Chelsea player ratings vs Aston Villa: Cole Palmer wasteful as Alfie Gilchrist and Djordje Petrovic impresses again
Chelsea’s wasteful finishing cost them again despite an impressive display at home to Aston Villa in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Cole Palmer started up front as a false 9 and was particularly wasteful, missing two guilt-edged chances, as Mauricio Pochettino’s pressing set-up kept forcing mistakes.
Noni Madueke also missed a big chance but Villa had a goal ruled out by VAR as Douglas Luiz was adjudged to have handled it before turning in early on.
Chelsea must now travel to Villa Park for an FA Cup replay, adding another fixture to a busy February calendar featuring a Carabao Cup final against Liverpool.
Djordje Petrovic – 7
Petrovic made four big saves, including an exceptional one from Matty Cash. The Serb deserves to keep the no1 spot when Robert Sanchez returns.
Alfie Gilchrist – 7
The 20-year-old defender was thrust into the line up when Levi Colwill got injured in the warm up. He rose to his toughest test since coming into the first team.
Axel Disasi – 7
He was a dominating presence at the back, not giving Ollie Watkins a sniff of a chance.
Thiago Silva – 5
Booked for a heavy challenge on John McGinn early on and almost scored an own goal.
Benoit Badiashile – 6
The Frenchman was forced into left-back for the first time after a month-long injury lay-off due to Colwill’s injury. He was solid but, understandably, lacked impact in the final third. He also missed a big chance from a corner.
Enzo Fernandez – 7
The Argentine is quietly building a good run of form and looked at his creative best, with some great long balls from deep areas, creating a big chance for Madueke.
Moises Caicedo – 7
The Ecuadorian midfielder was the main target of Villa’s press but handled it well. He took several heavy tackles for his troubles.
Conor Gallagher – 6
The England midfielder played very high up the pitch, and his pressing forced errors, but he lacked that cutting edge in attack.
Noni Madueke – 6
Madueke got Chelsea’s first chance of the game in the 17th minute but couldn’t beat Emi Martinez.
Cole Palmer – 5
Cole Palmer missed the best two chances of the game, which came from Clement Lenglet and Martinez’s mistakes. He produced some nice passes, touches and dribbles but badly misfired.
Raheem Sterling – 6
The 29-year-old winger is starting to build a positive run of form and was immaculate in his passing and dribbling but faded as the match wore on.
Ben Chilwell – 6
The left-back was only fit enough for 30 minutes and was fairly quiet after coming on.
Mykhailo Mudryk – 5
Made practically no impact after coming on.
Armando Broja – 5
Could not control the ball shortly after coming on, missing the chance to run in behind. He needs a goal, and maybe, his future resolving.
Carney Chukwuemeka – N/A
Unused subs Bergstrom, Gilchrist, Chilwell, Williams, Castledine, Washington