Slowly but surely, Chelsea FC look like they are making a comeback. After a dreadful start to the 2015 2016 season, the Blues nabbed their first Premier League win in a month on Saturday, October 17th. Chelsea near Premier League top 10 by beating Aston Villa 2-0, they jumped into 11th place on the EPL standings table-the highest ranking they've seen since week three.
It's probably still too early to make speculations about Chelsea returning to the league's top five, though. For one thing, the Blues got a big win a month ago, too, scoring a 2-0 victory against Arsenal on September 19th. The game should have heralded a return to form for Jose Mourinho's squad, but was instead just a fluke that the team followed up with a draw (2-2 with Newcastle United) and an at-home loss (1-3 against Southampton).
Aston Villa: An Easy-to-Beat Opponent
For another thing, Chelsea benefitted hugely from Aston Villa's continued failures as a football club in Saturday's match. The Lions have been terrible this season, only snagging four points from nine fixtures. Saturday's game proved why Aston Villa have struggled so much during the 2015 2016 campaign. The soccer squad did fine in the midfield, actually beating Chelsea in terms of possession time.
But Villa also couldn't mount any threatening attacks during the match. Since Chelsea have conceded two goals in most of their matches this season-their Arsenal win was the sole exception, prior to this match-Aston Villa's inability to score highlights the biggest issue with Tim Sherwood's football squad.
Actually, Aston Villa did score once in the game, just against themselves. Indeed, a 54-minute own goal from Villa defender Alan Hutton added insult to injury for the Lions, turning what should have been a close soccer match into a 2-0 shutout.
Chelsea: "Not Brilliant, but Solid."
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who has come under fire this season for his football club's dodgy performance, was mostly pleased with the team's play against Aston Villa. "Not a brilliant performance, but a solid performance," he said about the match.
For the Blues, "solid" is high praise-at least this season. Chelsea have been downright mediocre throughout most of their 2015 2016 campaign matches. They've shown signs of life, of course, as in their win against Arsenal or in a 4-0 Champions League triumph against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
For the most part, though, Chelsea have been a shadow of their former selves. The football club's defense has been ineffective, with Branislav Ivanovic and captain John Terry taking a lot of heat for their inability to keep teams away from the goal. The midfield hasn't been much better, with Nemanja Matic-a key cog of the Blues' 2014 2015 team-spending most of the season on the bench. Cesc Fabregas has been even worse, and should be spending most of the season on the bench, based on his recent performances.
As for the offense, there hasn't been much. Midfielder Eden Hazard, last season's PFA Player of the Year, has only scored one league goal this season-compared to 14 in 2014 2015. Forward Diego Costa has been just as bad, only netting two goals after scoring 20 last season.
Costa, at least, showed some signs of life in the Aston Villa match, opening the scoring with a goal at the 34-minute mark. That goal had a lot to do with Willian though, the Brazilian midfielder who has been one of Chelsea's lone bright spots this season. Willian has now contributed to the scoring in Chelsea's last five matches: in addition to this assist, he netted one goal apiece in the Blues' Champions League matches with Porto and Maccabi, as well as in the soccer squad's Premier League fixtures with Southampton and Newcastle.
This win carries the Blues up from 16th place on the Premier League table to 11th. Hopefully, the win will reinvigorate Chelsea's squad-or, at very least, reinvigorate the scoring of Diego Costa. We'll learn more on September 24th when the Blues head to the Boleyn Ground to face off against West Ham United. In the meantime, you can pick up a Chelsea shirt 2015 2016 from Soccer Box!