It was a difficult decision for referee Chris Foy, but it was a decision which was going to cause controversy either way.
The key talking point in the first-half happened five minutes before the half-time interval, when January transfer window signing Nemanja Matic connected with a cross and bundled the ball home from close range.
Chelsea’s celebration was short-lived, as the assistant referee indicated to Foy that the former Benfica star used his arm in order to score – resulting in a free kick to Aston Villa.
Was it the correct call? Judging by Jose Mourinho’s reaction and subsequent bafflement at some of Foy’s decisions, perhaps the Portuguese boss felt it wasn’t.
Nemanja Matic was speaking to Chelsea TV after the game, and when asked whether he believed his goal should have counted, he responded by saying:
“Yes, I think that I touched the ball with the shoulder. Maybe that was a goal, I’m not sure, I have to see it one more time.”
“This is football, we can do nothing about that now.”
It ultimately proved costly, with Villa picking up the three points with a late Fabian Delph winner, resigning Mourinho to yet another disappointing result at Villa Park – his fifth attempt without a win.
Chelsea remain top of the table, but with Manchester City winning and Arsenal and Liverpool to play on Sunday, it could have a huge effect on the Premier League title-race come the end of the season.