Aston Villa Player Ratings vs Chelsea

Aston Villa put up a spirited performance but ultimately fell short against Premier League giants Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round. The Blues emerged 2-1 winners at Villa Park to progress to the quarterfinals.

Manager Unai Emery selected a strong starting XI but his side struggled to contain the Chelsea attack. Big money summer signing Youri Tielemans had a particularly quiet match in central midfield. 

However, goalkeeper Emi Martinez produced some excellent saves to initially keep Villa in the contest.

Let’s review how each Aston Villa player performed in this FA Cup knockout clash:

Emi Martinez Shines Again

Emi Martinez Shines Again

Rating: 8/10

The Argentina goalkeeper was solid as ever, making 5 crucial saves in the first half alone to deny Chelsea. This included an excellent stop to prevent Raheem Sterling from opening the scoring.

Martinez’s shutout streak may have ended after 7 straight clean sheets, but he could hardly be faulted for the goals conceded. His world class shot-stopping ability almost earned Villa a replay at Stamford Bridge.

Cash Dangerous but Beaten Defensively

Rating: 6/10

Matty Cash was up against Sterling and occasionally struggled defensively one vs one. But going forward he provided plenty of threat, delivering some teasing crosses into the box.

The Poland international right-back completed 2 successful dribbles and won 4 aerial duels. However he was also dribbled past by Sterling for Chelsea’s opening goal.

Konsa’s Clearances Vital but Mistake Costly

Rating: 5/10

Centre back Ezri Konsa made a match high 7 clearances and 2 vital blocks, crucially denying Mount in the first half. But he also made a critical error just before halftime.

Miscommunication with Martinez allowed Ziyech to nip in and square for Sterling to slot home on the stroke of half time. A disappointing mistake after an otherwise solid defensive display including 86% passing accuracy.

Mixed Bag for Lenglet

Rating: 6/10

New signing Clement Lenglet held firm for most of the contest with 5 clearances and 100% tackle success from 3 attempts. But questions will be asked about Chelsea’s second goal where Pulisic got across him with ease.

There were some good moments too though for the Barcelona loanee like when dribbling out from defence effectively on a couple of occasions. A battling performance if not perfect.

Moreno Impressing

Rating: 7/10

Since joining from Real Betis, Alex Moreno has established himself as one of Villa’s most consistent performers. This continued with another almighty showing down the left flank.

The Spaniard created 2 chances including Villa’s goal with an inviting first half cross. He also attempted 4 dribbles in advanced positions. Defensively there were a couple of moments caught out upfield but otherwise solid.

McGinn’s Endeavour But Careless in Possession

McGinn's Endeavour But Careless in Possession

Rating: 6/10

As always John McGinn covered every blade of grass in tireless fashion. He attempted 6 tackles, made 1 interception and gained possession 9 times. But on the ball McGinn was less assured, conceding a match high 4 fouls.

The Scotland international won just 50% of his duels and struggled to retain possession at times. However, his work rate remains invaluable to initiating high pressure.

Douglas Luiz Passing Radar Awry

Rating: 5/10

Sitting deep in midfield Douglas Luiz worked hard to screen the backline, making 2 tackles and 4 clearances. He also made an impressive 10 ball recoveries as Chelsea dominated possession.

However, Luiz was well below his usual passing standards with just 76% accuracy. There appeared a lack of composure in possession at times with some loose passes gifting away dangerous counters.

Kamara Effective Shield

Rating: 7/10

Boubacar Kamara has added much needed protection at the base of midfield since arriving from Marseille. The Frenchman won 6 duels against Chelsea and made 1 last ditch clearance off the line.

In possession Kamara kept things tidy with 87% pass completion rate. Perhaps he could have been more assertive moving into space to initiate attacks. But overall a promising display before being replaced late on.

Toothless Tielemans the Main Concern

Rating: 4/10

Villa’s club record signing Youri Tielemans endured a hugely disappointing debut. The £32 million midfielder struggled to get on the ball before being hauled off after an hour.

Brought in to be the creative fulcrum of the team, Tielemans only completed 78% of passes with 0 through balls or shots. After dominating games for Leicester he was largely anonymous and unable to stamp any authority.

Diaby Danger Fades after Busy Start

Diaby Danger Fades after Busy Start

Rating: 6/10

Winger Moussa Diaby made a lively start, going close with an early header and racing past defenders with pace and trickery. However his influence gradually faded as Chelsea’s pressing took its toll.

The Bayer Leverkusen recruit won 4 duels in the opening period before being shackled effectively after the break. But in flashes that electric burst of acceleration and directness gave Villa fans something to get excited about.

Watkins Works Hard But Starved of Service

Rating: 6/10

As always centre forward Ollie Watkins ran himself into the ground leading the line with tireless effort up against Chelsea’s experienced defence. He had just 22 total touches though and 0 attempts on goal.

Watkins won 2 fouls and made 1 key pass in isolated fashion. The service into him was clearly lacking but despite this he continued pressing relentlessly.

Second Half Substitutes

Defender Diego Carlos looked assured after coming on while Nicolo Zaniolo injected urgency but lacked end product. Winger Leon Bailey showed some bright moments without significantly influencing proceedings.

Unlucky Villa Can Take Positives

Ultimately the gulf in squad depth and resources was telling as Chelsea’s embarrassment of riches off the bench made the difference. £106 million summer signing Mykhailo Mudryk bagged the second after terrorising a tiring Villa backline.

However, it was an improved performance from the 3-1 league defeat last month with Emi Martinez impressing again.

There remains concerns about marquee signing Tielemans though who needs to quickly find his feet in claret and blue. But with Villa still pushing for a European spot, Emery knows this talented squad have plenty more to offer in the league run-in.

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