Emirates FA Cup, Football

Aston Villa vs Chelsea: Pochettino hails Blues for ‘best performance of the season’

In their FA Cup fourth-round rematch at Villa Park, the Blues defeated Aston Villa 3-1. This resulted in a home match against Leeds in the fifth round the week of February 26.

Mauricio Pochettino, who praised “one of the best” Chelsea performances of the season, asserts that the team is not the same as it was twenty years ago and that fans need to “move on”.

Enzo Fernandez gave the spectators a show after winning a spectacular free-kick by removing his match shirt and displaying his number. Although the logic is murky, Chelsea clearly improved on the whole in this game.

In addition, when asked about Fernandez’s goal celebration, Pochettino defended his players vehemently in the press conference that followed the game.

He said: “We need to stop this thing that we are Chelsea from 20 years ago. We are not this type of Chelsea anymore. Now we need to move on and we need to create this project.

“We need to move on, I don’t care if people are happy or not happy with my speech. I care for the club, I care for my players, I want to help the players.

“We are going to fight, I don’t care what the people say. I’m not more sad or happy today after a win because we have experience, this type of project needs time and trust.

“We cannot build a team to challenge because you need to fix too many things, you need to observe, analyse and compete.

“We are building a project which may be one year, two years, three years. Today you can see we were ready to fight. We fight for the fans, the badge, the coaching staff. Now the challenge is to be consistent.”

Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell said:

“It was exactly the reaction we wanted and needed. It wasn’t about wanting a reaction. We needed it. Fair play to all of the boys.

“We wanted that pressure. We thrived off it. The confidence before the game in the changing room was the best I have seen it – the togetherness. We delivered on the pitch today.

“As a club, the players, manager, the staff, the fans everyone involved in the club. It wasn’t just the manager. Everyone associated with the club needed that today.”

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery said:

“We were excited and motivated and we started well, we didn’t score but we were feeling good.

“When they were getting in our box we were not being strong and they were affecting us. They got into our box with some crosses and were clinical. I was more or less feeling the difference was the clinical way for them.

“We scored a little bit late and had no time to score the second goal. We have to accept and analyse the match. To beat them is not easy when you’re not being clinical.”

Aston Villa host Man United next before travelling to Fulham. Meanwhile, Chelsea travel to Crystal Palace before heading to the Etihad for a crucial match against Man City.


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