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Aston Villa 2-2 Chelsea: Axel Disasi's late winner controversially disallowed after Blues complete comeback

Report and free match highlights as Chelsea produce second-half comeback to draw 2-2 at Aston Villa; hosts took two-goal lead through Marc Cucurella own goal and Morgan Rogers strike; Noni Madueke and Conor Gallagher levelled scores before Axel Disasi winner controversially ruled out

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Highlights from the match between Aston Villa and Chelsea in the Premier League

Axel Disasi's late winner was controversially disallowed after a pitch-side review as Chelsea came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Aston Villa.

In stark contrast to their capitulation at Arsenal on Tuesday, the Blues produced an impressive fightback at Villa Park, with Noni Madueke's goal and a brilliant Conor Gallagher strike bringing them level late on.

Chelsea thought they had completed the turnaround in stoppage time when Disasi powered a header past Robin Olsen, only for VAR Chris Kavanagh to advise Craig Pawson to review the goal.

The officials judged the decision not to penalise Benoit Badiashile's nudge on Diego Carlos to be a clear and obvious error - sparking fury among Chelsea's players at full-time, while Mauricio Pochettino labelled Pawson "unbelievable" and the decision "ridiculous".

Villa had earlier raced into the lead thanks to Marc Cucurella's own goal, before Morgan Rogers doubled the advantage shortly before half-time.

However, Unai Emery's side were subdued throughout and missed the chance to move nine points clear of Tottenham - who host Arsenal on Sunday, live on Sky Sports - in the race for fourth place.

Player ratings

Aston Villa: Martinez (6), Cash (7), Konsa (7), Torres (7), Digne (6), Bailey (7), Luiz (6), McGinn (7), Rogers (7), Tielemans (6), Watkins (6).

Subs: Diaby (6), Olsen (6), Carlos (6), Iroegbunam (6), Duran (6).

Chelsea: Petrovic (5), Chalobah (7), Silva (7), Badiashile (6), Cucurella (6), Caicedo (7), Gallagher (8), Madueke (8), Palmer (7), Mudryk (6), Jackson (5).

Subs: Disasi (n/a), Casadei (n/a).

Player of the match: Noni Madueke

How VAR thwarted Chelsea surge at Villa

Chelsea may have endured the lowest point of their season at Arsenal earlier this week but their most recent trip to Villa Park was one of the most impressive outings of Pochettino's reign.

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The Blues knocked Villa out of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win in February and almost pulled off an even more impressive victory on this occasion.

Chelsea players fume at Craig Pawson after Axel Disasi's late winner is disallowed
Image: Chelsea players fume at Craig Pawson after Axel Disasi's late winner is disallowed

However, the evening started in miserable fashion for Chelsea, who conceded after four minutes for the second game in a row when Lucas Digne punished Madueke's feeble defending, before Cucurella diverted John McGinn's scuffed shot into his own net.

Villa then retreated into their own half for much of the game and briefly looked to have been pegged back by Nicolas Jackson's smart finish, only for VAR to show he was offside.

The forward then missed a glorious chance, hitting the post when unmarked from just yards out - and was punished a short while later when Rogers fired past Djordje Petrovic from the edge of the box.

The hosts suffered a blow when Emiliano Martinez failed to return for the second half, joining Youri Tielemans on the sideline after both suffered injuries during the opening period.

Olsen was called from the bench and endured a busy half, first being beaten when Gallagher robbed Douglas Luiz, with Madueke bending the loose ball into the net.

Team news

  • Aston Villa made one change, with Douglas Luiz returning from suspension to replace Moussa Diaby.
  • Chelsea made three changes, with Cole Palmer fit again and Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah recalled - Enzo Fernandez dropped out with injury, while Axel Disasi and Alfie Gilchrist dropped to the bench.

Gallagher then produced a superb finish on his left foot, curling the ball into the top corner in the 81st minute to deservedly draw Chelsea level.

A frantic finish then ensured, with Ollie Watkins blasting a brilliant chance over the bar after a rare Villa attack.

Cole Palmer then looked set to cap his return to the team with a solo goal, weaving through Villa's defence after Olsen's error, only for the goalkeeper to redeem himself with a vital save.

There was still time for Disasi to find the net in the 95th minute - only for the officials to chalk off a Chelsea goal for the second time.

Pochettino fumed as Jesus Perez, his assistant, dragged Chelsea's players away from the officials at the end of the game. The manager will be proud of the second-half display but no doubt knows his pledge to return the club to Europe is moving further out of reach.

Pochettino: The referee is unbelievable

Pochettino vented his fury at the officials, citing Disasi's disallowed goal and the failure to award Chelsea a penalty for a clear handball by Jack Grealish in their FA Cup semi-final defeat at Manchester City last weekend as evidence of VAR "damaging" football.

"Everyone that was watching the game will feel disappointed," Pochettino told TNT Sports.

"The referee is unbelievable and it's ridiculous. It is difficult to accept.

"Two weeks ago it was handball and it was no penalty - the referee, he didn't check it.

"It is painful as it has damaged English football and I think Villa players and their fans didn't understand why the goal was disallowed.

"If you see the challenge, if we go into every single challenge like this it is going to be a foul and we wouldn't finish the game with 11 [players].

"We can talk about the performance or the decision - it is damaging the game."

Poch's patience snaps after latest controversial call

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Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino and his players surround referee Craig Pawson after VAR ruled out Axel Disasi's late winner for a push by Benoit Badiashile on Diego Carlos.

Sky Sports' Joe Shread:

Finally, Mauricio Pochettino is losing his patience. Saddled with a young and inconsistent squad that has constantly been undermined by injuries, the manager had until recently been stressing patience and the need to trust the process.

The manager has also bitten his tongue in the face of provocation, refusing to criticise the officials for their baffling decision not to punish Jack Grealish's clear handball in the FA Cup semi-final last week.

But poor recent results against Burnley, Sheffield United and Arsenal have prompted a slight change in tone. Pochettino has questioned his players' mentality and pointedly said it is not only him that needs to prove he deserves to remain at the club next season.

That tetchier mood unsurprisingly came to the fore again after the officials' decision to halt Chelsea's three-goal comeback at Aston Villa by ruling out Axel Disasi's 95th-minute winner. If Pochettino held his tongue after the controversy at Wembley, he wouldn't now.

Mauricio Pochettino leads the inquest at full time
Image: Mauricio Pochettino leads the inquest at full time

He labelled Craig Pawson "unbelievable" and said the decision, prompted by VAR Chris Kavanagh advising the referee to review a nudge on Diego Carlos by Benoit Badiashile, was "ridiculous".

To overturn the goal, the officials had to decide they had made a 'clear and obvious error'. Given the innocuous nature of the incident, it's extremely hard to see how they came to that conclusion.

When asking why they look set to end another season without silverware or a European berth, Chelsea must firstly look at their own deficiencies - but the officials have cost them in crucial games on back-to-back weekends.

Emery pleased despite losing two-goal lead

Morgan Rogers (bottom) celebrates after scoring Aston Villa's second goal against Chelsea
Image: Morgan Rogers (bottom) celebrates after scoring Aston Villa's second goal against Chelsea

Unai Emery was pleased with Villa's performance and their 2-2 draw, despite his side losing two points that were seemingly in their grasp.

He told TNT Sports: "We are very happy because today we achieved the first thing - improving. We wanted to play Europa League last year and now we have a new challenge, which is to play Champions League.

"Chelsea today showed the power. But we are being consistent - to draw at the end is a very good result.

"I want more, of course. Chelsea have very good players. The result was amazing in the first half. We were defending well and we didn't concede a lot but of course we needed to keep more possession and it is difficult against Chelsea."

Opta stats: Emery has Villa forwards firing

  • Chelsea avoided defeat for just the fourth time in 51 Premier League games in which they were 2+ goals behind at half time, also drawing 3-3 with Sheffield Wednesday (August 1992), 2-2 with Tottenham (May 2016) and 3-3 with West Brom (September 2020).
  • Aston Villa have scored 73 Premier League goals this season, their most in a single top-flight campaign since 1976/77 (76).
  • Chelsea have won just one of their last 19 Premier League games against sides starting the day in the top four of the table (D7 L11), winning 4-1 at Tottenham in November this season.
  • Chelsea's Noni Madueke both scored and assisted a goal in the same Premier League game for the very first time (30th appearance).

What's next?

Live Premier League

Aston Villa's next outing is at home to Olympiakos in the first leg of their Conference League semi-final on Thursday; kick-off 8pm.

Villa then travel to Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday; kick-off 2pm.

Chelsea are next in action at home to Tottenham on Thursday, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 7.30pm. The Blues then host West Ham on Sunday; kick-off 2pm.

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