Aston Villa 0-2 Chelsea: Mount double and Kepa masterclass increases the pressure on Gerrard
Mason Mount delivered the goals and Kepa Arrizabalaga turned in a wonderful performance to seal a 2-0 win for Chelsea at Aston Villa.FotMob - 7 months ago
Mason Mount's double and a Kepa Arrizabalaga masterclass saw Chelsea beat Aston Villa 2-0 to extend their unbeaten run under Graham Potter.
Mount scored in each half of Sunday's Premier League encounter at Villa Park, yet Chelsea were fortunate to hold their advantage in-between thanks to a dynamite performance from their goalkeeper.
Kepa made a string of wonderful save before half-time, with his stop from a close-range Danny Ings header the highlight.
Steven Gerrard, meanwhile, will lament errors from Tyrone Mings and Kepa's opposite number Emiliano Martinez, though the pressure is growing on Villa's boss.
Mings made a mess of a clearance to gift Mount the chance to open the scoring six minutes in, with the playmaker calmly slotting past Martinez, but Chelsea had their backs to the wall for much of the first half.
Leon Bailey hit the crossbar with a header and Kepa came to Chelsea's salvation with a superb double save, keeping out John McGinn's strike before tipping Jacob Ramsey's follow-up onto the post.
Ings hit another rebound against the upright from an offside position in that flurry, and he was thwarted by Kepa 10 minutes later – the Spaniard acrobatically tipping the striker's header over.
Raheem Sterling hit the bar at the other end before the break, but any hope Villa had was extinguished when Mount's dipping long-range free-kick, conceded by Mings, dropped in over Martinez, who should have done far better.
A miserable day for Mings concluded with a calf injury, though he battled through to full time, which was greeted by jeers from the Villa fans that had not already made their exit.
What does it mean? Potter's parade continues
It is five wins and one draw for the former Brighton and Hove Albion boss Potter, who is enjoying a fine start as Thomas Tuchel's successor.
Potter has got his side positively purring, capable of both dominating in Europe and edging out domestic opponents. That being said, they relied heavily on Kepa on Sunday, but they pounced on the Villa mistakes when they came.
Kepa turns on the style
Drafted in due to an injury for Edouard Mendy earlier this season, Kepa was expected to relinquish his place in due course – but instead, Potter has shown continued faith in him.
With a performance like this, there is little wonder why – he made seven saves throughout, with six alone in the first half. It is most saves he has made in a game without conceding in his top-flight league career.
Villa rue missed chances
On another day, against another goalkeeper, the hosts might well have had two or three goals to their name. Instead, they drew a blank and were left to ponder those chances.
With 18 attempts, they managed 10 more than their visitors – but just could not find the clinical edge.
Key Opta Facts
Chelsea have won consecutive Premier League games without conceding for the first time since March (run of three).
Gerrard has now lost as many games with Villa at Villa Park (eight in 19 games) as he did with Rangers at Ibrox (eight in 94 games) across all competitions.
Indeed, since Gerrard's appointment, only Watford (12) and Norwich City (nine) have lost more home Premier League games than the Villans.
Since the start of the 2019-20 season, no outfield player has made more errors leading to goals in the Premier League than Mings (five), with only goalkeepers Jordan Pickford (seven) and David De Gea (six) making more overall.
Mount scored his 25th and 26th Premier League goals for Chelsea, becoming the second-youngest player to reach that landmark for the club (23y 279d) after Eden Hazard (23y 271d).
Both teams get ready for midweek Premier League fixtures, with Chelsea making a short trip to Brentford on Wednesday and Villa heading to Fulham a day later.