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8 goal thriller at the Bridge

8 goal thriller at the Bridge

8 goal thriller at the Bridge

Aston Villa held Chelsea to a 4-4 draw in a thriller at Stamford Bridge. The draw puts a huge dent in Chelsea's hopes of catching Arsenal and Chelsea at the top of the league in one of the most memorable Premiership encounters for years; with 3 sending offs, 2 penalties, fights and Villa going 2-0 up early on.

Michael Ballack appeared to have snatched victory for Chelsea with a free-kick three minutes from time amid some controversial refereeing from Phil Dowd, but Barry converted from the spot in time added on after Ashley Cole had been sent off for handling Gabriel Agbonlahor's shot on the line.

Scotland striker Shaun Maloney stabbed in a 14th-minute goal and scored Villa's second 30 minutes later thanks to a spectacular blunder from Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech, deemed fit enough to start.

But the match swung in Chelsea's favour when Villa defender Zat Knight was sent off for fouling substitute Michael Ballack in the penalty box in first-half stoppage time.

Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko scored the resulting penalty and blasted in a 50th-minute equaliser.

The Blues' Brazilian centre-half Alex then coolly scored in the 66th minute but Denmark centre-half Martin Laursen volleyed in from a corner six minutes later.

Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho was sent off for a two-footed tackle on Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Ballack scored a free-kick in the 88th minute before Blues left-back Ashley Cole was sent off for a handball on the line and Villa captain Gareth Barry scored the injury-time equaliser from the resulting penalty.