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Roy Keane heaped praise on Chelsea’s first half performance against Aston Villa as they surged into an early 2-0 lead.
The Blues and their boss Mauricio Pochettino came into the FA Cup fourth round replay at Villa Park under huge pressure following Sunday’s dire 4-2 defeat to Wolves.
However, against their in-form opponents – who beat Sheffield United 5-0 at the weekend – Chelsea started quickly, going 1-0 up after a superb finish from Conor Gallagher which capped a fine team move.
Nicolas Jackson made it 2-0, heading home after a delightful cross from Malo Gusto as the Chelsea supporters at Villa Park were sent into dreamland.
And Keane, speaking at half-time on ITV, lauded the first half performance by Pochettino’s side.
Roy Keane lauded Chelsea’s first half performance against Aston Villa as they went 2-0 up
Keane, speaking on ITV, said it felt like he was watching ‘the old Chelsea’ in the first 45 minutes
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‘It’s like the old Chelsea,’ he said. ‘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.
‘It was a nice bit of composure and a beautiful strike from 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.’
Pochettino came into the game under pressure after Chelsea lost 4-2 to Wolves on Sunday
But Chelsea responded to that defeat superbly and helped to cause a shock at Villa Park
He continued: ‘We’ve questioned Chelsea, but now we question Villa and let’s see what they’ve got. We’re certainly not writing them off and that chance before half time is a warning.
‘But Villa need something, the Chelsea midfield have been outstanding but Villa need a spark.’
Pochettino had come into the game under major pressure after Sunday’s 4-2 defeat to Gary O’Neil’s side, which was their 10th league defeat of the campaign, leaving them in 11th.
Despite drawing the original tie at Stamford Bridge 0-0, Villa – who sit fourth in the top flight – were major favourites, especially given their record at Villa Park this season.
But Chelsea were brilliant and following the first half display, Enzo Fernandez made it 3-0 early in the second half with a sublime free kick
Moussa Diaby scored a late consolation, but the Blues ran out 3-1 winners and they will now host Leeds in the fifth round.
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