Bruma disappointed by late lapse
Jeffrey Bruma admitted Chelsea only had themselves to blame after throwing away victory against Aston Villa, dealing a blow to their Premier League title hopes. Bruma was denied victory on what was his full debut for the champions as Villa snatched a last-gasp draw in yesterday's 3-3 thriller at Stamford Bridge.
The result left Chelsea languishing in fifth place, six points behind unbeaten leaders Manchester United having played a game more, and crucially outside the UEFA Champions League spots.
The Blues had staged a late fightback from 2-1 down to lead 3-2 going into stoppage-time but went to sleep to allow Ciaran Clark to steal in at the back post and head an equaliser.
That piled the pressure back on manager Carlo Ancelotti, and Bruma acknowledged the fault lay squarely with the players.
The 19-year-old said: "Everyone knows Premier League games are always fast, quick, strong, so if we don't play our game then they will play their game and you will see that they will dominate us. It can happen.
"At the end, we were dominating them again and then you saw that we scored a goal. After, I think we should've kept the ball and been strong in the marking because the guy from Villa had a free header."
The young Dutchman insisted he was not personally responsible for Clark's equaliser, adding: "I was marking my man. I think everyone else was, or maybe someone forgot to mark his one."
However, Bruma did struggle to cope with the outstanding Emile Heskey for much of the game, with the former England striker climbing above the teenager to head in Villa's second.
"He's a very strong guy," Bruma told Chelsea TV. "Obviously, when you play against a striker like him, you can't win every ball. You can't come always in front of him, because he's so strong."
Ancelotti turned to Bruma yesterday after Branislav Ivanovic's suspension left him without a recognised experienced centre-half to play alongside John Terry. The fact Villa created several clear-cut chances on top of their three goals reinforced the need for the champions to sign a defender during the transfer window. They travel to rock-bottom Wolves on Wednesday knowing anything other than victory is unthinkable.
Villa would also love a win, with yesterday's result ending their run of six defeats in seven matches. Goal hero Clark told AVTV: "I couldn't ask for any more really after that finish. To go 3-2 down in the last few minutes after the performance we had put in was just devastating. I turned around and saw all the lads with their heads in their hands after they scored that one."
He added of his equaliser: "It was like a dream - time seemed to stand still. I was straight over to the fans. I saw my mum and dad up there in amongst it and I ran over. I was just delighted."
Rubbishing reports of dressing-room unrest, the 21-year-old said: "We have shown we've got no problems at all. It's just the luck hasn't been with us. When that third went in for them, I thought, 'Here we go again'. But we showed how strong we really are when we came back and got the draw."