The 1-0 win for Aston Villa against Chelsea might turn out to be one of the most important results in the Premier League championship race, with Fabian Delph scoring a cheeky winner and both Willian and Ramires not finishing the match, getting sent off along with their manager, Jose Mourinho.
And if Mourinho still had some grounds to complain about the first red card – a very soft second yellow card to Willian in the 68th minute for bringing down Delph as the two were contesting for a ball, he had nothing to argue about later on. Out of frustration, Ramires simply made a brutal stomp on Karim El Ahmadi, while Mourinho, already on edge, went into the pitch to tell Chris Foy what he thinks about him.
It was a bad match from Chelsea that struggled in creating good opportunitites. Aston Villa weren’t much better, leaving Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann too alone to face off against the fortified Chelsea defense, but an excellent performance from Delph, El Ahmadi and Ashley Westwood in the middle of the pitch against bigger and more expensive name was enough to get a deserved draw for the hosts.
The big game changer was the Willian sending off, with Paul Lambert reacting quickly and throwing in Marc Albrighton instead of Gabriel Agbonlahor, not left with too much energy after a lot of effort for the first 75 minutes. An excellent exchange of passes between the relentless Delph and Albrighton found Delph in the middle of the penalty area, using a cheeky heel instead of a “regular” shot to trick Petr Cech and the Chelsea defense and score the huge winner, distancing Villa further away from the bottom three and making things very complicated for Chelsea at the top of the table.
Delph had a chance minutes later to finish the match but his shot was stopped by Cech in the one on one and bounced off the crossbar instead of dropping in the net. Ramires, in a final attempt to get out a Chelsea attack, was blocked by an El Ahmadi tackle, and the Brazilian continued his frustrating evening with a disgraceful stomp, which will earn him more than one match away from the pitch.
Chelsea remain at the top of the table, but lose any sort of advantage they had over Manchester City, while both Liverpool and Arsenal have a big morale boost going into their respective matches.