Premier League: Chelsea 1-3 Aston Villa | inside World Soccer

Premier League: Chelsea 1-3 Aston Villa

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Chelsea ended the calendar year outside of the top four for the first time in ten years as they were handed a 3-1 home defeat by Aston Villa.

The Blues opened the scoring after 23 minutes as Richard Dunne brought down Didier Drogba with a clumsy challenge inside the area and the Ivory Coast striker picked himself up to squeeze home his 150th Chelsea goal.

But Villa restored parity just five minutes later when Stephen Ireland exchanged passes with Charles N'Zogbia before at the second attempt, after John Terry stopped his first on the line, he was able to stab the ball past Petr Čech from close range.

The visitors then stole the lead seven minutes from time as Ciaran Clark found Stiliyan Petrov in space in a disorganised Chelsea defense and the midfielder steered the ball home.

And, things soon went from bad to worse minutes later as Frank Lampard's poor pass was picked off by Ireland, who burst forward and squared for Darren Bent to notch a third.

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