John McGinn faultless, Emi Buendia below par - Aston Villa player ratings v Chelsea
Aston Villa delivered a finishing masterclass as they defeated European rivals Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday (1 April).
Ollie Watkins gave the Villans the lead after 18 minutes when he lobbed Blues goalkeeper Kepa following a smart through ball, before Graham Potter’s side started to dominate proceedings.
As Villa fell under yet pressure after the break, John McGinn stole the headlines with a stunning 25-yard curler to double the away side’s lead after 55 minutes and seal a momentous win in the club’s fight for European football.
Here Villa News rates the players out of ten for the win that sent Unai Emery’s team rocketing up into the top half of the Premier League table.
Emi Martinez – 8
Was caught napping on the ball within the opening five minutes, but made up for the sloppy moment with a smart follow-up save. Got down well to his right to deny Felix and was brought into action numerous times by a rampaging Chelsea attack. Completed ten long balls out of his 21 attempts while making a stunning seven saves over the course of the match. [WhoScored]
Ashley Young – 7
The veteran did just about enough to force Ben Chilwell into a foul with his clever body positioning when the Blues defender nodded beyond Martinez, which ensured VAR ruled out the goal. The 37-year-old was up to his old tricks in the closing stages of the game, using all his experience and guile to help Villa register a fourth clean sheet in five games. The former England international recorded six blocks during his robust display.
Ezri Konsa – 8
Started off brightly when he spared Mings’ blushes by making a crucial sliding tackle on Joao Felix and continued on in a similar vein all evening long. The Englishman was composed on the ball, clever in his use of it and calm under the intense pressure which Chelsea posed at times, completing 92.6% of his 27 passes.
Tyrone Mings – 8
Another standout performance from Mings, who seemed to have out the disappointment of his England snub in the last international break behind him. The centre-back was a colossus and on hand time after time to save his side with last-gasp interventions, blocking three Chelsea shots over the 90 minutes. His five clearances and single interception are plain evidence of the stunning performance from the former Bournemouth man.
Alex Moreno – 7
Moreno had a tough time down the left flank with the Blues often overloading on the Spaniard through Reece James and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, but stuck to his task dutifully. The January recruit made three tackles and seven clearances in a strong defensive display before being subbed off for Lucas Digne in the closing stages.
Boubacar Kamara – 5
After returning to the starting line-up following injury, Kamara was straight into the thick of the action, picking up a cynical yellow card within the first five minutes. When making the challenge, the Frenchman clutched his leg in pain, and this looks to have been the root of his injury which forced him off at half-time. The injury clearly hindered the 23-year-old’s game, as he completed just 72% of his passes.
Douglas Luiz – 7
Kept things ticking over in Villa’s midfield as usual but had to make sure his defensive game was on point as Chelsea exerted their dominance on the game. Was dogged but couldn’t display his usual array of passing in the final third, making a mere 28 passes at a 71% success rate.
John McGinn – 9 (Man of the match)
McGinn was well and truly back to his best at Stamford Bridge after a memorable week in Scotland colours. Sent an effort onto Kepa’s woodwork and was central to Villa’s attacking play in the early stages. This was just the appetizer for what was to come, though, as he unleashed a stunning curling effort from 25 yards to double Villa’s lead. The Scottish international completed four out of four dribbles, had two shots on goal and chipped in with three tackles in defence.
Jacob Ramsey – 8
Gave Reece James all kinds of problems with his powerful running down the left wing, but should have got his head up to square the ball to Watkins when two on two with the Chelsea defence in the first half. A surprising trait of Ramsey’s performance was the team-high five tackles the midfielder made. The Aston Villa academy graduate was caught ball-watching after the break – a mistake that almost led to a Chelsea goal when N’Golo Kante flashed a shot narrowly wide.
Emi Buendia – 5
The Argentine was relatively anonymous in his advanced position beside Watkins in the first half but popped up with glimmers of quality here and there. Was starved of possession for large parts as Villa bunkered in and looked to keep Chelsea out in defence, meaning he failed to have a shot on goal and completed just 17 passes. The diminutive attacker was alarmingly wasteful in possession, being dispossessed a team-high three times. Eventually was substituted for Leon Bailey on the 75-minute mark as Villa looked for fresh legs in attack.
Ollie Watkins – 7
Slashed wide an early chance when played in behind the Chelsea defence by McGinn but made up for this when opening the scoring with a clinical lobbed effort over Kepa’s head. His opening goal after 18 minutes took his tally to five goals from his last five away games for Aston Villa. The England international did struggle to involve himself in the game and recorded four bad touches that led to a loss of possession, as Kalidou Koulibaly placed him under pressure.
Calum Chambers (on for Kamara, 45′) – Came on for Kamara at the break and slotted seamlessly into the midfield alongside Luiz.
Leon Bailey (on for Buendia, 75′) – N/A
Leander Dendoncker (on for Luiz, 86′) – N/A
Lucas Digne (on for Moreno, 88′) – N/A