Smith, McGinn reaction after Villa fall to defeat at Chelsea

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith was left disappointed with the scoreline but took plenty of positives from our 3-0 defeat at Chelsea.

Villa enjoyed large spells on top in the first half and created a number of good chances, but unfortunately having failed to take them, we were ultimately punished by a clinical Chelsea side.

READ MORE: Five key talking points as Aston Villa impress but suffer defeat at Chelsea

Romelu Lukaku gave the hosts an early lead, and after resisting our pressure before the break, Mateo Kovacic doubled their lead soon after the restart before Lukaku added a third to kill the encounter off.

Smith on ‘unjust scoreline’

As noted above, Smith was optimistic after seeing his side’s performance, and while he was adamant that the scoreline wasn’t a fair reflection of the game, he’ll also be pleased with how the players put into action his strategy as we certainly tried to get on the front foot at Stamford Bridge and put pressure on Chelsea.

“I’m really disappointed with the result, I feel it was an unjust scoreline,” Smith said, as seen in the video above. “We executed the gameplan perfectly for 48 minutes and unfortunately we made a big mistake to give up the second goal and it became tough from there, against a team as good as they are.

“Football is about moments at times and we didn’t take our moments and their £96million striker took theirs.

“As I say, we had a gameplan, I feel and we all feel now that we’ve got a belief in this group of players, the squad of players we’ve got, that we don’t have to now come to Chelsea and try to not get beat, play in our half and play on the counter-attack.

“We can now go toe-to-toe with the quality and the athleticism we have in our team.

“Our response to that [first goal] was superb, some of the quality of the football was excellent, the thing that was missing for us was the moment in their penalty box. We had a few of them, whether it be in general play, in transition or set-pieces.

“The second goal takes the wind out of everybody’s sails a little bit. It allows a team full of top-quality players to open the pitch up, keep the ball and make it really difficult for us to go and press with the same endeavour as we did in the first half.”

McGinn assesses Chelsea defeat

As seen in the videos below, John McGinn, who was impressive throughout, largely echoed Smith’s thoughts as he noted how Villa caused Chelsea problems in the first half and subsequently the hosts changed things at half-time to swing it back in their favour.

Such is the quality and depth of the Chelsea squad, Thomas Tuchel was able to make key changes while seeing his top stars step up and make the difference in what was a hard-fought encounter.

Both Tuchel and Lukaku noted in their respective post-match interviews how difficult a challenge Villa proved to be, and while we still return home without any points, it’s reassuring to know we’ve gone head-to-head with a Premier League title contender away from home and shown that we can certainly compete at that level.