- Chelsea came into their FA Cup replay against Aston Villa under huge pressure
- FOLLOW LIVE: Chelsea face Aston Villa at Villa Park for a place in the fifth round
- Chelsea are a mess and it’s hard to find the answers… but they have to keep the faith and stay patient – It’s All Kicking Off podcast
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 performance against Aston Villa as they beat them 3-1 at Villa Park
Keane, speaking on ITV, said it felt like he was watching ‘the old Chelsea’ on Wednesday
‘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.’
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.
‘Villa need something, the Chelsea midfield have been outstanding but Villa need a spark.’
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.
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
And, speaking at full-time, Keane reaffirmed his praise for a performance that Pochettino described as the best of his tenure.
He added: ‘A brilliant night for Chelsea. They were strong and aggressive, showed quality, and scored three great goals.
‘It’s everything you want away from home. There are question marks over Villa and they never turned up tonight.
‘Chelsea grew in confidence as the game went on and, it’s amazing this game… it drives you mad. We were praising Villa and saying it was crisis at Chelsea ahead of the game.
‘Then they go and play like that. They have to kick on and take it in to the rest of season now.
‘But what we saw tonight it was as if they were in Villa’s position chasing the top four.’