Villa pile more misery on woeful Chelsea

Chelsea 1 Aston Villa 3

The expected arrival of Gary Cahill cannot come soon enough for beleaguered Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Late goals from Stiliyan Petrov and Darren Bent condemned the Blues to another dismal home defeat – their third in the Premier League this season.

And it proved too much for many of the home supporters, who turned on their struggling team in the closing minutes.

Didier Drogba fired Chelsea ahead from the penalty spot after being clumsily brought down by Richard Dunne.

Lampard’s costly mistake led to Aston Villa’s third goal.

But Aston Villa hit back when Charles N’Zogbia surged into box and squared the ball for Stephen Ireland, who netted with the follow-up after his first effort had struck John Terry’s arm.

Chelsea were poor in the second half and Petrov grabbed an 83rd-minute goal after being put through Ciaran Clark, before Bent sealed Villa’s victory by finishing coolly following a mistake by Frank Lampard.

The ease with which the visitors picked apart Villas-Boas’ frail back four again highlighted the defensive shortcomings which have plagued Chelsea under the Portuguese.

England defender Cahill, whose move from Bolton looks likely to be completed next week, is seen as the solution.

His arrival will surely come too late to rescue the club’s title hopes, but it could at least help secure a Champions League place for a side that will enter the new year out of the top four.

Villas-Boas is also looking to add to his attacking options and this match underlined why, although Fernando Torres, on as a substitute, was unlucky to see his 62nd-minute effort from the edge of the penalty area hit the bar.

And Villa profited from more good fortune when, after Petrov had put them ahead, Lampard’s error led to the third and killer goal.

The midfielder gave the ball away and Ireland capitalised by playing in Bent, who had the simple task of slotting into an unguarded net.

The result was another low point of a so-far traumatic reign for Villas-Boas, who left the pitch with the angry reaction of Chelsea’s supporters ringing in his ears.

He vowed to take action in the new year – starting at Wolves on Monday – in order to address a worrying slump that has seen his team fail to win in four matches since beating leaders Manchester City.

“We take it on board. The fans have a right to show their disappointment,” he said.

“We will have to face our challenges in 2012 in a different way. There is no running away or excuses.

“We are fifth – outside of the top four. But that can change within 48 hours, which is a good thing.”