Four Chelsea players save Mauricio Pochettino's skin as Blues target unlikely double after Aston Villa win

Four Chelsea players save Mauricio Pochettino's skin as Blues target unlikely double after Aston Villa win

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Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 07/02/2024

- 21:54

Updated: 07/02/2024

- 22:01

Chelsea pulled off one of their best results of the season to knock out Aston Villa

Chelsea are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a timely win over Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Mauricio Pochettino's side won 3-1 at Villa Park in the fourth-round replay to ease pressure on their head coach.

Chelsea headed into the match off the back of Sunday's demoralising 4-2 Premier League defeat at home to Wolves.

Pochettino decided to drop Thiago Silva after the Brazilian's wife appeared to call for him to be sacked at the weekend.

Chelsea Aston Villa FA Cup

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It was one of three changes, with Christopher Nkunku and Raheem Sterling also dropping out in place of Noni Madueke and Nicolas Jackson.

Chelsea got off to the perfect start through Conor Gallagher, when the midfielder finished expertly in just the 11th minute.

Jackson then doubled the lead 10 minutes later when he headed Malo Gusto's cross past the helpless Emiliano Martinez.

Enzo Fernandez made it 3-0 early in the second half with an exquisite free-kick to seal victory for the visitors. Moussa Diaby scored a consolation goal for Villa in the first minute of stoppage time.

The Frenchman's goal came too late as GB News looks at what we learned on an important night for Pochettino.

Four players save Pochettino

All reports this week have suggested that Pochettino's job is safe for the time being.

However, another defeat and exiting a cup competition in the process would have piled even more pressure on the Argentine.

He needed his players to step up and be counted and they certainly did that.

Gallagher has captained Chelsea for the majority of the season and he showed exactly why he must be tied down to a long-term deal.

He is not a flashy midfielder but is the type of player you need in your squad when times get tough.

Fernandez has been linked with a potential exit from Stamford Bridge this week but he showed his head is firmly with the Blues.

His free kick was a thing of beauty, leaving international team-mate Emiliano Martinez without a hope of clawing it out of the top-left corner.

Fernandez's midfield partner Moises Caicedo put in arguably his best performance since his British-record move from Brighton.

Malo Gusto also had a strong night at right-back, laying on the assist for what proved to be a vital second goal.

All four players were key to Chelsea winning on the night and ensuring Pochettino survives another day.


Chelsea target unlikely double

Mauricio Pochettino

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There has been plenty of misery around Chelsea in the last few days but there is now a fighting chance that they could win a cup double this season.

They will be underdogs in the Carabao Cup final against Liverpool but anything can happen on the day at Wembley.

Chelsea now have a favourable draw in the fifth round of the FA Cup, where they face Championship side Leeds at Stamford Bridge.

With their Premier League campaign going up in flames, Pochettino may not be blamed for putting extra emphasis on winning at least one piece of silverware in his first year in charge.

Villa Park no longer a fortress

Unai Emery

Chelsea news: Aston Villa will be hugely disappointed by the nature of their defeat


Villa were unbeaten in 17 successive home Premier League matches before losing to Newcastle 3-1 last week.

Unai Emery had made the ground something of a fortress since his arrival.

However, two home defeats in a row will allay some of the fears visiting teams will have for the rest of the season.

Villa were favourities to progress on Wednesday, so to lose by such a comfortable scoreline against a team low in confidence like Chelsea will be hugely disappointing.

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