Aston Villa 0 – 4 Chelsea: Match Review & Player Ratings
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on April 2, 2016
Another poor weekend for Aston Villa, but a good one for Chelsea. Fans and pundits were confident the Blues would come away with the 3 points with the dreadful campaign Aston Villa are enduring. Whilst it’s not a defining or season-changing win for Chelsea, it is one that will make the supporters happy and perhaps generate some momentum.
The starting XI was fairly surprising, with Matt Miazga making his full debut following his £3.5 million move from New York Red Bulls in January, as well as Remy being chosen over Radamel Falcao, who was declared fully fit after recovering from continuous injuries. Loftus-Cheek was brought back into the side for his first premier league start in months to play in the number 10 role which raised some eyebrows from fans and pundits, however their doubts swiftly vanished after the 20 year old put in a fantastic performance, even getting on the score sheet.
Man of the match went to Pedro, who had a solid performance down the right side of the pitch recording an 89% pass accuracy, completing 4 take-ons and of course scoring 2 goals; taking his tally to 7 this season. (Only Diego Costa has more for Chelsea).
Talk of the game was, of course, debutant Alexandre Pato. A huge roar from the away Blues’ fans as well as their explosion of excitement on social media came when the Brazilian forward came on as a substitution for Loic Remy who went off with yet another injury. It’s a popular opinion that Pato’s first game in England was a success; challenging defenders, linking play and creating chances… it’s undeniable he had a great game, as if he was playing to secure a permanent move and Chelsea fans are hoping that’s not the last they’ve seen of him.
On to the player ratings:
- Courtois – 6.5: Fairly little to do between the sticks, easy saves but made himself known by collecting any loose balls and crosses, however once again he’s let down by his clearances that caused his defenders some problems and gave away a couple potential chances to the opposition.
- Azpilicueta – 7: Set up the first goal with a pinpoint cross to Loftus-Cheek. Didn’t have a busy game but was often to high up the pitch with low concentration or incentive to get back which put pressure on Matt Miazga to deal with the attack.
- Miazga – 8: A Solid debut from the American. Didn’t have a lot to do but really showed he can handle the pace and strength of the Premier League when needed and limited any sort of threat that came at him.
- Ivanovic – 7: Like the rest of the defence he had an easy day, did well with what he could.
- Baba – 6: Unfortunately the busiest side of the defence was on Baba’s side (a possible tactic by Aston Villa) Baba frequently gave the ball away going forward, and was poor in the tackling department. (A 33% success rate).
- Fàbregas – 7: A better first half, however played his usual game controlling the game and setting play from deep with some killer passes.
- Mikel – 7.5: A new man under Hiddink some might say, dropped off recently but definitely put out a great performance today. Controlled from midfield, cut out players with tight marking and a bit of technical magic led to the first goal.
- Pedro – 8.5: Man of the match. 2 goals, excellent passing and a challenge for Aston Villa’s defenders, a performance he needs to build on and find consistency.
- Loftus-Cheek – 8: Proved people wrong who says he lacks any talent, a weak opposition but for a young man there’s no easy games in the Premier League, a great performance going forward with confidence on and off the ball. Scored his first Premier League goal with a great run into the box.
- Kenedy – 6: A sense of over confidence from young Kenedy, dispossessed a few times and careless passes, rightfully replaced at half time.
- Remy – N/A: Unfortunately injured early on so not much can be said about his performance.
- Pato – 7.5: An immediate impact off the bench, a real hunger to play with take ons and play making; the Brazilian’s game really suggests he wants a permanent move to London.
- Oscar – 7: Came on the second half and was a real impact on the game, registered an assist as well as 2 key passes and constantly tested the defenders with cutting passes.
- Clarke-Salter – N/A: A great face to see in the team, a very highly rated youngster amongst Chelsea Football Club. However only played 15 minutes so not much to comment on.
// Liam, @Azpily