Leon Bailey Shines as Aston Villa Lose to Chelsea
Chelsea is currently sitting at the top of the English Premier League table after beating Leon Bailey’s Aston Villa 3-0 at Stamford Bridge. Aston Villa played well and there were a lot of positives the players can take from their performance. Aston Villa coach Dean Smith started the game with a 3-5-2 formation, with a strike partnership of Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings. Villa began brightly in the first half, with McGinn and Ollie Watkins causing all sorts of problems for the Chelsea defenders. The first good chance fell to Danny Ings, who only had to play a simple pass to Watkins for an easy scoring opportunity. Ings overhit the pass and the opportunity disappeared just like that. Matty Cash was also causing a constant threat with his long throws that forced Chelsea’s defence to concede corner kicks. However, Chelsea showed their class when Mateo Kovacic danced past two Villa midfielders before releasing Romelu Lukaku with a perfect pass in the 14th minute. Lukaku left Villa’s defence for dead and finished with his right foot before wheeling off in celebration.
Aston Villa remained dangerous and Ollie Watkins had a chance to score in the 17th minute. He dribbled past Chelsea’s Chalobah before taking a strong shot at goal. Chelsea’s goal keeper Eduard Mendy was not in a mood to give away free gifts and he cleared the ball out for a corner kick. Aston Villas best chance came in the 32nd minute when defender Tyrone Mings smashed a bullet shot that was saved by Mendy, the rebound fell to another Villa player but Mendy stopped it again. Chelsea’s new midfielder Saul was struggling to contain the tenacious John McGinn who kept stealing balls from him. Saul was having a shocking debut, losing the ball four times and therefore putting Chelsea at risk of conceding a goal. Villa had up to six chances to shoot at Chelsea’s goal but they were too wasteful and Chelsea survived. At halftime, Chelsea was leading 1- 0 and Villa fans were already begging for Leon Bailey to be introduced from the bench. The second half saw Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel drop Saul from the lineup, with Jorginho coming in to replace him. Jorginho’s introduction brought a calmness in the Blues midfield and suddenly Chelsea looked like the dominant force they have been for the last 7 months. It didn’t take long for Chelsea to score again, as Matteo Kovacic chased down a silly back pass by Tyrone Mings in the 48th minute. Kovacic took advantage of Mings’ mistake by placing the ball in the back of the net. Aston villa fans have a funny saying that goes something like this: ‘’It’s not a Villa game if Mings doesn’t make a mistake.’’
Jamaican international Leon Bailey came in for Jacob Ramsey in the 56th minute. He was coming back from a hamstring injury that has kept him out of a couple of games for Jamaica and Aston Villa. He did well and even had Marcos Alonso booked after he nutmegged him. He also dribbled past Rudiger(who is one of the best defenders in the world) and left him on the ground. Despite embarrassing the Chelsea players, he couldn’t help his team get a win. It was Lukaku who closed the scoring with another bullet shot in the last seconds of the game. Bailey, who has a large following on social media, posted pictures and videos of himself dropping Rudiger, and Rudiger responded jokingly. These videos have been trending on social media. You can check out his posts on his Instagram(@leonbailey) which receives following from other celebrities like Usain Bolt. Chelsea is currently the best team in Europe after winning the UEFA Champions league a few months ago. Aston Villa’s performance will therefore give them confidence going into other games because most teams struggle against Chelsea’s world-class players. Chelsea’s coach Thomas Tuchel described Aston Villa as ‘’very dangerous opponent. ‘’ One thing is for sure; Villa have a very talented team and the future is bright for Leon Bailey.