Ivanovic lifts Chelsea over Aston Villa
London, England – Branislav Ivanovic's goal inside the final 20 minutes lifted Chelsea to a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.
The last time these sides met in the English capital, the Blues came away with an 8-0 rout of Villa, and it was the home side that got off the mark quickly again on Wednesday.
Chelsea opened the scoring just six minutes into the match when Oscar slid a perfect ball behind the Villa defense to Eden Hazard on the left side of the penalty area. Hazard's shot was parried by Villans goalkeeper Brad Guzan, but the rebound came off defender Antonio Luna and wound up in the net for the own goal.
Villa, which came away with an impressive 3-1 victory away to Arsenal last weekend, remained patient and found a stunning equalizer on the stroke of halftime when Gabriel Agbonlahor fired a low cross into the box that came to the feet of Christian Benteke, who smashed it off the inside of the left post and in behind Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech for his third goal of the young season.
After the break, it was the visitors that carried the play and had several scoring chances, but a perfectly executed set-piece put the home side back in front in the 73rd minute.
Standing over a free kick from distance on the right side of the pitch, Frank Lampard whipped a well-placed ball into the area where Ivanovic got his head to it and nodded it past Guzan.
Five minutes from time, Villa produced a great opportunity when Andreas Weimann smashed one on goal with a half-volley, but the shot was right at Cech
The visitors were given a bit of hope as the fourth official's board showed five minutes of stoppage time, but they were unable to find an equalizer.
The result sees Chelsea up to two wins from its first two matches this season, while the club has not lost a league match at home under manager Jose Mourinho, holding a staggering 48-0-14 mark.