Premier League: Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa

But Frank Lampard’s men could not get back to winning ways after their 3-1 loss at Arsenal on Boxing Day, to be left instead with just one victory in their last five league matches.

Villa, by contrast, extended their unbeaten run to five matches, to sit fifth in the table and hold off Chelsea in sixth.

Chelsea boss Lampard made six changes from the Boxing Day defeat at Arsenal but will have been frustrated not to receive the upswing in performance he had demanded.

Villa’s neat build-up play and compact work off the ball kept Chelsea pegged back regularly throughout a cagey opening half-hour.

But just when Villa were gearing up to be reasonably satisfied with their work, Chelsea finally strung together a move of purpose and incision.

The first true flowing attack from the Blues yielded the breakthrough, as Chilwell delivered the telling cross – and Giroud applied the deadly finish.

Villa snatched an equaliser shortly after the break to halt Chelsea’s momentum, though the legitimacy of the goal would be long debated.

El Ghazi tapped home at the far post but would arguably not have had the space to do so had Grealish been censured for his tackle on Christensen in the build-up.

Villa managed to see the rest of the game out, leaving Stamford Bridge with a 1-1 draw.

Premier League: Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa

But Frank Lampard’s men could not get back to winning ways after their 3-1 loss at Arsenal on Boxing Day, to be left instead with just one victory in their last five league matches.

Villa, by contrast, extended their unbeaten run to five matches, to sit fifth in the table and hold off Chelsea in sixth.

Chelsea boss Lampard made six changes from the Boxing Day defeat at Arsenal but will have been frustrated not to receive the upswing in performance he had demanded.

Villa’s neat build-up play and compact work off the ball kept Chelsea pegged back regularly throughout a cagey opening half-hour.

But just when Villa were gearing up to be reasonably satisfied with their work, Chelsea finally strung together a move of purpose and incision.

The first true flowing attack from the Blues yielded the breakthrough, as Chilwell delivered the telling cross – and Giroud applied the deadly finish.

Villa snatched an equaliser shortly after the break to halt Chelsea’s momentum, though the legitimacy of the goal would be long debated.

El Ghazi tapped home at the far post but would arguably not have had the space to do so had Grealish been censured for his tackle on Christensen in the build-up.

Villa managed to see the rest of the game out, leaving Stamford Bridge with a 1-1 draw.

Premier League: Newcastle United vs Chelsea

Both sides are feeling the effects of the break though, with injuries and fatigue from travelling set to affect both managers’ team selections.

Steve Bruce is unlikely to be able to call upon Miguel Almiron from the start after he only arrived back from Paraguay on Thursday night, roughly the same time as Thiago Silva landed after being part of Brazil’s World Cup Qualifying campaign.

At 36, Silva is set to miss out as Chelsea embark on three games in seven days, meaning Antonio Rudiger or Andreas Christensen could partner Kurt Zouma at the back for the Blues.

Newcastle have had Jonjo Shelvey back in training for the past few days after a hernia operation, although he’s unlikely to start the game as he regains match fitness, and Ryan Fraser is also out after missing Scotland’s qualification for Euro 2020 with a thigh issue.

There’s better news on Callum Wilson though, who Steve Bruce says is desperate to play after coming off with a hamstring worry in the 2-0 defeat to Southampton before the break. The Magpies boss says if there is a risk with his fitness he won’t play, but has looked comfortable in training for the past few days.

Matt Ritchie could make his return to the squad after a shoulder injury picked up earlier this season, but Paul Dummett remains unavailable despite returning to training over a fortnight ago. Dwight Gayle and Martin Dubravka are both still missing also, with the goalkeeper hopeful of returning before Christmas.

With injuries aplenty, you’d think Bruce would be in favour of the five-sub rule coming into effect like it has in the Football League, but he has explained that he’s not in favour of the rule change, saying he doesn’t think fatigue is the real reason players are picking up injuries.

He went on to explain that he thinks it’s the amount of games being played so quickly that’s the problem. Sounds like something five subs could help with if you ask us Steve…

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard confirmed on Thursday that Christian Pulisic remains out for the trip to Newcastle, despite stepping up his training after a hamstring injury. Kai Havertz is also likely to miss out after only rejoining training late in the week after self-isolating at home for two weeks as a result of exposure to COVID-19.

Ben Chilwell missed England’s win over Iceland with a back injury, but should be fit to start against Newcastle, while Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and N’Golo Kante all came through international games comfortably and will be involved again.

Chelsea will go top of the Premier League table with a win at St James’ Park, ahead of Tottenham vs Man City later on Saturday, and Leicester’s game against Liverpool on Sunday night.

Newcastle will be hoping to repeat last season’s result against the Blues though, when Isaac Hayden’s late header earned them a 1-0 win.

Newcastle United take on Chelsea at St James’ Park on Saturday, November 21st. Kick-off is at 12.30pm.

Liverpool Cruise To 2-0 Premier League Win At 10-Man Chelsea

Sadio Mane was the Reds hero in West London with two second half goals, but in truth, Chelsea’s focus will once again be centred on under fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Neither side created much in a tight opening half hour, with half chances for Timo Werner and Mo Salah the closest either came to a breakthrough.

But despite creating nothing in terms of goalscoring excitement, the first half ended on a huge moment of controversy.

Andreas Christensen found himself the wrong side of Mane on the edge of the box, and as just as Mane was about pull the trigger, the Dane decided to give him what looked like a very very awkward hug.

Referee Paul Tierney initially flashed him a yellow card, but after a quick VAR check, Christensen was eventually given his marching orders.

Liverpool took full advantage of the extra man immediately after the break, as Salah, Roberto Firmino and
Mane all combined with the latter to nod them in front.

That goal hinted at the floodgates opening for the Reds, but in reality, Mane’s second was a gift from Kepa.

The Spaniard tried a tricky pass out to Kurt Zouma, but Mane read him like a book, and tucked home the Reds second.

Despite facing a mountain to climb in the closing stages, Chelsea were handed a lifeline with 20 minutes left, as Reds debutant Thiago barged Werner over inside the box.

But on a day where nothing went right for the Blues, Jorginho’s normal hop skip and goal technique came up short, as Alisson produced a fine save.

Kepa did manage to claw back some pride with vital late stops from Salah and Mane, but Frank Lampard looks set for another raft of questions about his Spanish stopper.

FULL TIME AT STAMFORD BRIDGE IT’S CHELSEA 0 LIVERPOOL 2

Chelsea facing summer overhaul, Kante for sale claim reports

The Blues’ domestic season ended in disappointment on Saturday, losing the FA Cup final to Arsenal at Wembley.

Despite cup final heartache, the future looks bright for Frank Lampard’s side with additions such as Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech to feature next season.

Chelsea are also closing in on a deal for Bayern Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz, who has been outstanding in the German Bundesliga this season.

However, additions to the squad means that some players will need to depart Stamford Bridge, and The Times claim that as many as 8 first team stars could leave the club.

The names mentioned include Tiemoue Bakayoko, who has spent the season on loan at Monaco, Ross Barkley, Marcos Alonso, Emerson, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Michy Batshuayi.

Unsurprisingly, Willian and Pedro are also doubts to be involved in 2020/21, with Lampard claiming in Willian’s case the ball is in his court.

Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga may also be shown the Stamford Bridge exit door after just two seasons at the club and a world-record price tag.

Perhaps the most surprising inclusion on The Times’ list of Chelsea players available for transfer is N’Golo Kante.

The France international has struggled with injuries this season, and arguably hasn’t performed as consistently for the Blues since before Maurizio Sarri was Chelsea manager.

Despite this, Kante is world class on his day, and it would take a decent offer to prise him away from the Bridge.