Chelsea’s mini-revival looks to be over after a 2-0 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday put manager Graham Potter’s position back in the spotlight.
Goals from Ollie Watkins and John McGinn at Stamford Bridge made it two games without a win for Potter’s team, which dropped into the bottom half of the Premier League in 11th place.
Villa moved up to ninth and potentially in position to challenge for Europe.
Chelsea looked to have turned a corner before the international break by advancing to the Champions League quarterfinals, where it faces Real Madrid. But this was the latest setback for Potter, who has struggled to get the Londoners’ season on track since he was hired in September.
There were boos from inside the stadium after the final whistle.
Watkins fired Villa ahead when racing onto a mistake from Marc Cucurella in the 18th-minute and lifting his shot over Kepa Arrizabalaga. Chelsea had chances to equalize.
Joao Felix forced a good save from Emiliano Martinez and Mykhailo Mudryk failed to beat the Villa goalkeeper with another effort.
Ben Chilwell also came close when hitting the post and Kai Havertz forced another save from Martinez.
But McGinn sealed the win in the 56th.
He had already hit the bar in the first half and doubled Villa’s lead with a powerful effort from outside the box.