Chelsea eased the pressure on manager Mauricio Pochettino with a commanding 3-1 win against Aston Villa to reach the FA Cup fifth round.
Villa was the clear favourite to make it to the round of 16, but Chelsea’s outstanding offensive performance relieved manager Mauricio Pochettino of some of the strain. Villa has been playing well at home this season.
After Wolverhampton Wanderers defeated them 4–2 at home on Sunday, leaving them in 11th place in the Premier League, Pochettino’s brief time at Stamford Bridge came under intense scrutiny.
Chelsea’s cup runs are saving their season; they have already advanced to the EFL Cup final at Wembley against Liverpool on February 25. Against Villa, who have only lost two of their 16 home games, this was undoubtedly their best performance of the year.
After 11 minutes, Conor Gallagher calmly finished with his right foot at the Holte End to put Chelsea ahead. Nicolas Jackson quickly added a second goal with a well-placed header after Malo Gusto’s cross.
Nine minutes after the half, Enzo Fernandez curled a spectacular 25-yard free-kick into the top corner, tantalisingly beyond of reach of Villa goalie Emiliano Martinez, another Argentina World Cup winner. This goal put an end to Villa’s hopes of a comeback.
Replace Even though Moussa Diaby gave Villa a late comeback, it was insufficient to salvage the match. Chelsea will now play Leeds United at Stamford Bridge in the fifth round.