Clark Rescues Villa At Bridge  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 3 Aston Villa 3

Ciaran Clark scores for VillaCiaran Clark saved the day for Aston Villa after snatching a stoppage time goal against Chelsea to seal a 3-3 draw.

The reigning Premier League champions thought they had three points in the bag after John Terry found the back of the net in the 89th minute to put them 3-2 ahead.

But Villa, who fought hard all afternoon with an encouraging display at Stamford Bridge, were able to clinch a much-needed point as substitute Marc Albrighton floated in a superb cross to allow Clark to nod home a cool late equaliser.

Frank Lampard put Chelsea Description: ahead with a penalty early on after James Collins brought down Florent Malouda in the area, but Ashley Young responded from the spot for Villa following a reckless tackle from Michael Essien on Nigel Reo-Coker.

Emile Heskey, who contributed a dangerous display, added another for the visitors soon after the break and although Chelsea applied serious pressure until Terry broke through, Clark was able to earn Villa a share of the spoils.


The draw provides a much-needed boost for Villa, with Gerard Houllier's men dangerously close to the relegation zone, while the Blues remain outside the top four and will be left rueing what could have been a crucial win.

The result left Chelsea marooned in fifth place, six points behind Manchester United having played a game more, and crucially outside the Champions League places.

That will place manager Carlo Ancelotti's position under fresh scrutiny, while opposite number Gerard Houllier may enjoy some respite after ending a run of six defeats in seven games.

Chelsea began today's match buoyed from ending their worst set of results for 11 years in Wednesday night's ugly 1-0 win over Bolton.

But for all their early possession, they once again lacked any real penetration.

Jeffrey Bruma - making his full Premier League debut - saw a header from a corner blocked but the better chances all fell to Villa, with Gabriel Agbonlahor, Ashley Young and Stewart Downing all going close.

But a sudden loss of discipline cost them dear, captain Stiliyan Petrov booked for a stupid lunge on Florent Malouda moments before James Collins climbed all over the Frenchman to concede a penalty.

Malouda did throw himself to the floor, and Brad Friedel and Collins were both cautioned for protesting, but it was a definite foul and Lampard stepped up to convert his first goal since August.

Villa's frustration got the better of them and they were penalised for more than one late tackle, while Reo-Coker, Agbonlahor and Clark were all booked before half-time.

Clark and the recalled Richard Dunne both missed glorious chances to level when they headed and hooked over, respectively, from close range as Chelsea's defence went to sleep.

Dunne also produced a last-gasp tackle to stop Malouda and a vital clearance to thwart Michael Essien.

Ramires was booked for clipping Petrov's heels and Villa's pressure finally told when Essien's clumsy tackle on Reo-Coker handed them a penalty four minutes before the break. Young made no mistake from the spot.

Collins nodded another half-chance too close to Petr Cech before half-time and Villa picked up where they had left off right from the restart.

And Heskey put them ahead just two minutes in when he climbed above young Bruma to power home Downing's excellent right-wing cross.

The former England player was then booked for a late tackle on Essien as Chelsea began to wake up to their predicament.

Lampard, Drogba and Ramires all saw shots blocked before the latter drilled just wide after the ball broke to him in the box.

The weakness of Ancelotti's bench was summed up when he sent on Jose Bosingwa for Paulo Ferreira.

Lampard was unlucky not to level in the 63rd minute when he sent a vicious volley straight at Friedel, who then brilliantly closed down Malouda as the forward tried to slot Lampard's ball through the keeper's legs.

Ancelotti threw on Salomon Kalou for Ramires for the final 17 minutes.

Downing drilled straight at Cech from 25 yards before Terry was carded for a lunge on Young and Ancelotti played his final card by introducing Daniel Sturridge for Nicolas Anelka.

Chelsea were denied in the final 10 minutes by some desperate Villa defending as the visiting fans began to chant, "You're getting sacked in the morning!", at Ancelotti.

But Drogba came to his manager's rescue six minutes from time with the ugliest of equalisers.

The struggling striker's miscontrol set up Kalou, whose shot was blocked back for Drogba to rifle home via Carlos Cuellar.

Drogba then nodded over Malouda's corner after Villa had brought on Marc Albrighton for an injured Agbonlahor.


With barely a minute remaining, Chelsea snatched what they thought was a winner.

Drogba's bullet header was parried by Friedel straight to Terry, who produced a superb sidefoot finish to spark wild celebrations, with Ancelotti mobbed by his own players.

But the joy was short-lived, with Clark stealing in completely unmarked at the back post to nod in Albrighton's cross.

There was still time for Drogba to volley Bosingwa's cross wide and Albrighton to mishit a volley as both sides poured forward in search of a winner.

Click Here For Official Team Sheet


Chelsea  Cech, Ferreira (Bosingwa 57), Bruma, Terry, Cole, Essien, Ramires (Kalou 72), Lampard, Drogba, Malouda, Anelka (Sturridge 78)
Subs Not Used  Turnbull, Van Aanholt, McEachran, Mellis
Booked  Ramires, Terry
Goals  Lampard (pen) 23, Drogba 84, Terry 89

Aston Villa  Friedel, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Clark, Young, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Downing, Agbonlahor (Albrighton 85), Heskey
Subs Not Used  Marshall, Lichaj, Herd, Bannan, Pires, Delfouneso
Booked  Petrov, Collins, Friedel, Reo-Coker, Agbonlahor, Clark, Heskey
Goals  Young (pen) 41, Heskey 47, Clark 90

Attendance  41,222

Referee  L. Mason

The Soccerlinks Hit List