Ollie Watkins scored for the second season running against Chelsea’s as Aston Villa won at Stamford Bridge (Nigel French/PA)
Chelsea went down to a third Premier League defeat of the season as Aston Villa won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge after Malo Gusto was shown a second-half red card.
Villa broke away and scored through Ollie Watkins 17 minutes from the end, and though the 10 men laboured gainfully to get back into the game their goalless run in the league under Mauricio Pochettino stretched to three matches as they remained 14th.
Chelsea were on top and looking far the likelier to score when a pitchside VAR decision just before the hour mark turned proceedings against them. Gusto had slid in on Lucas Digne and caught the defender on the ankle, and a yellow card was quickly upgraded to red for dangerous play.
Malo Gusto was sent off midway through the second half (Nigel French/PA)
Pochettino’s side continued to attack in numbers and it would prove their undoing, Watkins outfoxing Levi Colwill to score on the rebound after the 10 men had poured forward, as Villa won for the second season running in front of an audibly frustrated home support in west London.
Chelsea opened with a greater attacking purpose than they had shown in recent scoreless outings against Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth. After four minutes, Moises Caicedo took a chance and drilled low and hard from distance into the gloves of Emiliano Martinez, a comfortable enough save for Villa’s goalkeeper but an early show of intent from the home side.
Raheem Sterling and Mykhailo Mudryk were heavily involved during the opening 15 minutes, finding space without the ball and attacking Villa down either flank when in possession. Nicolas Jackson too showed pace andRead on belfasttelegraph.co.uk