Manchester United legend Roy Keane has lauded Chelsea for their performance against Aston Villa in their FA Cup clash on Wednesday (February 7).
The Blues’ first meeting with Unai Emery’s men in the fourth round of the tournament at Stamford Bridge ended in a goalless draw in January. The west Londoners turned things around in the replay at Villa Park and put on a dominant display in the replay at Villa Park this week.
Conor Gallagher found the back of the net at the 11-minute mark before Nicolas Jackson doubled their lead 10 minutes later. Enzo Fernandez scored an exquisite free-kick in the second half, capping off an excellent 3-1 victory.
The win comes after Chelsea’s back-to-back Premier League defeats against Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Keane believes the Blues looked like their old selves as he said on ITV after the game (as quoted by Metro):
“It’s like the old Chelsea. Brilliant, strong, physical and sharp in possession. Good decision-making, two quality goals. They have been excellent. Hunting in packs, working in numbers, and they are playing like a team tonight.”
The former Manchester United midfielder added:
“It was a nice bit of composure and a beautiful strike from [Conor] Gallagher and they’ve been everything you want as a team. Simple but quality. The (second goal) is lovely, it’s great quality all round. We questioned Jackson’s finishing pre-game but again it’s a lovely goal.”
The Blues will next face Crystal Palace in the Premier League at Selhurst Park on February 12.
“We are not dead” – Chelsea star Malo Gusto issues emphatic statement after Aston Villa win
Chelsea have been in turbulent form this season under Mauricio Pochettino. The Blues are 11th in the Premier League table after just nine wins from 23 fixtures, 15 points adrift of the top four.
Their win over Aston Villa will be a huge confidence boost and Chelsea defender Malo Gusto has issued a rallying cry to the fans. The France international said after the game (via the Evening Standard):
“We are Chelsea. We just have to show the fans we are not dead and that we work every week to get better. That is what we have to do. [The difference] was the mentality. The mentality of us all together was very nice and that is why we won.”
“The coach told us to get a good mentality, stick together and to put pressure [on them instead] — and that’s what we did. We know the group is young but we have to stay together, work together and keep this good mentality to become better players.”
Gusto has registered 22 appearances across all competitions for Pochettino’s side this season, providing five assists.