Mason Mount’s brace piled additional pressure onto Steven Gerrard as Chelsea dispatched Aston Villa 2-0 at Villa Park.
The victory ensured all three points were taken back to West London, as Graham Potter extended his unbeaten run with Chelsea to five consecutive games.
Villa controlled the immediate opening stages of the first half with two half chances for Danny Ings and Douglas Luiz.
Spurred on by a loud home following, it looked like Villa may take the advantage, however in the 6th minute, Tyrone Mings found himself guilty of misplacing a header in his own box which fell to Mason Mount’s feet, who made no mistake slotting the ball past Emiliano Martinez.
Despite Chelsea having the goal advantage it was Villa who looked more threatening. Leon Bailey found himself unmarked in the box, his headed effort in the 14th minute skimmed the top of the crossbar and went out for a Chelsea goal kick.
As the first half progressed, Steven Gerrard’s team continued to ask questions of Chelsea’s defence. In the 20th minute a triple save from Kepa saved Chelsea’s blushes. John McGinn’s strike was well matched, Ramsey stepped up to fire the rebounded shot towards the left-hand corner but once again Kepa was present to push the ball away. Chelsea were not let off just yet as Kepa’s palmed clearance found Douglas Luiz, who blasted a shot goalward, but much to Chelsea’s avail it sailed over the bar.
Villa showed no signs of giving Chelsea any breathing space, this time in the 30th minute Leon Bailey whipped in a cross which found Danny Ings in the six-yard box. Villa’s No.9 looked destined to head home but somehow Kepa managed to push his effort over.
As the first half drew to a close, despite a chance in the 39th minute for Sterling, who’s effort from just inside the box rattled the crossbar, it was Chelsea who needed to survive getting to the interval.
After two minutes of additional time, referee Robert Jones blew his whistle as Chelsea somehow headed into the break retaining their sixth minute one goal advantage.
Steven Gerrard was left visibly frustrated in his technical area after watching his side fail to capitalise on the chances they had created.
This time it was Chelsea’s turn to start the half brightly. Graham Potter’s side dominated the early spells of possession but very few chances were created between the two sides.
As the second half progressed neither team looked like scoring, that was until the 64th minute when Tyrone Mings brought down Mason Mount, roughly 30 yards out which presented Chelsea’s No.19 with a chance to rifle the set piece at Martinez.
Up stepped Mason Mount who smashed his effort into the top right corner, Martinez attempted to guess early by shifting his movement to the left which proved costly. Chelsea found themselves two goals up, with two mistakes from Tyrone Mings both punished by Mason Mount.
As the clock hit the 70th minute mark, it was Chelsea who continued to look the brighter side. Connor Gallagher’s cross found sterling who’s headed effort went just wide of the post.
The Villa faithful began to empty Villa Park as Steven Gerrard’s team struggled to emulate their first half performance and Kepa just simply did not look like he would be beaten.
Robert Jones looked to his watch and blew for full time on the contest as Steven Gerrard’s side recorded another defeat.
Echoes of boos rang around Villa Park as the pressure piled on Gerrard. Chelsea had inflicted Villa’s fifth defeat of the Premier League season, leaving them in 16th place with just two recorded wins.