While Chelsea dominated the ball, Aston Villa generated as many opportunities as their guests on Saturday. Those chances were ultimately irrelevant, with Villa and Chelsea playing to a scoreless draw.
Each team found the woodwork in the second half. Branislav Ivanovic was the first, hitting Brad Friedel’s right post off a corner. Nicolas Anelka would do the same late in the match, while Villa defender Ciaran Clark’s glancing header found Petr Cech’s left upright.
Though Chelsea looked out-of-sorts without Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard, this was Aston Villa’s best performance since the season’s opening match. Nigel Reo-Coker proved a constant pest in midfield, while Stewart Downing put in a strong shift on the right wing.
Also of note for Chelsea was the return of José Bosingwa, the right back making a late appearance.
Chelsea moves to 19 points, five ahead of Manchester City, while Aston Villa sits on 11 points and eighth place.