Chelsea scores late at Villa to keep CL hope alive

March 31, 2012

Chelsea's late attempt to qualify for the Champions League was boosted by a 4-2 win at Aston Villa in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Villa recovered from 2-0 down to 2-2 with 10 minutes remaining but Branislav Ivanovic headed in his second goal of the game and Fernando Torres struck late on - his first league goal in six months - to give fifth-place Chelsea increased hope of finishing in the top four.

Daniel Sturridge put Chelsea ahead in the ninth minute from a rebound after Torres' close-range effort was blocked by defender Stephen Warnock. Ivanovic doubled Chelsea's lead in the 51st before James Collins and Eric Lichaj scored for Villa.

Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov watched from the stands, a day after it was announced he has acute leukemia.


The Bulgaria international will begin treatment in a London hospital on Monday.

Petrov was visibly emotional as he waved from the stands to the fans giving him a standing ovation.

It was Chelsea's sixth win in eight games under interim coach Roberto Di Matteo, although fourth-place Tottenham can restore its lead over its London rival to five points if it beats Swansea on Sunday.