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Match Report: Villa Res 1-0 Chelsea Res


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Callum Robinson fired Villa to a deserved victory over Chelsea on a night when Carlos Cuellar made his return from a long-term injury.

A first-half strike from Robinson earned the claret and blues a second straight Barclays Premier Reserve League success.

And there was good news on the fitness front too with Cuellar getting through 45 minutes - his first match action since undergoing surgery on his right knee in May.

Fellow first teamers Marc Albrighton, Ciaran Clark and Chris Herd also got some valuable game time and played their part in a gritty team performance.

Cuellar, who last donned a claret and blue shirt in the Barclays Premier League win over Newcastle in April, had little to worry about in the first-half as Villa spent most of it on the front foot.

For all the experience in the home side's back four, the first period proved to be a tale of two 16-year-olds - striker Robinson and fellow attacker Jack Grealish.

The talented duo caused Chelsea's defenders problems with their high pressing and work rate.

This refreshing industry from the young forwards led to the opening goal on 26 minutes. Under pressure from Grealish, goalkeeper Rhys Taylor made a mess of his clearance. Robinson reacted quickest and took a neat touch before rifling home his shot.

Villa were undoubtedly good value for the lead. Albrighton had already tested Taylor with a low drive after dispossessing Ben Gordon, while the winger also provided a teasing cross which Shane Lowry glanced wide.

Another Albrighton effort kissed the post following a fast Villa counter just before the break.

The Blues threatened on a couple of occasions - Jacob Mellis' drive deflecting inches wide while Ciaran Clark made a heroic double block to thwart Alex Kiwomya from close range.

The boys in claret and blue felt aggrieved not to have had a penalty in the second-half after Grealish raced on to a loose ball and was sent tumbling by Taylor only for the referee to award a corner.

From the resulting corner, Clark rose above everyone to head Albrighton's high hanging cross agonisingly wide.

Substitute Michael Drennan almost made an immediate impact, heading just off target moments after replacing Grealish.

For all their positive attacking play, Villa had teenage goalkeeper Calum Barrett to thank for preserving the lead.

The U18s custodian made a wonderful double save in the closing stages, diving to his left to deny Adam Nditi before reacting quickly to keep out George Saville's follow-up.

VILLA: Barrett, Webb, Cuellar, Clark, Lowry, Grealish, Herd, Johnson, Cameron, Albrighton, Robinson. Subs: Donacien, Coton, Drennan [for Grealish 69], Barton [Robinson 84], Kinsella [for Cuellar HT].

CHELSEA: Taylor, Hutchinson, Magnay, Gordon, Deen-Conteh, C Clifford, B Clifford, Mellis, Kiwomya, Saville, Djalo. Subs: Nkumu, Russell, Ince [for Deen-Conteh 89], Loftus-Cheek, Nditi [for Kiwomya 54].

Get well soon Petrov
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