointed with that, having moved his arms away from the ball.
Chelsea rattled by a period of dominance from Villa. Nevertheless, they break with Matic as Torres finds a bit of space behind Bacuna. Torres is onside, but the returning Delph clears the danger.
Decent delivery from the corner, but Benteke is penalised for a rough challenge on Matic in the box. Free-kick Chelsea.
Yellow Card Willian
Villa attacking now, as El Ahmadi drifts the ball towards Agbonlahor who has switched wings, now driving down the right flank. Azpilicueta sees the ball behind for the Villans' first corner.
YELLOW CARD - Willian: The Brazilian winger becomes the second player in the book for a challenge. Bacuna to take the resultant free-kick, but it doesn't make an impact.
Azpilicueta brings the ball away neatly, with Matic and Ramires combining well in midfield to try and drive Chelsea forward. Villa so far resistant, but for how long?
Still 0-0 after an eventful 20 minutes of play at Villa Park. The Blues nevertheless, have settled into their rhythm, with their forward players connecting very well.
Chelsea have a significant stranglehold on possession, leading the count 65% to Villa's 35%. Meanwhile, Weimann again causing a bit of a problem with a measured pass into the box, but Cahill on hand to intervene.
OSCAR! Just wide. Another slick move from the Blues. Oscar has Westwood in his sights, as he connects with Willian, who leaves it after taking a touch to set up his compatriot. Oscar on the follow-up, skims wide of Guzan's left post.
Benteke! Can't get a foot on the ball. Opening up this game, as Weimann delivers a lofted through ball for the Belgian to give chase. Ivanovic was not going to get there in time, but a tad overhit, and it reaches Cech.
OFFSIDE! Azpilicueta provides a superb ball with the outside of his right boot to set Torres off. The Spaniard beats Vlaar, but he himself is beaten by the flag.
El Ahmadi with an effort. El Ahmadi wastes an effort. Fantastic ball from Delph to pick out the midfielder in acres of space with the Chelsea defence retreating. Bacuna makes an appearance on the right, but he opts instead for the shot. Always rising, that.
WILLIAN! Inches wide. Westwood cannot get goalside of Willian to intervene, as the attacking midfielder cuts in and pings an effort from distance. Hits the side netting with Guzan stretching. Decent effort.
Chelsea applying some pressure now. Oscar has a shot blocked by Vlaar, before the Brazilian whips in a threatening cross to which Torres narrowly misses. Out for a throw-in.
BENTEKE! No. Not troubling Petr Cech there. Villa break with speed towards the other end, with Agbonlahor delivering a deep cross for the Belgian, who cannot connect with it well.
Lovely move this from Chelsea. Five defenders situated on the left side, but quick one touch passing from Willian, Oscar, Azpilicueta and Hazard bamboozle the hosts. Willian cuts in and attempts to force an opening, but it's an easy take for Guzan.
Joe Bennett does well to break up the visitors' play, but a fine ball feeds Weimann across the field as he embarks on Aston Villa's first foray into the opposition box. However, the move doesn't result into a chance.
Nice move from Chelsea as Torres sets off down the left, aiming for the far post. Opts for the early cross after evading Bacuna, but the delivery is low, with Guzan claiming.
Yellow Card Nathan Baker
YELLOW CARD - Nathan Baker: Yes, strong indeed. Baker is handed the first booking of the game, with what was a very late challenge on Torres, from behind. Has to be careful for the remaining 85 minutes.
Chelsea maintaining possession early on, calmly knocking the ball around in space in their own half, before Baker commits a strong foul on Fernando Torres.
Willian trudges off for further treatment as play continues. Fernando Torres making a decent run forward, trying to latch onto the ball from the left, but Guzan claims.
Early issue for Chelsea to consider. Willian goes down under an innocuous challenge from Westwood. Treatment required for the Brazil international.
UNDERWAY AT VILLA PARK: The hosts get us going attacking from left to right in this first half. Can they secure a first victory over Chelsea in five?
The teams are out at Villa Park. Today's referee is Chris Foy.
Villa have already beaten Manchester City here this season, and put four past West Brom and Norwich. They've scored a minimum of two goals in each home league victory in the last 18 months.
SUBS: Steer, Sylla, Holt, Clark, Albrighton, Lowton, Robinson.
ASTON VILLA: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Bennett, Westwood, Delph, El Ahmadi, Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor
SUBS: Schwarzer, Kalas, Mikel, Lampard, Schurrle, Salah, Ba
CHELSEA FC: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Torres
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Chelsea also have an eye on Tuesday's crunch UEFA Champions League match against Galatasaray. Mourinho had already questioned why his side kick-off so late on a Saturday, with the Turkish champions having played yesterday.
Chelsea have a good recent record at Villa Park, winning here in May last season, courtesy of a 2-1 victory. Villa have not beaten Chelsea at home since October 2009.
Aston Villa nonetheless are only six points clear of the relegation zone. Paul Lambert's men beat Norwich 4-1 last time out. Having had two weeks off, can they secure two home wins in a row for the first time since September 2012?
Chelsea and Jose Mourinho are unbeaten in the Premier League since a reverse to Stoke in December - a run of 14 games. They sit six points clear of Manchester City, who beat Hull earlier this afternoon. City do have the luxury of two games in hand, however.
Good afternoon, and welcome to live coverage of the final Premier League game of the day. Can Chelsea extend their lead at the top of the Premier League? They face a tricky match away at Villa Park to face Aston Villa.
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