Football Features

Aston Villa 1-3 Chelsea player ratings: Lukaku drags Blues back into Premier League title race

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 19:50, 26 December 2021

In a dramatic night of football, Chelsea came from a goal down to beat Aston Villa 1-3 and fire themselves back into the Premier League title race.


Here’s how the players rated at Villa Park:

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Aston Villa

Emi Martinez – 6 – A couple of mega saves but could do nothing about Chelsea’s goals.

Matty Cash – 4 – Drove Villa forward and created 3 chances, but his performance will always be marred by his needlessly stupid tackle to concede a penalty and hand a Chelsea side short on confidence an easy and immediate route back into the match.

Ezri Konsa – 6 – Was having a fairly excellent evening of football with 5 clearances and 4 tackles until a foolish tackle in stoppage time to concede a penalty and dock his rating.

Tyrone Mings – 5 – Was fine in the first-half but was completely incapable of handling Romelu Lukaku. Lost the Belgian for his killer go-ahead goal and was nowhere to be seen as everyone else raced back to cover Lukaku in stoppage time.

Matt Targett – 6 – Was a constant outlet on the left, sending in superb crosses including the one that led to the Reece James own goal. However he was pounded into mincemeat by Lukaku ahead of Chelsea’s third goal, getting thoroughly humiliated.

Douglas Luiz – 7 – A metronomic display at the heart of midfield. Out Jorginho’d Jorginho and kept Villa moving.

Morgan Sanson – 7 – Dynami and driven. 5/6 take-ons completed and when he started moving, Chelsea struggled to stop him.

Jacob Ramsey – 7 – Full of running and tackling. Showed no fear in driving the ball through Chelsea.

Emi Buendia – 4 – Underwhelming.

Ollie Watkins – 6 – Really electric with his pace and movement but was just a little bit short of quality to make the final difference.

Danny Ings – 4 – Poor.


Bertrand Traoré (for Ings 73′) – 6 – Added a lot of thrust but wasn’t sharp enough.

Carni Chukwuemeka (for Buendia 74′) – 5 – Looked bright.

Anwar El-Ghazi (for Sanson 77′) – 5 – Had some shots from range but didn’t do much.

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Edouard Mendy – 7 – Caught flat-footed for Villa’s goal but the deflection was unlucky. Kept goal superbly besides that including a couple of great moments of sweeper keeping.

Trevoh Chalobah – 4 – Couldn’t handle Watkins in transition, his fitness issues were evident. Subbed off at half-time.

Thiago Silva – 6 – Looked confident and in control until he left with an injury.

Antonio Rudiger – 7 – Solid in the tackle, calm at the back. Classic Rudiger.

Reece James – 7 – Really unlucky to score an admittedly spectacular own goal. Nevertheless made an impressive 5 interceptions and 3 clearances, moving effortlessly to play centre-back.

N’Golo Kanté – 4 – Nowhere near his usual self. Covid has really done a number on the World Cup winner.

Jorginho – 8 – Two penalties, two unerring finishes against a dominant goalkeeper, two goals. A historic and game-changing display from Chelsea’s Italian midfielder.

Marcos Alonso – 6 – Was fine. Defended nicely.

Mason Mount – 6 – Shocking miss after rounding Martinez, but his movement was bright and he linked play well.

Christian Pulisic – 6 – Had precious little impact up-front but was more useful as a wing-back.

Callum Hudson-Odoi – 8 – A very direct display. Won Chelsea the game-changing penalty and sent in the beauty of a cross that Lukaku scored from. Very impressive.


Romelu Lukaku (for Chalobah 46′) – 8 – Changed the game with his presence, instantly giving Chelsea a reference in attack. Gave his side the lead with a deliciously deft header following some quite simply superhuman movement. In stoppage time he ran the entire Villa defence ragged to win the Blues a game-killing penalty. This was a world-class statement of intent from a world-class striker.

Andreas Christensen (for T-Silva 52′) – 6 – Came on and was solid, keeping things together at the back.

Mateo Kovacic (for Kanté 63′) – 6 – Gave the midfield a bit more pep. A beautiful bit of play almost saw Hudson-Odoi score.