Chelsea ended their Boxing Day hoodoo to come from behind to seal a 3-1 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday evening.
Thomas Tuchel’s side got back to winning ways in the league after two consecutive draws to close the gap to league leaders Manchester City to six points.
The visitors went behind in the 28th minute when Matt Targett’s cross deflected off of Reece James and looped over Edouard Mendy to give the hosts a deserved lead in the first half.
But six minutes later and Chelsea struck level. Callum Hudson-Odoi was brought down in the box and Jorginho won the psychological battle to send Emiliano Martinez the wrong way.
Romelu Lukaku was introduced at half time as he made his return following Covid-19 self-isolation and he returned with a bang. 11 minutes into the second half and he met Hudson-Odoi’s cross to guide his header into the bottom corner to turn the game around to give Chelsea the lead for the first time.
Tuchel will be pleased to see the Belgian make an instant impact which saw the Blues hold on at the end. And in stoppage time, it was game set and match. Lukaku was fouled by Konsa in the box and Jorginho bagged his second from the spot to become the first player in Premier League history to score 10 penalties in a single calendar year to complete a 3-1 win.
Edouard Mendy – 6.5/10
Question marks will go over Mendy’s role in the first goal, with the goalkeeper getting a hand to Reece James’ deflection. However, he redeemed himself as he played a proactive role at the back, sweeping up on several occasions to prevent Aston Villa’s counter attacks.
Trevoh Chalobah – 7/10
Playing well in a fantastic battle against Ollie Watkins, Chalobah was taken off at the half as the Blues went more attacking. The defender was playing well until his substitution, stopping the Villa counter attacks well in the first period.
Thiago Silva – 8/10
Another fantastic performance from the Brazilian before being replaced early in the second-half. The defender showed his class with neat passing and fantastic positioning to be in the right place at the right time for the Blues.
Antonio Rudiger – 7/10
The German rarely puts a foot wrong nowadays and once again put in a solid performance for the Blues. Villa’s attacks down the right were limited by Rudiger, who also contributed on the counter attacks, playing the ball out from the back on several occasions.
Reece James – 5.5/10
Possible James’ worst performance in a Chelsea shirt, at least this season. The first-half saw the defender score an unfortunate own goal but all of Aston Villa’s attacks came down their left-hand side. The second-half saw James put into the back three, where he improved and didn’t do much wrong aside from blasting a free-kick miles over the bar.
N’Golo Kante – 7/10
It is clear that Chelsea are much worse off without their midfield man Kante, who settled into the match. The French international was on hand to intercept and break down the Aston Villa attack on several occasions before being replaced.
Jorginho – 8/10
Cool and calm. Another brilliant performance capped off by not one but two fantastic penalties despite Emiliano Martinez’s attempts to put him off. The captain kept focused and led his team to an important victory.
Marcos Alonso – 6.5/10
A better performance from the Spaniard, who was involved often in the Chelsea attack. Whilst it is clear that Chelsea are missing Ben Chilwell, Alonso is proving that he can fill in when needed.