| Ivanovic |
London: Chelsea rode their luck to emerge with a second win in as many Premier League games on Wednesday after Branislav Ivanovic escaped a red card and then his marker to head them to a 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
Moments after the Serb had walked away with a caution after he appeared to elbow Villa striker Christian Benteke, the defender rose to power a free kick from Frank Lampard into the back of the net and apply a gloss to a lacklustre Chelsea display.
It was not the only decision that drew the ire of the Aston Villa dugout as, deep in stoppage time, John Terry parried the ball with a flailing arm, unseen by referee Kevin Friend.
That incident ensured a match, which came to life only when Benteke cancelled out an early own goal from Antonio Luna, ended with Chelsea chalking up their second home win of the campaign.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech made two excellent second-half saves from Andreas Weimann
“I think in this moment, if we are here with a draw, it wouldn’t be an unfair result,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho told reporters.
“They don’t play a lot but they fight a lot. They create great difficulties.
“If Petr doesn’t save that one (from Weimann) we probably don’t get a point.”
His Villa counterpart, Paul Lambert, laid the blame for the defeat squarely with the referee.
“I think we were done by two bad decisions,” he said.
Chelsea were handed the opener on a plate. Oscar set Eden Hazard through down the left and the Belgian's side-footed finish was parried by Villa keeper Brad Guzan into the path of Luna, who, oblivious to the danger, bundled it into his own net. (Reuters)