Chelsea all but confirmed their place in the Top Four with a come from behind 2-1 victory against Aston Villa at Villa Park thanks to a brace from the record-setting Frank Lampard. The day could have ended very differently for Rafa Benitez’s side had Lampard not found the two goals that took him to the top of Chelsea’s goal-scoring charts as Villa had taken a 14th minute lead through Christian Benteke and they were good value for their lead until a 2nd half collapse.
Two red cards dominated the proceedings as Ramires was sent off for picking up a 2nd yellow card on the stroke of half-time but Benteke was sent off just before the hour for a similarly poor challenge on John Terry as both sides were reduced to ten-men. Then came the Lampard show as the veteran first equalized on 61 minutes with a curling effort before netting the winner on 88 minutes from close range to hand Chelsea a classic smash-and-grab.The Blues are now five clear of Arsenal in 4th and six points above Tottenham, who have a much inferior goal difference.
Paul Lambert stayed true to his troops despite Aston Villa reaching safety as the impressive front three of Gabriel Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke and Andrea Weimann started together. The midfield three of Fabian Delph, Westwood and Sylla continued while Eric Lichaj’s introduction for the injured Matt Lowton was the only change at the back.