The Blues entered the match after two consecutive delays in the Premier League. Due to lost points, they ceded their first place to Manchester City and slipped even below second-placed Liverpool.
Sunday’s victory over Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa brought the wind back to Chelsea. They played well, kept fit and were clinically in front of goal. The Blues came to the goal in the 28th minute after Reece James cleared the ball into his own net.
Five minutes later, Callum Hudson-Odoi fouled within the Villa and that gave Chelsea a chance to equalize. Jorginho stepped up to turn the scoring penalty and bring Chelsea back into the competition.
Substitution Romelu Lukaku then put Chelsea in the lead after the break before Jorginho scored another penalty in extra time to close the away game.
Here are the five players who contributed the most to Chelsea’s impressive 3-1 win at Villa Park on Boxing Day:
# 5 Antonio Rudiger
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger certainly enjoyed the most comfortable night at Villa Park on Sunday. The German defender was confident and easily won most of the duel.
During the match, Rudiger broke out three times, had two interceptions and four attempts.
The German international also won five of his six duels and provided six precise long balls. All in all, it was an impressive performance by an experienced defender, who once again proved how valuable he is to this Chelsea team.
# 4 Thiago Silva
While Rudiger was in charge of handling the left side, Thiago Silva was in charge of maintaining common sense in the back. As Trevoh Chalobah pulled most of the fire from the Villa players, Silva had to stay calm and prevent the development of dangerous situations.
The Brazilian defender was as sober as ever and with all his experience led the Chelsea back line.
The former Paris Saint-Germain player broke out once, blocked twice and intercepted the ball twice. He was also great with his long balls, scoring 12 of his 15 attempts on goal.
Silva was sent off for seven minutes in the second half due to injury. He seemed to feel a hamstring on the field, which somewhat diminished Chelsea’s festive spirit.