Ben Chilwell was one of the few positives for Chelsea while Jorginho and Andreas Christensen struggled as the Blues were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa.
The game was off to a bright start as Jack Grealish and Christian Pulisic both had chances to score at either end. Both teams continued to carve out decent openings, but it was Chelsea who took the lead at Stamford Bridge in the 34th minute as Olivier Giroud headed in a Ben Chilwell cross.
Five minutes into the second half, Aston Villa were back on level terms as Anwar El Ghazi ghosted in at the back post to turn home Matty Cash’s cross.
Both teams had the chance to take the lead as John McGinn struck the woodwork and Jacob Ramsey also went close for the visitors, while Chilwell saw a brilliant volleyed effort fly whiskers away for the hosts after Cesar Azpilicueta had a goal ruled out for offside.
The result meant Frank Lampard’s side have now won just one of their last five Premier League matches. And here’s how we rated the performances of the Chelsea stars on the night.
Edouard Mendy: 5/10
Made a good early stop to keep Jack Grealish but let El Ghazi’s effort squeeze through between his legs while he was beaten all ends up by McGinn’s effort but was saved by the woodwork. Had some nervy moments when on the ball as well. Has looked a tad shaky of late after a steady start to life at Chelsea.
Edouard Mendy has kept just one Premier League clean sheet in December:
✓ West Ham
✘ Aston Villa
And he didn't have to make a save in the game that he did. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/ReHExkc44V
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 28, 2020
Cesar Azpilicueta: 5/10
Stepping into the starting XI in place of Reece James, the Chelsea skipper had a difficult outing with Grealish and El Ghazi doubling up on his flank. Got dragged out of position, leaving the latter unmarked for the equalising goal. Got forward well in the second half, delivered a couple of decent crosses and had a goal chalked off for offside.
Andreas Christensen: 5/10
Making his first Premier League start since September, Christensen endured a night to forget against Aston Villa. Lost out to Grealish in the moment leading up to the equaliser and was rolling on the ground in pain when the visitors scored. Got up and carried on, but hardly looked comfortable. Needs to be stronger in his duels.
Antonio Rudiger: 6/10
Another player who was given a rare starting opportunity, Rudiger had an okay game. Was strong in the air to deal with crosses that Villa hit into the box and did fairly well against the dangerous Ollie Watkins. Made two interceptions, six clearances and misplaced just nine passes.
Ben Chilwell: 7/10
The best Chelsea player at Stamford Bridge on the night, Chilwell was a constant outlet down the left flank and delivered some teasing crosses throughout. Got the assist for Giroud’s opener and almost won it for Chelsea with a sensational volleyed effort late in the game.
N’Golo Kante: 6.5/10
🇫🇷 N'Golo Kante vs Aston Villa:
90 minutes played
81.5% pass accuracy
3 key passes
3/5 long balls completed
1 shot on target
100% dribble completion [2/2]
7/12 ground duels won
5 tackles#CHEAVL | #CFC | @ChelseaFC pic.twitter.com/l0dOlcQpnO
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) December 28, 2020
Moved to the No. 8 role, the Frenchman played with his typical hustle. However, he wasn’t quite at his best and allowed his Aston Villa counterparts to get the better of him on a few occasions. Should have reacted to El Ghazi’s run leading up to the equaliser, but stood and watched the Villa man score.
Did win five tackles and made three interceptions, while he also playing three key passes. Had a couple of efforts from distance in the second half which were saved.
Handed a starting berth over Mateo Kovacic, the Italian international worked hard off the ball but had difficulties dealing with the lively Grealish. Did make five tackles and four interceptions. When in possession, Jorginho was passive with his distribution and slowed things down a bit. Needs to do much better if he is to dictate proceedings from the middle of the park.
Mason Mount: 6.5/10
Mason Mount has created 34 chances. Only 3 players have created more 😳
Unreal baller 🐐🥵 pic.twitter.com/WJCxcSTofr
— Aadam 🥵💙 (@CFCMM19) December 28, 2020
Full of energy and purpose despite having played just two days ago, Mount drove at the Aston Villa defence each time he got on the ball as he used it cleverly and was always on the lookout to carve out chances for his teammates. Played three key passes but influence faded with time as he dropped deeper and deeper. Made one interception and two clearances.
Christian Pulisic: 6.5/10
A lively outing for the USMNT international, who did well to pounce on a poor backpass from Jack Grealish early in the game, but failed to work the goalkeeper. Played a role in the build-up to Giroud’s goal but fired over the bar from close range soon after. Did force Emiliano Martinez into action in the second half with a fine strike. A step in the right direction but needed to be more clinical.
Olivier Giroud: 6.5/10
Back in the lineup in place of Tammy Abraham, Giroud had a quiet start to the game. But sparked the move for the opener with a lovely layoff to Pulisic before getting on the end of Chilwell’s cross and turning it into the net with a fine header. Not involved a great deal from thereon though, before making way for Timo Werner right after he was booked.
Olivier Giroud is Chelsea’s top scorer in all competition this season (9 goals).
An unlikely talisman this season. 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/QxwVOy6h5Z
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 28, 2020
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 6.5/10
Looked lively in the early exchanges although his end product could have been a tad better. Much more improved after the break and appeared the most likely to make things happen for Chelsea. Found Chilwell with a fine cross for the late chance. Finished with two key passes. Could have done a better job tracking back to help Cesar Azpilicueta, though.
Timo Werner: 5/10
On for Giroud in the 71st minute. Played centrally and got into good positions. But, missed another good chance as his goal drought continued.
Kai Havertz: 6/10
Replaced Jorginho for the final twenty minutes or so. Looked bright and tried to make things happen, but could not help find the winner.