Super Frank Lampard
As part of our Premier League snap-shots feature, Sky Sports looks back at Chelsea's 2-1 win at Aston Villa.
Last Updated: 11/05/13 5:34pm
Aston Villa and Chelsea, with eyes on either end of the Premier League table, served up a scintillating contest which had just about everything - great goals, red cards, contentious incidents and record-breaking feats!
Villa had just one change with Eric Lichaj slipping in at right-back for Matt Lowton, but that aside Paul Lambert's men were unchanged.
Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez made four changes from the team which drew with Tottenham, with John Terry, Frank Lampard, Victor Moses and Demba Ba all coming in.
Aston Villa had Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann supporting Christian Benteke from wide and that was a constant thorn in Chelsea's side with both providing real pace. In midfield they had Yacouba Sylla and Fabian Delph providing support with Ashley Westwood sitting whilst full-backs Joe Bennett and Lichaj pushed on when they could.
Chelsea's system was not too dissimilar with just one man up top in the shape of Demba Ba. Juan Mata played behind with Eden Hazard on the left flank and Moses right. Lampard pushed forward with Ramires sitting as again the full-backs were asked to push on.
Benteke is Villa's main man. The Premier League's top scorer in 2013 led the line brilliantly and scored the opener. He is full of pace and presence, although he was lucky not to see red in the first half for an elbow, and later was sent off.
Lampard continues to show he is truly a world class performer - registering double figures for the tenth successive season and becoming Chelsea' all-time leading goalscorer. He scored both goals in the second half.
Lambert unusually resisted the temptation to make any changes.
Chelsea made the first change at half-time with David Luiz coming on for Moses, mainly due to Ramires' sending-off which allowed them to keep their shape. Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic came on late in the game.
Lee Mason had a tough day at the office, and coming off the pitch - Lambert blamed him for their loss. He sent off Ramires and Benteke for raised feet - and arguably could have easily red carded Benteke and Nathan Baker in the first half. Lambert also felt that Terry should have been red carded for bringing down Sylla, when almost through on goal - but instead a yellow came out. Then with 15 minutes left Chelsea felt they had scored through Ba and Westwood cleared off the line - replays showed it was possibly a goal but it was impossible for the officials to make that decision. All in all a tough day for Mason, but he arguably got most of it right.
Villa could still go down, but that would take a number of results going against them. They can be proud of their efforts on Saturday and they look ready to have another go at the Premier League next season.
Chelsea have third place virtually wrapped up now. Another season in the Champions League beckons and with the Europa League final to come, this season could still end on a real high, then it is a matter of who will be taking charge...
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