Chelsea stroll to Emirates FA Cup fourth round replay victory over Aston Villa

Wednesday 07 Feb 2024
Chelsea's players were full of admiration for Enzo Fernandez's stunning free-kick

Chelsea turned on the charm to defeat Aston Villa 3-1 in their Emirates FA Cup fourth round replay and set up a tie with Leeds United. 

Goals from Conor Gallagher, Nicolas Jackson and Enzo Fernandez sent the Blues through as they appeared a team reborn. 

In the night’s other game, Nottingham Forest broke Bristol City’s hearts, knocking out the Championship side on penalties. 

At Villa Park, Chelsea were on the back foot early on but soon turned the tables and found themselves in front in the 11th minute thanks to Gallagher. 

Noni Madueke found the midfielder in space who then sent a sweet strike into the back of the net. 

From there it was almost all Chelsea as they doubled their advantage 10 minutes later as Jackson headed home a fine cross from Malo Gusto. 

The momentum sat firmly with the Blues as Cole Palmer eyed a shot from the edge of the box that Emiliano Martinez had to work to keep out.

After the break, Enzo Fernandez scored the pick of the goals, bending a free-kick round his international teammate Martiniez to take the game away from Aston Villa

The hosts claimed a consolation goal through Moussa Diaby in injury time but could not stop Chelsea marching on to a home tie against Leeds in the fifth round. 

In the East Midlands, Forest were dominant early on as Morgan Gibbs-White forced Max O’Leary into a fine save in the Bristol City net. 

The hosts then went ahead through Divock Origi as the former FA Cup winner with Liverpool knocked the ball in from close range in the eighth minute. 

Bristol City were behind for only six minutes before captain Jason Knight sliced home the equaliser as the Robins eyed a second cupset in a row after knocking out West Ham United in the third round. 

Matt Turner in the Forest goal was kept busy, getting low to deny a forceful shot from Tommy Conway but the two sides entered the half-time break all square. 

In the second half, the Robins remained spirited but could not find a cut through before Nuno Espirito Santo strengthened the hosts’ strikeforce by sending on Callum Hudson-Odoi and Taiwo Awoniyi. 

The pair were unable to find a winner in regulation time as the game moved to extra-time where Nakhi Wells missed a gilt-edged chance to send the Robins through. 

Turner then saved Sam Bell’s penalty to give first blood to the hosts with Awoniyi netting the deciding penalty to set up a tie with Manchester United in the fifth round. 

By FA Staff