This was an entertaining Boxing Day encounter, with Villa putting in a decent display in the first half and leading until a first half penalty levelled matters.
The second half was a reversal however, with visitors Chelsea working through the gears and £97m substitute Lukaku proving the difference once introduced.
There were positives to take, despite the result, but isolating Steven Gerrard will likely reflect on a poor defensive performance and an overally disappointing display in the second 45.
Booked prior to Jorginho’s 1st penalty. Unlucky not to save the second spot kick. Made a good low save to deny Hudson-Odoi. Fortunate to see Mason Mount fire wide, having been rounded in the second half after rushing out.
Struggled throughout but worked tirelessly. Cross led to Reece-James owngoal. Guilty of wastefulness when in advanced positions with a number of poor deliveries that should’ve produced more. Shakey in the second half. Notably a missplaced unforced error to release visitors to attack and was unable to keep pace with Lukaku prior to Chelsea’s second penalty.
Another to struggle across 90 minutes. Guilty of a clumsy challenge to gift Jorginho a penalty after Villa had taken a deserved lead. Almost headed into his own net in the second half. Tried hard and visibly appeared to be looking to make amends, but as with Targett, could have delivered more when well placed in advanced positions.
Good first half display, but will be remembered as a performance marred by Lukaku’s second half introduction. The England international failed to recognise the impending danger as the Belgian glanced home Chelsea’s second. Mings was a mere spectator to the goal and was bullied by Lukaku’s presence for the remainder.
At least two quality interceptions of note and the calmest of Villa’s backline. Incapable of dealing with Lukaku and found himself with no option other than to foul the Chelsea man for the second penalty when through on goal.
A very composed display in the middle of the park, with the first half performance a highlight. Visibly disgruntled with the lack of movement ahead of him on occasion and urging team-mates to move the ball quicker. Influence faded in the second 45.
Clearly a capable and quality footballer lurks within Buendia, but struggled to impose himself upon the game. Some neat touches and there were a handful of smart attempted balls that perhaps on another day come off. Exhausted by midway through the second 45 and withdrawn.
Quietly impressive without being spectaculor, but promising from the Frenchman. Calm and composed on the ball and always showing on his first start of the campaign. Similarly to Buendia, tired quickly as the second half progressed and was subbed.
Lively and always looking to drive forward, Ramsey was often the figure carrying the ball into dangerous areas. Another promising display from a player flourishing under Gerrard.
A number of good moments of movement, but limited impact upon the game. Can consider himself unlucky to see Buendia’s through balls intercepted or Watkins opting to go alone when better placed.
Excellent hold up play, but this contrasted with a number of poor decisions when advancing on goal. Not on the same wavelength as Ings, which continues to put a question-mark against any partnership maturing.