Ollie Watkins and John McGinn were both on the scoresheet as Aston Villa defeated Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to return the Blues to their former struggles and the bottom half of the table for the first time since the season began.
After a series of poor runs across all competitions since October last year, Graham Potter’s Chelsea looked to be on a recovery path after going undefeated in March with three wins and a draw in four matches across all competitions.
Meanwhile, that was not the case in West London on Saturday evening as two goals scored in each half by Watkins and McGinn condemned the Blues to a defeat right in their backyard.
Chelsea had 70 per cent ball possession in the first half, but that did not stop them from finishing the half one-goal down to Aston Villa. In the 17th minute, Villa almost took the lead from McGinn with the Scottish’s effort beating Kepa Arrizabalaga but struck the bar for a goal kick.
Then a minute later, Aston Villa finally broke the deadlock through Watkins. Marc Cucurella headed Douglaz Luiz’s long-range cross right into Watkins’ leg, and the Englishman went clear against Kepa and chipped the ball over the goalkeeper as it slowly made its way into the open net.
In the 32nd minute, Mykhailo Mudryk was given a massive opportunity by Mateo Kovacic with the Ukrainian winger going one-on-one with Emiliano Martinez, but the Argentine goalkeeper comfortably saved the ball.
Then three minutes later, Ben Chilwell’s shot from close range also struck the post as the first half ended on a disappointing note for the Blues.
In the 56th minute, McGinn was finally able to find the back of the net after he was unlucky with his first-half attempt that struck the post. The Scottish fired a thunderbolt from yards away to double the lead for Aston Villa.
It was McGinn’s first goal in 50 matches across all competitions for Aston Villa.
Chelsea’s final attempt in search of a consolation in the match came right on the 90th-minute mark from substitute Christian Pulisic but was parried to a corner by Martinez as Aston Villa picked all three points.
The win, which was the first for Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in over a decade, catapulted Villa to 9th in the league while Chelsea, who are yet to pick a point whenever they trail at halftime this season, slipped to 11th.