Chelsea get past Aston Villa with penalty heroics which gives Thomas Tuchel lots to think about – Anita Abayomi

Thomas Tuchel caused a shock with his lineup as he completely changed his starting eleven for the home tie against Aston Villa for the third round of the League Cup.

Chelsea’s hosted Aston Villa this evening and though it wasn’t as mouth-watering as we expect this weekend’s clash with Man City to be, it gave fringe players a chance to shine and show their worth.

There was a lot of discussions ahead of the game regarding who needed to be rested and who Tuchel would opt for against Dean Smiths Aston Villa. Chelsea got the job done to progress to the next round.

The Blues just about made it through to the 4th round of the Carabao Cup. The battle with the Claret and Blue saw the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek take his game to the next level. He took on the number 6 role, natural position for Jorginho and managed to replicate the UEFA Player of the year’s composure throughout.

Chelsea started the game on top in terms of possession. The Blues pressed high and fast making Aston Villa play fast and usually long to clear lines which started another wave of Chelsea pressure.

The first half showed glimpses of good parts one being Ruben Loftus-Cheeks ability to glide past a player and look so good doing it. Kepa Arrizabalga was asked questions of a few times and Aston Villa came close to going 1-0 up when a first-time shot got saved by Kepa but the follow-up beat him only for Reece James to read the problem and get on the line accordingly to clear the second effort.

At halftime saw a change as Mason Mount came on for captain for the night N’Golo Kante. We will be hoping this was something to freshen it up and rest Kante and a planned substitution and not an injury to Kante.

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Whilst Loftus-Cheeks’ light shone bright, Saul remained yet to impress as he played 76 minutes of football; 26 minutes more than his last cap for the Blues. He looked sharper than his last appearance however it is evident that he will still need some time to adjust to the new style of play and the fearsome English opposition.

Tonight was not just a match to showcase the talent of our stars who have not been in Tuchel’s favour so far, it was also a breakthrough for Timo Werner. The Chelsea forward has struggled to get into Tuchel’s starting lineup ahead of his countryman Kai Havertz. Two shots, one goal; Werner with the header to put Chelsea in front. Despite being a confidence booster for the German, it was not long until he missed a great chance to put his team in the clear with another goal. Chelsea made the breakthrough when Reece James whipped in a delicious pass which we’ve known Azpilicueta to do in the right centre-back role over the years and Timo Werner headed in his first Chelsea goal of the season to put us 1-0 up.

As Timo Werner scored his first goal for Chelsea this season, the boys in blue also managed to concede their first goal from open play. It was nice whilst it lasted. Seven matches into the season and Chelsea concede to a thunderous header from Villa youngster, Cameron Archer. Fullback Matty Cash got given way too much time and space to cross the ball on the right which Cameron Archer finished off in brilliant fashion heading in off the underside of the bar. Arrizabalga rooted to the spot but the effort was unsavable. 1-1

The last 15 minutes saw the Blues press higher and pressure Villa’s backline; however, despite the introduction of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley it wasn’t enough and the fans had to sit anxiously through penalties.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Reece James embraces Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea after their sides victory in the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on September 22, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Smiles all aorund as the side progress to the next round of the Carabao Cup

Chelsea won the toss and picked to take the penalties in front of the Mathew Harding stand.

Super Cup super-sub Kepa Arrizabalaga saved the next penalty to make Chelsea strong favourites which Ross Barkley confirmed with a lovely slotted penalty after it. Konsa stepped up next and confidently thrashed it into the top corner.

Ben Chilwell picked up the ball to take the next penalty and slammed his effort off the bar. At the moment we wouldn’t have liked it if you asked any fan before the match. His confidence is already at a low from not starting till now since the Champions League final. Reece James finished off the tie with a brilliant penalty into the top corner.

To be honest with you, I cannot stand to watch penalty shoot outs but the presence of Lukaku going first put me at ease. His penalty – picturesque to say the least – set the tone for the Blues as they left the bridge with a 4-3 victory. Ashley Young hits the crossbar and to my relief, Kepa Arrizabalaga saves a not so Marvelous strike from Nakamba and a win was certain.

Ben Chilwell looks to be at ease in a starting position. It may not have been his best match but with the crowd behind him, I expect him to be back in form in no time. His missed penalty was the least of his problems as Reece James was able to save the day. All in all another successful game from the Blue’s. We look on to the weekend where we host Manchester City.

What did you make of the performance tonight? Follow our CareFreeChelsea writer Anita Abayomi on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source by Football London

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