There was little of note in the first half, with the best chances falling to Chelsea's Willian and Oscar, both of whom shot wide, while for Villa Christian Benteke acrobatically volleyed just wide from the edge of the box. Nemanja Matic also had a goal disallowed for handball.
The second half was similarly muted, and both teams started slowly. Chelsea had a chance on 61 minutes, receiving the ball from a short corner but shooting limply at goal. Five minutes later, Benteke shot a fraction wide from just outside the box.
Willian only had himself to blame, receiving a second yellow card for a cynical challenge to stop a Delph run. With 10 minutes to go, Ron Vlaar headed a corner just wide of goal. A minute later, Delph struck the winner with a brilliant flick to the back post.
The match ended as farce as Ramires saw red for a late stamp on Karim El-Ahmadi, and then Mourinho was sent to the stands for arguing with the ref on the pitch. Liverpool and City are closing in.
12’ - WILLIAN SHOT - 25 yards out, Willian sends the ball just wide of the post.
16’ - OSCAR CHANCE - Oscar plays a one-two with Willian, and then sends a shot just wide of the far post.
39’ - BENTEKE CHANCE - Watching the ball as it drops towards him, Benteke arches his back and his scissor kick is just wide of the goal.
41’ - DISALLOWED GOAL - Matic brings down the ball at the back post using his arm, and forces the ball home, but the referee correctly calls for a handball.
61’ - OSCAR CHANCE - 10 yards from goal, Oscar side-foots a weak chance straight at Guzan.
66’ - BENTEKE MISS - On the edge of the box, Benteke sends a low shot just a yard wide.
69’ - WILLIAN RED CARD - Delph counters for Villa, and Willian pulls him back, earning himself a second yellow.
76’ - DELPH SHOT - Shifting the ball onto his right foot, just outside the box, Delph fires the ball wide of goal.
82’ - DELPH GETS THE WINNER - Delph flicks the ball with his trailing leg to the back post, a brilliant finish from Marc Albrighton’s cross on the left.
90' - MADNESS! Ramires stamps on El-Ahmadi's ankle, is sent off, with Jose joining him after losing his temper.
This is the first time Aston Villa have won back to back Premier League home matches since August 2011.
This is the first time that Chelsea have lost a Premier League away match in seven games.
After four defeats in a row, Villa have now beaten Chelsea .
Manchester City are six points behind Chelsea with three games in hand.
Did Jose Mourinho get sent off deliberately? It looked like a conscious decision to walk onto the pitch to argue with the referee following Ramires’ sending off. It’s not unusual for Mourinho to take the heat off his players whenever possible. With two sending offs and a poor performance, that was needed more than ever.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Fabian Delph (Aston Villa): The scorer of the winner, it was Delph who also caused Willian’s sending off with a pacy run towards goal. He also hit the bar even later in the game, and has finally come good on his early promise.
Aston Villa: Guzan 6, Bacuna 6, Vlaar 6, Baker 6, Bennett 6, Westwood 6, Delph 7, El Ahmadi 6, Weimann 6, Benteke 6, Agbonlahor 5. Subs: Clark 5, Albrighton 6.
Chelsea: Cech 6, Ivanovic 6, Cahill 6, Terry 6, Azpilicueta 6, Ramires 5, Matic 6, Willian 5, Oscar 6, Hazard 6, Torres 5. Subs: Schuerrle 5, Ba 6.
MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Aston Villa
- Jose Mourinho
- Fabian Delph