Aston Villa 2-2 Chelsea: Disasi-class from VAR as Blues almost grab famous comeback win

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Chelsea player Conor Gallagher
Nice goal. Shame if someone...made pure profit from it

Chelsea were denied an incredible comeback at Aston Villa as they had an stoppage-time winner ruled out by VAR in a 2-2 draw.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men looked to be ending a horror week in style when Axel Disasi’s header in the fourth minute of time added on crashed in off the crossbar to overturn a 2-0 deficit.

But Benoit Badiashile was ruled to have fouled Diego Carlos in the build-up and the goal was ruled out.

It had seemed like it was going to be another night to forget as Marc Cucurella’s own goal and a Morgan Rogers strike put Villa 2-0 up at the break.

But Chelsea, still licking their wounds from their 5-0 hammering at Arsenal in midweek, responded well and drew level through Noni Madueke and Conor Gallagher before the injury-time drama.

Villa will feel they got away with one, despite leading 2-0.

Aiming to qualify for Europe’s premier club competition for the first time, they were primed to move nine points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham but looked leggy and not at their best.

The draw has opened the door to Spurs, who have three games in hand, but Villa will still be favourites to finish in fourth as the north London club have Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City still to play.

Pochettino will be pleased with his side’s performance and they still have a chance to qualify for Europe if they can finish an inconsistent season strongly.

Just as they did on that horror night at the Emirates on Tuesday, Chelsea conceded after only four minutes as Villa made the dream start.

Pau Torres was given space to advance, he fed Lucas Digne and the full-back pulled back to John McGinn, whose scuffed effort hit Cucurella and went into the net for an unfortunate own goal.

Chelsea had looked vulnerable every time they had to defend, but showed their own threat in the 16th minute when they thought they had levelled.

Moises Caicedo’s ball over the top set Jackson clear and he coolly finished high into the net, but VAR ruled him to be marginally offside and the goal was chalked off.

That did at least allow Chelsea to assume control and Jackson should have found the back of the net again in the 34th minute as he had more than half the goal to aim a six-yard header at from Cucurella’s cross, but instead he hit the far post.

That miss proved costly as Villa doubled their lead four minutes before the break.

Matty Cash found Rogers on the edge of the penalty area and he cut inside and fired low into the bottom corner.

Chelsea resumed their territorial advantage after the restart and started the comeback in the 62nd minute when Gallagher robbed Douglas Luiz of possession, with the ball falling kindly to Madueke, who slotted past Robin Olsen.

Villa had barely entered the Chelsea half in the opening 25 minutes of the second half, but showed they could still be a threat on the break when Rogers set Leon Bailey free and his low shot was well saved by Djordje Petrovic.

But they could not stem the wave of Chelsea attacks and the visitors levelled in the 80th minute.

It was a moment of quality, too, as Gallagher curled into the top corner with his left foot.

Watkins fired over a good chance as Villa tried to find a winner, but instead it was they who barely survived.

First a disastrous piece of defending from Diego Carlos allowed Cole Palmer to slalom into the area, but Olsen pulled out a big save.

From the resulting corner, Disasi headed home but it did not count in a dramatic ending.

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