Chelsea defeat Aston Villa
For the second time in ten days, Chelsea and Aston Villa faced off, this time in the third round of the Carabao Cup. While the result in the Premier League (which saw a Romelu Lukaku-inspired Chelsea run out 3-0 winners) had an air of comfort about it, this proved far from the case on Wednesday, as two much-changed sides did battle at Stamford Bridge.
While Timo Werner gave Chelsea the lead on the hour mark thanks to a rare headed goal, the result never looked comfortable, and so proved to be the case.
Just 10 minutes later, the Blues were pegged back following another fine header, this time from Aston Villa starlet Cameron Archer. In turn, with no extra-time in the Carabao Cup, the close tie went to a penalty shootout.
While Ben Chilwell hit the bar for Chelsea, they were aided by goalkeeper Kepa, who produced an outstanding save, while Ashley Young also hit the woodwork, to ensure that it was Chelsea and not Villa who took a place in the fourth round of the competition.
As a reward for their victory, Stamford Bridge will once again play host, this time to Southampton, in the next stage of the Carabao Cup.
Why Werner did not take a penalty
One notable absentee from the Chelsea spot-kick list last night was Timo Werner. With the German’s confidence sky-high after nodding in the opening goal, it was expected that he would step up to the plate, but he was nowhere to be seen.
In the hours after the clash, however, an explanation was provided by Werner himself, which hinted at some worrying news for Blues fans. Speaking to the media after the game, the hitman revealed:
“First of all, I had pain in my calf and couldn’t go out. When you have fit players on the pitch, it is better they shoot than I do today.”
Timo Werner to the Chelsea Fifth Stand App on not taking a penalty: “First of all, I had pain in my calf and couldn’t go out. When you have fit players on the pitch, it is better they shoot than I do today.” #CFC
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) September 22, 2021
Could this hint at a more serious injury that may keep him out of Thomas Tuchel’s plans for the massive game against Manchester City this Saturday? Or was it simply fatigue related?
Either way, the Blues managed without Werner on Wednesday.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.