Warming up before the match Aston Villas players wore t-shirts reading “Support Stan” in reference to their captain. Petrov attended the game in the stands and received a standing ovation from both sets of fans.
Villa’s starting line-up was relatively weak due to a series of injuries and Chelsea took advantage of this early on. Within the first ten minutes Mata picked up the ball in the box after a poor defensive header. He then passed to Fernando Torres who had his shot blocked. However the ball then deflected into the path of Daniel Sturridge who put the visitors ahead. Later in the first half David Luiz limped off injured and was replaced by Gary Cahill. The Brazilian will miss Chelsea’s Champion League tie against Benfica midweek.
Chelsea started the second half brighter and soon doubled their lead when Ivanovic picked up Mata’s corner and poked the ball across the line. It was his first league goal of the season.
However Villa refused to give up and were rewarded for their efforts. Eric Lichaj’s long throw-in was met by the head of Collins who started the home team’s revival. Minutes later it was Lichaj’s who met Marc Albrighton's low cross the level the score. Villa Park erupted but the home fans elation was short lived.
Three minutes later Torres flicked on a Chelsea corner and once again it was Ivanovic who put the victors ahead. And as Villas pressed late on for an equaliser Chelsea managed to break on the counter attack. Sturridge ran the ball down the pitch before feeding in Torres. The Spaniard finished coolly and scored his first league goal in six months.