Mauricio Pochettino was finally relieved of some pressure as Chelsea sealed a 3-1 victory against Aston Villa to reach the FA Cup fifth round, on Wednesday. Goals from Conor Gallagher (11′), Nicolas Jackson (21′) and Enzo Fernandez (54′) saw Chelsea seal a 3-1 win, in what was a dominant showing.
Gallagher was teed up by Noni Madueke for the opener and Jackson added a second via a header. It was Fernandez, who perfectly summed up Chelsea’s performance, with an exquisite free-kick into the top-left corner. It was a stunning free-kick from 25-yards as Fernandez beat his countryman Emiliano Martinez.
Here is a video of the goal:
After the match, Pochettino said, “I think (it) was one of the best or maybe the best performance of the season. It arrived in a very good moment for us.”
“We have a young team. It’s about being solid and consistent and it is the most difficult thing in a young team,” he added.
Villa were unbeaten in 17 home Premier League matches, dating back nearly a year until Newcastle won at Villa Park a week ago. Now, they have exited from both domestic cup competitions.
Ahead of the match, Fernandez was reported to be wanting to exit Chelsea. But he put those rumours on hold with a sensational free-kick. Now, Pochettino also has the chance to bag his first trophy in English football when Chelsea face Liverpool in the League Cup final on February 25.
For a spot in the FA Cup quarter-finals, Chelsea will host Leeds in the fifth round. Commenting on Chelsea’s response after their defeat to Wolves in the Premier League, Pochettino said, “I think we dominated and in the end we were the better side. For me the key was the way the team reacted after the Wolves game, in the way that we trained, in the way that we talked, the way the players were in the meeting. The feeling translated to me also, it is important to be all together.”
“Today I really enjoyed it on the touchline because a not so good result can arrive but in this way for sure, with this group of talented young players who we still need to provide the consistency, I think we can succeed in the end all together,” he added.