Chelsea were held to a goalless draw against Aston Villa in the FA Cup, so it goes to a replay. The Blues dominated the game but just couldn’t score, so Villa should be the happier side after the result. Chelsea were made to survive a late onslaught, but they had enough chances earlier on to win the match.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men knocked on the door countless times on Friday night but missed good opportunities. They then had to hold on as Villa came close to winning at the Bridge. The two sides will now play again at Villa Park, but Chelsea don’t know the date or time yet.
Chelsea couldn’t take their chances early on
Villa had an early opportunity when Youri Tielemans’ header forced a save from Djordje Petrovic. The visitors would take the lead from the corner that followed, but it was disallowed for offside.
Moussa Diaby collected from a short corner and curled an effort near the far post that was deflected to Douglas Luiz. Luiz finished from close range but was offside when the ball was originally played, so the goal didn’t stand.
Chelsea turned it on after the VAR scare, with Cole Palmer picking out Noni Madueke for a one-on-one. His effort was tame and easily saved by Emi Martinez, however. Cole Palmer then had a low drive from distance that Martinez was equal to, after Villa gave the ball away.
Palmer should have given Chelsea the lead after latching onto a bad back pass, but his shot was saved. Sterling picked out Palmer on the left who cut the ball back for a tap-in, but no player reached it.
Villa put up a late fight
Things changed in the second half with Villa posing more of a threat. A mistake at the back led to Ollie Watkins lashing a fierce effort on goal, but Petrovic parried it away. Chelsea held firm and didn’t concede, so now they’ll have to win at Villa Park.
Pochettino will be frustrated at the missed opportunities, as his side scored six goals just days ago. Chelsea may have been lethargic from their recent League Cup excursions, as Villa had a longer break period.