There hasn’t been a lot of cheer for Chelsea fans in the 2023-24 season.
Mauricio Pochettino arrived in the summer promising to revive the club’s fortunes but the supporters are yet to see the promised goods.
The Blues suffered a humiliating 4-2 defeat at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers in their most recent top-flight fixture.
The result dropped them into the bottom half of the Premier League table, with a meagre 31 points from 23 games.
Pochettino faced a lot of criticism in the wake of that defeat, with several Chelesa fans claiming he should be sacked from his position.
However, the Argentine boss has relieved some pressure off him by guiding his side to an excellent 3-1 success over Aston Villa to reach the FA Cup fifth-round.
The West Londoners will now face Leeds United in the next round of the domestic cup competition.
The complete #EmiratesFACup fifth round draw 🤩
Which tie are you most excited for? 👀 pic.twitter.com/zVZMRBkiS1
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) February 7, 2024
The former Tottenham head coach fielded a young team, dropping Thiago Silva and Raheem Sterling to the bench. And the young players repaid the faith of their manager by producing an outstanding performance at Villa Park.
Aston Villa have had an excellent 2023-24 campaign and entered the FA Cup game on the back of an emphatic 5-0 victory against Sheffield United.
But they were outclassed by Pochettino’s young team with an average age of 23.
Conor Gallagher opened the scoring in the 11th minute before Nicolas Jackson added another with a brilliant header.
Hopes of a comeback for the hosts were snuffed out after Enzo Fernandez struck Chelsea’s third goal early in the second-half.
Moussa Diaby pulled one back for Unai Emery’s side but that served no consolation for the home fans.
Chelsea have also made it to the final of EFL Cup where they will face Liverpool later this month.