Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga made seven saves to deny Steven Gerrard’s side, the Spaniard’s best tally in the Premier League
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard “won’t hide from the noise” as his side were booed off after defeat by Chelsea.
Two Mason Mount goals earned Chelsea a 2-0 win, the first after a Tyrone Mings mistake in the sixth minute.
But Villa were dominant before the break and hit the woodwork twice, which Gerrard says he wants his side to replicate in coming weeks.
The club are 16th in the Premier League, a point above the bottom three after two victories this season.
But the defeat ended a run of four games unbeaten, one win and three draws, which included a point against Manchester City.
“I think I’d be stupid not to concern myself or be aware of where we are at and I accept that,” he said.
“Every time I’ve spoken to the media, I’ve fronted that up and I won’t hide from the responsibility, the criticism or the noises that are coming from the stands today.
“But what I will say is if these players can replicate that first hour moving forward I don’t think this team will have an issue and they certainly won’t be in the area they are now in the league.”
He added: “We want the Man City performance and today’s hour consistently. That’s where we’re trying to get to.”
In addition to boos at the final whistle, Gerrard was jeered by a section of supporters as he headed down the tunnel.
It came after one of their best halves this season, however, where Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga made a string of fine saves to deny John McGinn, Danny Ings and Leon Bailey.
“You can understand the frustration because they’ve seen the team perform ever so well for an hour but no goals. I hear the group singing from the Holte End. I’m aware of it all, but it is what it is,” said Gerrard.
“I have to accept it and try and do everything I can to try and change the way they’re feeling at the moment.”
Villa were on the backfoot after Mings’ early mistake, and Mount’s second, a 65th-minute free-kick ended the game as a contest when he wrong-footed goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
But Gerrard said Mings and the team reacted well to going behind so early.
“To be fair to Tyrone, I’ve been in dressing rooms where people make mistakes and don’t put their hand up and take responsibility for them,” he said.
“Tyrone’s done that and I’ve told him there was no need to do that because his reaction was superb from there and his form’s improved dramatically in my opinion. He’s been one of our strongest performers.
“Outside of that mistake. I thought he was good again today. And the team’s reaction from going a goal down was positive and strong. So as a manager, that’s all you can ask for.”
Chelsea boss Graham Potter said he was delighted with the result and a fourth consecutive clean sheet.
His side are now unbeaten in six games since he took over, with five successive wins.
But an attempt to play Raheem Sterling at right wing-back caused surprise following the injury to Reece James, with Potter changing his line-up at half-time.
“We’re obviously delighted with the result because it was a hard fought game,” Potter said. “Aston Villa made us suffer, certainly in that first off. We needed Kepa to made some fantastic saves and in the end Mason’s made the difference. We were more stable in the second half.”
Mount’s goals were his first for the club this season, and they came in front of the watching England manager Gareth Southgate with the World Cup starting next month.
Potter said of Mount: “He’s got the quality, he’s got the ability to score and assist. Sometimes players go for a little dip if the team isn’t functioning that well and maybe the team didn’t function as well as it may be can and as a result of that individuals don’t play to the level.
“But the efforts always been there from my perspective and once he can get in the spaces want to get into he’s got the quality to execute and you saw that today.”
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