Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino was left furious after referee Jarred Gillet ended the first half abruptly and had to have a word with the centre-man in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Ollie Watkins fired home an unerring winner between the legs of Robert Sanchez from an incredibly tight angle as Villa capitalised on Malo Gusto’s dismissal for dangerous play.
Mauricio Pochettino’s hosts fashioned plenty of chances before Gusto’s red card for a poorly-timed tackle that caught Lucas Digne on the ankle but, as so often this season failed to take any of them.
In the end, the difference was that Aston Villa could finish from a tight angle while Chelsea saw chances from Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Jackson and Enzo Fernandez missed in a tightly-fought encounter at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea owner Behdad Eghbali was seen entering the Chelsea dressing room minutes after the defeat in what would have been a post-defeat discussion.
The Chelsea boss admitted he was disappointed with the outcome of the game but said they needed to trust the process and continue working.
“Of course we are disappointed and we will not continue to hide. Work, trust in them, confidence. We have the squad we have, we need to try to build the confidence and give them all of the support they need because they need to perform on the pitch. The performance is good, not excellent but we are missing goals.
“I start tomorrow again to prepare the game for Wednesday and hope we can score Wednesday.”
Chelsea have now lost back-to-back home league games for the first time this season and will host Brighton in midweek in the League Cup.