Chelsea, overhauled by coach Frank Lampard after a weekend loss to Arsenal, drew 1-1 at home to Aston Villa on Monday.
This was after Oliver Giroud’s first-half header was cancelled out shortly after the break by Anwar El Ghazi.
Lampard made six changes to the team that began Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to their London neighbours and his gamble on Giroud paid off.
This was when the France striker stooped to head in a cross by Ben Chilwell in the 34th minute.
It was Giroud’s third goal in four league starts this season, a contrast to a poor run for Timo Werner who has failed to score in the league since Nov. 7.
The German, signed from RB Leipzig in the summer, appeared only as a substitute on Monday.
Villa drew level in the 50th minute when El Ghazi side footed a volley at the far post through the legs of Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy after a cross by Matty Cash.
Chelsea protested in vain that their defender Andreas Christensen had been fouled in the build-up by Jack Grealish.
The result means Villa and Chelsea sit in fifth and sixth place on the table respectively, ahead of Tuesday’s matches. (Reuters/NAN)