Had a comfortable first half, failing to be tested by Chelsea. But the second half began differently with the American having to deny Malouda and Anelka before pouncing on a loose ball after Clark failed to clear a cross.
The Welshman was rarely tested in the opening stages, in fact his biggest impact was directing his looping header over the bar in first half stoppage time. Allowed Anelka far too much room to adjust and shoot in the area at the beginning of the second half, but Friedel was there to rescue his defender.
Had a lot of joy down the left in the first half, breaking forward without being picked up. Received a booking for a poor challenge on Anelka.
Coped well with the threat of Malouda in the first half. Was outpaced by Zhirkov in the second half, however, but overall dealt with the Russian, Malouda and Cole well.
Replaced on 14 minutes after picking up a knock.
Should have put his side ahead just a few minutes in when he was found one-on-one with Cech. However, he could only miscue his shot inches wide of the post. Picked up a booking for a silly foul on Malouda. Replaced by Sidwell.
Had a couple of good chances in the first half, having his fierce strike from the edge of the area quickly closed down by Mikel, before firing wide with a weak effort moments later.
Almost created a goal for Villa in the early stages after playing in Ireland. Rarely troubled the Chelsea back line following his early ball in to Ireland, though.
Hugged the touchline for Villa to an degree of success. The England man was his side’s best player going forward, swerving his way into the centre of the pitch when in possession.
Sat just in front of the back four for the hosts, but also forayed forward when the opportunity arose. Always looked to break up play in the ‘destroyer’ role. Came so close to winning the game in the last minute, but was stopped in his tracks by Cech.
After his poor touch let him down in the first minute of the game, he was quickly presented with two chances, seeing his close range effort tipped wide before being dispossessed by Ivanovic in the area. Replaced by Delfouneso.
Bailed his team-mates out after a shaky start from the Blues defence, clearing from inside his six-yard box when being closed down by Carew. Shortly after, though, he was the one putting his team-mates in trouble, parrying the ball in front of him when under pressure from Carew and Young. Saved the game in the last minute, stopping Reo-Coker from close range.
Was caught out of position early in the first half which allowed Carew a chance, but he quickly redeemed himself, blocking a shot on target from the edge of the area. Rattled the post with a powerful header from close range.
Often caught out playing more centrally, allowing Young and Warnock limited success down the left. Replaced by Bosingwa.
Has his name booed as the teams were read out before the game, and he was once again the subject of abuse from Villa supporters when he slipped over when trying to dispossess Carew. Picked up a booking for a trip on Ashley Young on the halfway line.
Looked to get forward down the left as always for the Blues. Failed to combine with Zhirkov or Malouda, however. Stayed solid defensively as you would expect.
After a quiet opening period, Malouda burst into life in the first minute of the second half. The Frenchman stole in down the left-hand side of the Villa area before causing chaos with his cut back, before seeing his 25-yard strike saved by Friedel.
J. Obi Mikel
Rescued his side after 20 minutes after blocking a goal-bound Petrov effort from the edge of the area. Solid display in defensive midfield.
Picked up a booking for a silly foul in the first half. Not a vintage Essien performance, failing to stamp his mark on the game.
Replaced by Zhirkov at half-time after an unspectacular showing. The youngster is yet to live up to his potential in the first team, but will be given further opportunities to impress in the future.
Although playing on the left of Chelsea’s three-man midfield, Ramires was singled out a couple of times by Ancelotti for not tracking Warnock’s runs forward from left-back, and also gave the ball away far too cheaply in the build up to a Carew chance. Replaced by McEachran.
Had a first-half snapshot deflected over the crossbar before earning ironic cheers around the stadium for ballooning his left-footed effort miles wide. Had a chance in the 89th minute to seal the win but could only direct his effort onto the bar from close range.
- 22 B. Guzan
- 30 E. Lichaj
Was surprisingly given the nod ahead of Carlos Cuellar to replace the injured Dunne early on. Was alert enough to clear an inviting Malouda cross but could only nudge the ball away from Anelka, still leaving his side in danger, but Friedel swept up. Was almost the hero with a header against the post late in the match.
- 24 Carlos Cuéllar
- 25 B. Bannan
On for Ireland late on in the game.
Replaced Carew in the second half. Struggled to get involved.
- 22 R. Turnbull
- 43 J. Bruma
Second half substitute for Ferreira. Made his first Chelsea appearance for a year, and was rarely tested.
Replaced Ramires. Looked to create all the time, but picked up a dubious booking.
Replaced Kakuta at half-time, instantly making an impact by skipping past Beye with ease down the left wing.
- J. Mellis
- 45 F. Borini