Chelsea: Moises Caicedo finally shows some steel as Noni Madueke steps up

Chelsea restored some pride with an impressive fightback at Aston Villa but left disappointed after a VAR call ruled out a last-minute winner.

Such was the anger at Villa Park, that Noni Madueke and Benoit Badiashile were booked for their angry tirade at referee Craig Pawson after the final whistle.

Pawson ruled out Axel Disasi’s 94th-minute header after Badiashile was judged to have fouled defender Diego Carlos in the build-up.

It followed both Madueke and Conor Gallagher’s wonderful left-foot strikes in the second half to fight back from 2-0 down.

They cancelled out Marc Cucurella’s early own goal and an edge-of-the-box Morgan Rogers strike just before half time.

Chelsea showed huge character after their worst defeat since 2019 at Arsenal and with 12 players out injured. It bodes well for the future but time is also running out, with just five league games left to play.

Caicedo provides hope

Moises Caicedo excelled at Villa Park in the 3-1 win in February and was head and shoulders above his peers on Saturday night.

The 22-year-old midfielder was good covering the space but particularly outstanding in possession.

He did a Jorginho-like job, dictating the tempo in midfield while also picking out excellent passes over the top of Villa’s high line.

It led to Nicolas Jackson’s early goal, which was unluckily disallowed by a marginal offside call.

The Ecuador international has faced much criticism since his £115million move but did well against high-level duo Douglas Luiz and John McGinn in the Midlands.

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Noni shines when Palmer is off it

Just like he did at Sheffield United, Madueke scored a key goal to put Chelsea back in the match, having fired a similar left-footed warning shots in the second half.

The winger gave the ball away a lot in the first half but grew into the game.

Nicolas Jackson wasted Chelsea’s biggest chance early on, Mykhailo Mudryk struggled and Cole Palmer had a rare off day.

In his defence, the 20-goal talisman has been ill for much of the week. But when Palmer is off it, Madueke tends to shine.


Mudryk’s woes continue

One marquee signing excelled but another faltered at Villa.

Mudryk was desperately poor against Arsenal and skied two shots, failed to control the ball on several and couldn’t play simple passes.

The Ukraine international looks bereft of confidence and looks like he doesn’t want to be out on the pitch at the moment.