Aston Villa 2-2 Chelsea: Blues denied late winner by VAR after second-half fightback

Chelsea fought back to hold Aston Villa to a 2-2 draw with a stirring second-half performance on Saturday night, but were denied a late winner by VAR.

A brilliant second-half strike by Conor Gallagher saw the Blues comeback from two goals down to threaten Villa's Champions League hopes.

Villa are fourth on 67 points, seven ahead of Tottenham, who play title-chasing Arsenal in the north London derby on Sunday as one of their three games in hand over Villa. Chelsea are ninth on 48 points.

Thrashed 5-0 by Arsenal in midweek, Chelsea got off to the worst possible start when Villa midfielder John McGinn's shot was scuffed into his own net by Marc Cucurella in the fourth minute and Morgan Rogers added a second goal for the home side just before the break.

Villa were forced to replace keeper Emi Martinez with Robin Olsen at the break due to a hamstring injury, but the Swede was powerless to stop Noni Madueke from pulling back a goal in the 63rd minute and Gallagher's stunning 81st-minute equaliser before Chelsea had what looked to be a late winner ruled out after a VAR review.

Additional reporting by Reuters.