Villa player ratings vs Chelsea: Sanson impresses on return to XI, Mings falls short

Aston Villa suffered a 3-1 loss to Chelsea on Sunday as our Boxing Day clash ultimately ended in disappointment and defeat.

Villa took the lead in the first half as Matt Targett’s cross was diverted into the back of his own net by Reece James, but Villa weren’t able to hold on to that lead until the break.

READ MORE: Stage set for Jacob Ramsey to kick on and become decisive Villa figure

Jorginho’s penalty drew Chelsea level, before Romelu Lukaku came off the bench in the second half to give the visitors the lead as Jorginho added another from the spot late on to seal the victory.

It was in fact the introduction of Lukaku that changed the game, as it gave Chelsea a different threat up top which Villa struggled to deal with, as seen with his headed goal in particular.

It was a disappointing way for Villa to end 2021, but there were also plenty of positives too as we were competitive against a top side once again following our performance against Man City and Liverpool, as we continue to show signs of improvement under Steven Gerrard, who was absent from the touchline for this one after testing positive for COVID.

Aston Villa player ratings vs Chelsea:

Emiliano Martinez, 7 – Didn’t have a great deal to do, particularly in the first half, and was well beaten for both penalties and Lukaku’s header. Produced a fine save late on to keep the score at 2-1 and subsequently keep us in the game as he showed his quality at times.

Matty Cash, 6 – An uncharacteristically quiet evening for him as he didn’t get forward and provide a threat down the right flank as much and had his hands full defensively. Perhaps just an off night from him in terms of his usual high standards, while he also gave away the first penalty with a rash foul.

Ezri Konsa, 7 – Commanding as ever both on the ground and in the air. Showed good physicality and read play well to make key interventions and keep things tight at the back.

Tyrone Mings, 5 – Was having a relatively good game until the introduction of Lukaku, with the Belgian frontman causing Mings plenty of problems with his movement and strength. Poor defending for the second goal as he wasn’t physical or determined enough to beat his man to the cross as his decision to try and ease him off the ball was a costly one.

Matt Targett, 6 – Great delivery which forced the first goal and made some crucial interventions defensively to deny Chelsea some great chances of scoring. Was more heavily involved in this one than usual, and put in a good shift.

Morgan Sanson, 7 – Refreshing to see him back in the starting line-up after so long and he didn’t disappoint. Added a classy edge and composure to our play as he did well breaking forward from midfield and was accurate with his distribution before coming off after 76 minutes. A positive outing.

Douglas Luiz, 7 – Ran things well early on as he broke play up and kept us ticking in midfield. Less effective as the game went on but looked comfortable and in control in the deeper midfield role.

Jacob Ramsey, 7 – Showed an excellent turn of pace, close control and his progressive runs from midfield caused Chelsea problems in the final third. Looking more and more assured as the weeks go on, but perhaps will be disappointed that he couldn’t be more decisive.

Emiliano Buendia, 6 – The vision is there and he’s getting in the right areas and seeing the right passes. The frustration with the Argentine though is that he’s just not being clinical enough with his play and making that killer ball to set up a teammate. He’s got the movement in front of him and he needs to start making it count as the excuses are running out.

Ollie Watkins, 6 – A tireless display as ever as he pressed and applied pressure constantly. Great movement off the ball to stretch the Chelsea defence, to get in behind and to come short and help the build up of play. Still don’t see his partnership with Ings working as it has to in order for it to be effective though.

Danny Ings, 5 – Had his moments with a few flicks to add a touch of quality to our build play but didn’t do enough in the game as a whole as he struggled to make any sort of telling contribution and was too slow in dangerous positions when in on goal.


Bertrand Traore, 5.5 – Always looking forward and wanting to be positive with his play, either with his direct running or passing, and it will be a boost to have him back in the squad.

Carney Chukwuemeka, 5 – Didn’t bring a lot to the side after coming on as he struggled to provide a spark.

Anwar El Ghazi, 5.5 – Similarly to Chukwuemeka, couldn’t turn the game in our favour as one of the subs who came on.