Chelsea in bottom half after home defeat by Villa

Aston Villa

The pressure is very much back on Graham Potter after Chelsea slumped to defeat at Stamford Bridge.

After a recent upturn in results, the loss was another low point in a disappointing season for the Blues and left them in the bottom half of the Premier League – 11th in the table.

Goals from Ollie Watkins and John McGinn gave in-form Aston Villa victory and will no doubt fuel speculation about head coach Potter’s position.

An error by the much criticised Marc Cucurella led to the opening goal.

Cucurella got in a muddle with team-mate Kalidou Koulibaly and ended up flicking on Douglas Luiz’s long ball through to former Brentford forward Watkins, who calmly lobbed keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The disappointing Mykhailo Mudryk missed a great chance to equalise and Ben Chilwell went close for the Blues when he hit the post from a tight angle before half-time.

Just as the hosts seemed to be turning the screw after the interval, they fell further behind when McGinn, who hit the woodwork with a first-half strike, scored a brilliant goal.

After Chelsea failed to clear a corner, Jacob Ramsey played the ball to McGinn, who fired past Kepa and into the bottom corner.

The home crowd’s mood was at least somewhat lifted by N’Golo Kante returning to action.

But Kante, out since August, missed a chance to pull a goal back when he shot well wide after being set up by fellow substitute Noni Madueke.

Chelsea: Kepa; James, Koulibaly, Cucurella (Pulisic 80), Chilwell; Fernandes, Loftus-Cheek (Kante 57), Kovacic (Gallagher 85); Joao Felix, Havertz, Mudryk (Madueke 57)
Subs not used: Bettinelli, Badiashile, Chalobah, Chukwuemeka.