Stamford Bridge Stalemate – 4th Round Replay For Villa and Chelsea

Youri Tielemans Aston Villa Chelsea Villa Park Stamford bridge

This was no classic that’s for sure, but was a game that ebbed and flowed in phases, but all but a handful of moments will be recalled in a hurry. Villa will once again be thankful for having World Cup winner Emi Martinez between the sticks, with the Argentine showing his worth on more than one occasion. He was outstanding again.

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A first half goal by Douglas Luiz was chalked off for handball, but the hosts arguably had the better of the first period. The second half was an improvement from Villa, but few could deny we are anywhere near the peak performances that produced victories over Man City & Arsenal. Still, we carried a threat and might even have nicked it at the death. It was a sloppy, 2nd gear display in all honesty.

Goalless draws are a rarity for Emery sides, but this was also a tricky fixture against a team unbeaten in their last ten at home. As pointed out in our preview, this Pochettino side is much improved of late, even nudging ahead of Villa in the form table.

Some observations? Lenglet and Diaby are really struggling for form. It’s a head-scratcher, particularly for Diaby given his impressive early season displays, with the Frenchman looking low on confidence.

There were good displays from Kamara and Konsa, with much-needed game time for Tielemans after his recent layoff which interrupted his progress since arriving from Leicester. Cash was lively and Zaniolo did well after coming on. We do look increasingly light in terms of squad options and one can only wonder quite how the season might pan out if we have to thrust a youthful bench into the fray routinely.

Villa will certainly need to up the tempo against Newcastle and to rediscover some of the December momentum. We are also crying out for the return of Pau Torres; the Spaniard is a huge miss. The main thing, despite this lacklustre 90 minutes, is that we remain in the draw, and who wouldn’t fancy us at Villa Park in the replay?

Man Of The Match: Emi Martinez

The FA Cup 4th Round Replay will be at Villa Park, and whilst to be confirmed, it’s expected to be on the 7th of February.

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