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May 11, 2013
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: L. Mason
• Attendance: 42084
C. Benteke 15'
F. Lampard 61', 88'
90' + 9'
Full-time at Villa Park as Chelsea steal a late win thanks to Frank Lampard, who simultaneously became the club's record goal-scorer. The win means Benitez's side stay in third and effectively confirm their place in the Champions League for next season. Meanwhile, Villa stay on 40 points, keeping them embroiled in the relegation battle for at least another week.
90' + 8'
However, the second corner also comes to nothing as Branislav Ivanovic is almost hit by a bottle thrown from the stands.
90' + 7'
Very late pressure from Villa. They win a corner which is cleared as far as Delph. Eventually they win another.
90' + 7'
Sylla does well to hold off Luiz before threading a pass through to Wiemann. The Austrian fools Cole, leaving on the floor, but his cross is so poor as it is cleared by the first man.
90' + 6'
Luiz strikes the ball towards goal, but it goes comfortably over the bar.
90' + 5'
Fernando Torres wins a free kick for Chelsea as Lichaj clatters into him, about 30 yards from Guzan's goal. Luiz looks set to take this one as well.
90' + 4'
That's a blow for Chelsea. In that previous attack Hazard appears to have injured his hamstring. That will surely mean he is a doubt for the Europa League final on Wednesday.
90' + 3'
Hazard bursts round the outside of Lichaj and gets into the area down the left, but the American catches up to him and concedes a corner.
90' + 1'
Seven minutes of stoppage time have been awarded.
What a big goal that could be as Chelsea all but secure Champions League football, while it means Villa are still in trouble near the bottom.
Assist Eden Hazard
Goal Frank Lampard
GOAL!!! Chelsea take the lead! Lovely move by the visitors as Hazard plays a brilliant one-two with Cole and gets into the area before squaring across the face of goal for Lampard to tap in from three yards out. Not only does that give them the lead, but Lampard also becomes the club's record goal-scorer.
Great effort from Westwood as he hits a thunderous volley towards goal, but Cech punches it away.
Weimann involved down the right as Lichaj plays the ball behind Cole, but the forward's cross is cleared fairly easily.
Yellow Card Frank Lampard
Good spell of play for Villa as they have numerous shots blocked around the Chelsea area, while an Agbonlahor header nearly drops kindly for Sylla.
Luiz fires his free kick at goal, but Guzan slaps it away. The ball moved a lot there.
Chelsea get another free kick within 30 yards from goal. This time it was Hazard on the run as Lichaj brought him down. Luiz looks more interested in this one.
Mata steps up to the free kick after Luiz took a long, hard look at it. The Spaniard's curling strike flashes just wide of Guzan's left-hand post. He wasn't worried about it, however.
Lovely play by Mata as he plays a one-two with Lampard and then puts the ball through an opponent's legs. Eventually he is fouled about 25 yards from goal.
After much attention from medical staff, Terry is taken off on a stretcher, much to the amusement of Villa fans who continuously chant "we all hate Terry".
Significant break in play here as Terry is in need of medical assistance. The defender was injured by Ron Vlaar as he took him out with a diving header to clear the ball.
Replays show that Ba's effort may have crept over the goal line by a matter of centimetres, but the officials were never going to spot it. The ball also appeared to his Baker's hand following Cahill's shot.
What a chance for Chelsea! Lampard plays a corner in and Cahill gets a shot away after bringing it down on his chest. The ball gets through a number of players, but Sylla stops it on the line. Ba is quick to react and get a foot in, but Westwood is there to clear the ball from the line.
You have to say, Villa's reaction to that sending off and the goal has improved greatly. They now have another chance to attack as Agbonlahor and Bennet link down the left. The left-back ends up with possession and shapes to cross in order to create more space. However, he completely wastes a great situation to cross.
Weimann comes in from the right and plays the ball into the danger area. Delph gets contact with his delivery, but his effort goes just past the post.
The corner goes into the Chelsea area, but Benitez's side get it away.
Good play by Lichaj as he charges forward to offer support down the right. The ball comes out to the American who crosses into the area. Cole sticks a foot out, deflecting the ball out of Petr Cech's reach and luckily on to the top of the goal, rather than in the goal. Nevertheless, it's a corner for Villa.
Delph combines well with Sylla towards the left. He then holds off Lampard before trying to squeeze between the Chelsea goal-scorer and Azpilicueta, but he is shut out effectively.
What a cruel few minutes for Villa. First Benteke receives his marching orders, and then almost immediately Chelsea equalise. Only one team looks like winning this now, and they aren't managed by Paul Lambert.
Assist Eden Hazard
Goal Frank Lampard
GOAL!! Frank Lampard equalises, and in more ways than one! Hazard comes inside from the right and squares to Lampard. The midfielder takes the ball into a central position and shoots with his left foot, finding the top corner. That goal also equalled Chelsea's all-time scoring record as he is now on 202 with Bobby Tambling.
Yellow/Red Christian Benteke
RED CARD FOR BENTEKE! The Belgian should have gone for an elbow on Azpilicueta in the first half, but the referee does sent him off this time. The striker tried to bring a long ball down ahead of Terry and his high foot appeared to brush the chest and/or stomach of the defender, who in turn squealed in pain. Doesn't look too bad now, though!
Another shot from Villa, this time courtesy of Delph, but this strike is by far the worst of the second half. That was a waste.
Agbonlahor again gets the ball down the left. Instead of shooting, this time he passes the ball inside to Bennett, inviting the left-back to shoot, but a deflection sees his strike go just wide of the top far corner.
Chance for Agbonlahor as he knocks the ball past Azpilicueta and gets to it, allowing him to get a shot away, but his left-footed effort goes well wide of the goal.
Good move by Villas as Benteke beats Cahill and holds him off with ease before poking the ball into the area for Weimann. He cuts inside and on to his left foot, but he completely misses the ball when he tries to shoot. In the end Mata clears as far as Sylla and the midfielder smashes a shot over the bar.
Villa have started the second half very brightly. So far they have had more of the ball and they are keeping Chelsea pegged back in their own half.
True to form in this match, the corner comes to nothing as Villa try to play it short and they are caught offside.
Villa spring a counterattack as Delph marches forward through the middle. He passes to Agbonlahor on his left, and the forward tries to beat Cahill before shooting with his left foot, but the England defender deflects it behind for a corner.
At the break David Luiz came on for Victor Moses, while the general consensus from you guys on Twitter is that this match is far from over. Let's see!
The match is back underway for the second half.
So, with Chelsea not only a goal down, but also a man down, how do you rate their chances for this match? Will the red card prove crucial, or can Benitez's side improve without Ramires? Tweet me your thought @RyanRyanBenson.
45' + 2'
Half-time at Villa Park as the hosts take a 1-0 lead into the break thanks to Benteke's brilliant opener. Villa have looked dangerous on the few occasions they have ventured forward, but at the back they have been solid, with Chelsea creating few chances considering their dominance in possession. Ramires' late red card has made things even more difficult, but many will argue Benteke should have gone a few minutes earlier.
RED CARD FOR RAMIRES! The Brazilian has been walking a tightrope after being booked early on, and since then he has committed a number of fouls. This time he goes in with a high foot on Agbonlahor and the referee was straight to his pocket. That's his Premier League season ended.
Yellow Card John Terry
Sylla muscles Ramires off the ball just inside the Chelsea half and he proceeds to surge towards the visitors' goal. Terry comes flying across and catches the Frenchman. The crowd are calling for a red card, but he is given only a yellow.
More penalty claims from Villa after a corner, but again the referee continues the play.
Confusion as the ball appears to go out of play down the right for Chelsea. However, Azpilicueta continues playing much to the bemusement of the Villa bench. Eventually the ball comes to Lampard on the edge of the box. He turns well before shooting, but Nathan Baker gets his body in the way.
Yellow Card Christian Benteke
Azpilicueta feels the full force of Benteke as the Belgian's elbow catches him in the face. The Villa star is given a yellow card, but the replays suggest it could have been more serious for him.
Villa get out of their own half for a few seconds as Eric Lichaj crosses from the right. His centre goes all the way through to Weimann on the left, who tries to beat Cesar Azpilicueta by cutting inside before crossing, but the Spaniard block's the delivery.
Hazard & Co. are producing plenty of fancy flicks and tricks in the Villa half, but they aren't amounting to anything.
The Chelsea corner comes to nothing as Villa clear it as far as Benteke, but he is unable to get the ball under control, and back come Benitez's side.
Lampard hammers a powerful effort straight through the Villa wall and it skips up off the surface in front of Guzan, but he does enough to tip it onto the post before conceding a corner.
Clumsy defending by Agbonlahor as Hazard's silky footwork lures him into making a foul about 25 yards from goal.
Tentative shouts for a penalty from Villa fans and a few of their players as Westwood slices a brilliant volleyed pass over Cahill to Weimann in the area. The Austrian subsequently tries to put it back into the danger area and Lampard gets a block on his cross, but the ball may have struck his arm.
The hosts are battling very well in the midfield and defending excellently at the back, but their passing to the front men has not been good enough.
Important save by Brad Guzan as Ba is played into the area and gets a shot away at point-blank range, but the goalkeeper rushes out and blocks the striker's effort.
Another attack begins to blossom for Villa as Agbonlahor cuts in from the right, beating his man before trying to combine with Benteke, but the Belgian felt he was fouled by Frank Lampard.
What a noise. Villa fans greet the 19th minute with huge applause for Stiliyan Petrov who of course retired from football during the week due to his on going battle with leukemia.
Juan Mata takes a free kick from deep on the right, but it is easily knocked away again by the hosts. They are defending comfortably so far.
Villa back on the attack immediately as Delph is invited forward and he strikes from 25 yards, but his effort flies just over the bar. Good try nonetheless.
Yellow Card Ramires
Benteke involved again as he brings the ball down and is clattered by Ramires. Yellow card for the Brazilian.
Assist Yacouba Sylla
Goal Christian Benteke
GOAL!!! Aston Villa lead the European champions at Villa Park! Benteke takes the ball in the centre and peels off to the left. With the ball at his feet he runs at Gary Cahill, strolls past him and slots a shot into the bottom corner with his left foot.
Villa steal possession and Fabian Delph looks to Joe Bennett to his left. The full-back marches forward and crosses from fairly deep. It misses Weimann on the edge of the area and Ashley Cole brings the ball away.
Rafa Benitez's side seeing plenty of the ball, but Villa are doing a good job of holding firm at the back thus far.
Villa gets forward through the centre and eventually the ball comes to Weimann on the right side of the Chelsea penalty area, but his attempted cross is pretty dreadful as Terry hooks it away.
Chelsea are enjoying more of the possession in these early stages. Villa clear momentarily after an Eden Hazard cross, but Sylla's poor control gives the ball straight back to the visitors.
Chelsea think they have a good chance as Ramires plays a clever ball over the Villa defence, but Victor Moses is offside before Ba puts a shot over the bar.
Sylla plays a good through ball down the right for Agbonlahor. He tries to trick his way past John Terry, but the Chelsea captain gets his body in the way and wins a goal kick.
Yellow Card Nathan Baker
Benteke gets the ball on the left. He plays a pass into the area which is flicked to Gabriel Agbonlahor by Andreas Weimann. The English forward looks to Yacouba Sylla to his right, but his cross is too heavy for Ashley Westwood.
Chelsea try to get the ball moving down the right, but Demba Ba backheels it straight out of play.
We're off at Villa Park.
Meanwhile, in stark contrast to Torres, Christian Benteke has had no problem finding the net in the league, scoring 13 Premier League goals since the turn of the year - more than anyone else.
That 8-0 win was also the last time Fernando Torres scored in the Premier League.
More cause for concern for Paul Lambert's men comes in the fact that Chelsea inflicted Aston Villa’s biggest ever Premier League defeat when the two teams met just before Christmas, cantering to an 8-0 win.
However, Aston Villa's home record recently has been disappointing; they have won a meagre three times over their last 11 home matches in the league, losing six and drawing two.
Chelsea have won on two of their last four Premier League trips to Villa Park, dropping points with a draw and a defeat in the other two.
And Chelsea's team today is: Cech; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Moses, Mata, Hazard; Ba. SUBS: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Luiz, Torres, Oscar, Benayoun, Ake.
Let's get straight into the team news now, with Villa's matchday squad: Guzan; Lichaj, Vlaar, Baker, Bennett; Westwood, Delph, Sylla; Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke. SUBS: Given, Holman, Williams, Gardner, Bent, Bowery, N'Zogbia, Bannan.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE play-by-play of the Premier League meeting between Aston Villa and Chelsea. My name is Ryan Benson and I shall be describing the action to you today. Feel free to tweet your score predictions to @RyanRyanBenson.
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