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Chelsea, stung by Arsenal defeat, held 1-1 by Villa

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LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea, overhauled by coach Frank Lampard after a weekend loss to Arsenal, drew 1-1 at home to Aston Villa on Monday as 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 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 sidefooted 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 in the table respectively ahead of Tuesday’s matches.

Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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