Full-time - 90'
1 - 2
11:45 +00:00, May 11, 2013
Villa Park, England
Now the whistle goes - Chelsea, thanks to two goals from new record scorer Frank Lampard, have come from a goal down to win a game Villa had been in control of until Christian Benteke's sending-off made it ten versus ten after Ramires' first-half dismissal. Chelsea are all but in the Champions League, Villa still not quite safe.
Still no whistle yet, though. Villa come forward once again...
Chelsea clear as Baker tries to head across. That, you feel, is almost that.
Another cross, and this time Ivanovic is there to head clear. Another Aston Villa corner.
It's cleared, played back in... Cech punches. Frantic stuff as the seconds tick away.
Sylla has a blast and the ball deflects for a corner. One more chance for Villa...
Villa play it downfield. Cech collects and puts the ball back just where Chelsea want it - deep inside the Villa half.
Free-kick to Chelsea outside the Villa area after Torres is fouled. Again, Luiz is the interested party, but this time he balloons it miles into the stand.
And yet more injury-time to be added on at Villa Park. The Belgian is being treated - this is a potentially big steback for Chelsea ahead of the Europa League final. But, if they hold these three points, they will have almost assured Champions League football next season.
Chelsea can break and Hazard makes a brilliant charge into the area. He's crowded out at the last minute with two colleagues waiting for a pull-back. Corner... but Hazard is down. This may be a hamstring problem.
Forward comes Westwood, but Chelsea get it away. Back come the home side with Bennett, who wins a throw near the Chelsea area.
It will be seven minutes - there is still time for Aston Villa.
We're about to find out how much added time will be played at Villa Park.
And with a minute of normal time to go, he may have sealed a huge three points for Chelsea. Villa would still not be mathematically assured of safety.
Brilliantly done by Chelsea - absolutely clinical move and, as you would expect, a clinical Lampard finish.
GOAL: Hazard makes a dart into the penalty area, getting on the end of a one-two on the left, and crosses low. Lampard sweeps the ball home and is now Chelsea's all-time record goalscorer.
Torres is on for the final moments for Chelsea, taking the place of Ba, who didn't get much service even when Chelsea had 11 players on the pitch.
Lampard, uncharacteristically, loses control and Westwood intelligently spreads the play to Weimann. Villa have to go backwards but then it comes to Westwood on the edge of the area - he strikes beautifully, but Cech saves well.
Tense final stages, these. Can either side find what would surely now be a winning goal?
A bit of a mad scramble from the free-kick: all sorts of headers, half-clearances and uncertainty. Luiz hacks clear to bring an end to all that.
And Lampard, what's more, has a yellow card.
It's cleared, and Villa try to break. Weimann crashes into Lampard about half-way and Villa have a free-kick.
The visitors are on the ball again. Cole crosses and Villa are suddenly very jittery as they scramble clear. Corner...
It was pretty close to the Villa keeper, and he got good, strong hands to it to steer it away from following up Chelsea players.
Luiz is definitely interested in this - he hits it well, and Guzan pushes it away.
Villa try to come forward again: Westwood and Delph link on half-way, but the home side lose possession and Lichaj fouls Hazard to give away another dangerous-free-kick.
Just under ten minutes of normal time to go, but there will be plenty of added time after the injury to Terry.
It's Mata - he curls it past the wall and also past the post.
Hazard and Mata link again, and Westwood concedes a free-kick not far outside his own area. David Luiz is there, as is Mata...
Chelsea players also appeared to feel there may have been a handball in the build-up to the clearance off the line - Baker's hand appearing to brush the ball as it bounced towards goal.
Space for Azpilicueta on the right. He crosses, and Lampard can only steer his header over the top.
Mata gets the ball just outside the area and tries to shoot - it loops away off the covering defender.
That change is made - Ivanovic on, Terry off - and play resumes. Ba chases for Chelsea, Baker clears for Villa.
Ivanovic, it appears, will be coming on once Terry has been carried off.
Still the Chelsea captain is being treated. A stretcher has been brought out onto the pitch, but he has not yet been lifted onto it.
After that scramble, Terry is down inside the Villa area and looks in some pain. He fell heavily in the build-up to the goal-line incident, and it appears he will have to come off.
Cahill scrambles the ball towards goal. Villa smuggle it off the line - just. But it didn't appear that the whole of the ball had crossed the whole of the line.
Agbonlahor gets the ball and would love to shoot - there isn't the room, though, and Luiz whips it off his toes. Chelsea attack, and Lihaj has to concede a corner. End-to-end, all of a sudden.
Azpilicueta moves forward for Chelsea. Hazard takes over, but his attempt to thread a pass into the area is over-intricate and cut out. Westwood breaks...
Weimann finds room to steer in a cross, and Terry directs it to safety.
Long from Chelsea. The solid Vlaar clears, and Lampard is unable to pick up the pieces.
Things are boiling up towards a very interesting last 20 minutes in the Midlands. Sylla, on the right, tries to feed Agbonlahor, but Chelsea step in.
Villa's turn to have a spell in the ascendancy. Delph spins just inside the box, but can only lash his shot over the top.
Chelsea defend that one well, and then Sylla is over-ambitious with his pass as he tries to keep the move going.
Sylla finds Lihaj on the right - he crosses and the deflection off Cole sends the ball fractionally over his own bar. Villa so nearly back in front. but they have a corner...
Ba is only narrowly off making contact with a Cole cross. Suddenly, Chelsea have the bit between their teeth.
Sylla makes a good, strong run through midfield - not the first time he's done that. Delph takes over, Weimann plays it in, and Cech catches.
He tries again, Mata the target this time. But it's overhit, and Mata was offside anyway.
Luiz pings a sweeping ball forward in the direction of Hazard on the left. There's a bit too much sweep, though, and it's out of play.
What can Villa find in response? Luiz plays it forward, and it deflects out for a Chelsea throw.
A wonderful goal from a wonderful footballer, and that has changed the complexion of the afternoon utterly. Villa were comfortable until Benteke was sent off. Now they've been pegged back.
GOAL: Chelsea are level, and Lampard has equalled their record. A lovely interchange between Mata and Hazard paved the way, the ball was fed to him inside the area and - as you would expect from him - the finish is unerring.
On the hour, and Chelsea come forward. Mata wins a throw deep inside Aston Villa territory.
A bit of noise from the Chelsea fans in response. There's hardly been a peep out of them today so far.
And the goalscorer becomes the recipient of the second red card of the game. A little more than half an hour left, and now it's ten against ten. How will that change things?
Benteke tangles with Terry, who is down. Benteke's boot appeared high, and he has already been booked...
The home side are keeping the ball well. They're about skill as well as fierce work-rate.
More good work from Agbonlahor down the left. Chelsea clear and Luiz stabs it up the line to Ba. Again, Chelsea run into a claret and blue wall.
Another example of Villa's speed and purpose on the break. All the impressive things on show here today are being done by them.
Lampard is a man who can, and dinks one forward down the left. But it's cleared: Delph finds Agbonlahor, Bennet tries a shot from an angle and it hits a defender to go behind for a corner.
Benteke tries to charge through from midfield again - Terry is in the way. Chelsea and their ten men have yet to find any kind of passing in this half.
Agbonlahor makes a bit of space for himself and runs to the edge of the area, but slices his effort wide of Cech's goal.
Benteke has a chance to find Weimann but delays and delays. When he does, the angle on the right of the area has narrowed, and Weimann ends up taking a complete fresh air shot.
Sylla does well to win a poor pass to him. There's that Villa attitude again. Chelsea have not managed to match it so far.
Luiz on the ball. As it stands, Villa fans will be joined by the whole of north London in a mood of celebration.
Don't forget that when these two teams met at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, Villa suffered an 8-0 defeat. How things have changed for them.
Baker soars in the air to beat Ba to a ball downfield by Chelsea. Hazard twists and turns and retains possession. Again, though, the Villa defending is doughty.
Westwood's been good for Villa - neat and tidy - and he plays it towards Agbonlahor, who is crowded out.
Luiz plays it forward, but again it's aimless. Lihaj lofts the ball towards Benteke, who flicks on, but to no avail.
And get there he does. Good defending as Benteke threatened to replicate the sort of thing he did to give Villa the lead before the break.
Hazard can't get there and Agbonlahor can try to lead a counter. Benteke has the ball fed on to him and Cahill has to get there...
And off we go for the second half - Villa get us started but Chelsea win it back and Luiz has the ball...
Change for Chelsea: David Luiz is on and Victor Moses off as the Blues try to adapt to being down to ten men.
And that's half-time: Villa are a goal and a man up. They deserve their lead and, if they can hold it for another 45 minutes against ten men, they will be safe. Stay with ESPN FC for full coverage of the second half.
Benteke sums up Villa's attitude. He chases and chases, forcing Cech all the way out of his area to hack clear.
Terry and Weimann clash by the touchline. Weimann is holding his face, but there didn't seem to be an enormous amount in that, really.
Two minutes of added time at the end of this first half. Rafa Benitez has an enormous amount to think about now.
And he's off - that had to be a second booking, and what a chance now for Villa to get the win they need to secure safety against ten men.
Ramires commits another foul, clattering into Agbonlahor. He, I think, is going to get his marching orders here - don't forget, he's already been booked.
Meanwhile, Mata loops the ball in, looking for Ba, but that's straight through to Guzan and he catches cleanly and with no problems.
Benteke's fine control gives Villa the chance to cross, but this one is too long. A minute of normal time left in this first period.
No disputing that yellow card for the Chelsea defender. Can Villa make something of the chance to get a second?
Sylla wins the ball in midfield for Villa and charges forward. And forward. Terry brings him down, and will be booked.
There are Villa appeals for handball as the ball is scrambled away following Baker's header across. It looked to have hit Cahill's shoulder, not his arm.
Five minutes until the break. Delph makes another strong run inside Chelsea territory, but carries the ball too far this time. Weimann, though, picks up the pieces and his cross is cleared by Terry for a corner.
End-to-end stuff, but Villa are defending so well at the moment. They deserve to be in front - huge work-rate, huge energy. Chelsea will need to find something more if they are to find a way through.
It's cleared, and Moses leads a Chelsea break. Bennett is there again for Villa, putting the ball out for a corner.
As Villa attack, Cahill clips Agbonlahor near the left-hand touchline. It's a clear foul. Free-kick Villa, and a great crossing position for them.
... he ends up in the book. Meanwhile, Lampard has a low shot from the edge of the area, and that one is blocked.
Benteke catches Azpilicueta as the two challenge in the air. He pleads his innocence, but...
There hasn't been much in the way of shots on goal in this match so far, and that will suit Paul Lambert just fine. His team have had one clear-cut chance, and they've taken it.
Lihaj tries to cross, but that poses nothing in the way of problems for the Chelsea back line.
They do, but fleetingly. Bennett is there for Villa, who come forward themselves...
Villa get the chance of a little respite, playing the ball away long. It's through to Cech, though, and Chelsea will try to come forward once again.
Throw to the Londoners, near the Villa area. From it, they piece together some neat passing around the edge of the area - again, the home side clear.
Lampard frees Moses on the left. Signs of a bit more life from Chelsea. Excellent work from Westwood, though, who slides in to put the ball out of play for a Chelsea throw.
Another fine stop from Guzan: his two excellent saves mean Villa still have their precious 1-0 lead.
Lampard takes it low and Guzan gets down to push it onto the face of the post and to safety. A corner is the best Chelsea can do...
Lampard will fancy this one. About 25 yards out and central. Potentially very dangerous...
Mata crosses from the right, looking for Moses. When it's cleared, Hazard picks up possession again and Agbonlahor fouls him...
In it comes, and out comes Cech to claim well.
Chelsea are scrambling to get this one away. Eventually they do, amid half-hearted handball appeals from the home crowd. Bennett crosses back in, Cahill slices the clearance. Corner to Villa...
Mata can dink in a cross from the left - again, Villa stand strong to keep it away from target Ba and Villa move forward with Westwood.
Lambert will be delighted with what his players have accomplished so far. They come forward again, but give possession away.
...and from it, Delph heads behind for a corner. Delph then heads away and, as Ramires tries to keep things going, his pass goes out of play for a Villa throw. Big cheer from the Holte End.
Chelsea have had the lion's share of possession - but they haven't really done anything much with it, the Ba chance apart. They have a free-kick inside the Villa half now, however...
Great save by Guzan - Mata finds Ba, but the Villa keeper is out bravely to block and deserves the luck he gets with the rebound.
Good running from Agbonlahor, a man revitalised beyond belief in recent weeks. That move fizzles out, though, as Benteke slips on the rainy pitch.
Lambert's side won't give Chelsea a second's rest - again, the forwards gang up to force the Blues into a hasty clearance.
This has been frustrating for Chelsea so far. Weimann chases a through ball, but Cech reads the danger and is out of his area to clear.
Huge applause rings round Villa Park, as is customary, in the 19th minute. Stilyan Petrov, recovering from illness, announced his retirement from playing this week, and the tribute to him is warmer than ever.
Free-kick to Chelsea, midway inside the Villa half. Mata plays it in and Villa head it out.
Chelsea look a bit ragged. Terry tries to slide a pass to Ba as he runs down the left-hand channel, and slides it all the way off the pitch.
Delph makes a determined run through midfield and belts a shot - it brushes the side netting of Cech's goal. More good play from Aston Villa.
He is, and it's one booking apiece at Villa Park.
Ramires then lunges in on goalscorer Benteke, and will - in all probability - be booked here.
A cracking goal from the Villa man, who has been more than instrumental in their season. He has been essential - a bgreat player whose goals have made a huge difference.
GOAL: And he finds the finish - a superb goal as, from an angle on Cech's right, he slots calmly past Cech.
But Benteke breaks out and goes on a run into the area - he latches on to a neat pass and will take on Cahill...
Cech comes out of his area to deal with a backpass from Cahill. Cole and Ba try to combine - they fail - and suddenly it's a little scrappy.
Chelsea try the more direct route down the left. Mata's the target this time, and again the home side's defending is solid. You couldn't have said that about them a couple of months ago.
Lampard plays a ball through the middle as the rain teems down. Villa clear it, and Vlaar wins a good challenge as Chelsea try to build again.
Hazard is crowded out as he tries to find Moses. Long again from Villa, but that one's easy enough for Cole to control and usher back to Cech.
A bright start. Chelsea are the more controlled but Villa - as they showed at Carrow Road - are potentially very dangerous on the counter.
Ten minutes in, and another early ball targets Agbonlahor. It goes over his head and out of play as he chases down the right, though.
Good movement from Villa this time, working the ball to Weimann on the edge of the area. His attempt to dink it into the danger zone goes wrong, though.
Another cross comes in, and Baker is there to steer that one to safety for Paul Lambert's Villa.
Again, Villa press to force them back but Chelsea are beginning to find a passing rhythm.
Ba on the move again, trapping a ball down the left for the Blues.
Hazard drifts down the left for Chelsea. It's worked back to Mata, just inside the Villa half. Chelsea then play it long, but Ba and Moses are offside as they chase towards Guzan's goal.
He does, but Villa get it away. Agbonlahor tries to counter, but Terry isn't having any of that whatsoever.
Chelsea tap the ball around inside their own half. Cole is inside the area and can cross...
No he didn't - booking for Baker. You could argue that's a little harsh. It was a strong challenge, but not an unfair one.
Ramires on the ball for Chelsea. Baker comes steaming in on Mata and appears to win the ball. Don't think the referee saw it that way...
Benteke and Weimann combine inside the Chelsea area - it's promising. Delph then tries to get away from Ramires, but can't quite manage that.
...but it runs out of play down the Villa left. Hazard tries to go on a run from the throw, but the ball is taken off his toes.
When that comes to an end, Chelsea have the throw. They lose it, and Villa knock it around at the back. Vlaar plays it upfield...
A little bit of midfield scrapping as the drizzle comes down in the Midlands.
And off we go - Chelsea get the game under way and John Terry hammers the ball upfield - aimlessly, though, and it's straight back with Villa.
And here come the teams - Villa Park is packed to the rafters, the noise is big, the atmosphere excellent. Just a few minutes to kick-off now.
Interim Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez knows it will be difficult against an in-form and fired-up Villa, but says: "We know that we have to win, and then we can relax and concentrate on the Europa League final on Wednesday".
And it's another chance for Frank Lampard to get himself level with record Chelsea goalscorer Bobby Tambling - can the midfielder do it today?
Chelsea, for their part, twice lost the lead in their last game - an extremely entertaining 2-2 draw with Tottenham at Stamford Bridge, and that means they are three points clear of fifth-placed Spurs.
It's been an extremely good last couple of games for Villa - first, they hammered Sunderland 6-1 at home, and then they won against fellow strugglers Norwich, leapfrogging them thanks to two Gabby Agbonlahor goals at Carrow Road last Saturday.
A little under 15 minutes remaining until kick-off at Villa Park on what is a big afternoon for both sides. Villa can seal Premier League safety with a win - and it would push them up to 11th - while the Blues need the points in the congested Champions League battle.
For a slice of pre-match reading, James Dall has previewed this weekend's Premier League action in Spotlight, including the lunchtime game from Villa Park.
The Chelsea team looks like this: Cech, Cole, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Lampard, Moses, Mata, Hazard, Ba. Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Luiz, Torres, Oscar, Benayoun, Ake.
Hosts Aston Villa line up as follows: Guzan, Lichaj, Vlaar, Baker, Bennett, Westwood, Delph, Sylla, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Subs: Given, Holman, Williams, Gardner, Bent, Bowery, N'Zogbia.
ESPN FC will bring you LIVE minute-by-minute commentary of Aston Villa's Premier League fixture with Chelsea, which kicks off at 12.45 BST. Team news will appear here around an hour before kick-off.