Mauricio Pochettino praises ‘world class’ Aston Villa star after FA Cup stalemate | Football

Chelsea were held to a gaolless draw in Friday’s FA Cup tie against Aston Villa (Picture: Getty)

Mauricio Pochettino heaped praise on Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez after he frustrated Chelsea with a superb display in last night FA Cup stalemate.

The Blues went into their fourth round tie in confident mood following Tuesday night’s 6-1 thrashing of Middlesbrough which saw them book a place in next month’s Carabao Cup final against Liverpool.

Chelsea, however, were forced to settle for a replay, however, as a consequence of some wayward finishing allied to the brilliance of Pochettino’s compatriot.

The Argentina World Cup hero, linked with a move to Stamford Bridge at various points over the last 18 months, kept his side in the tie with some superb saves, much to Pochettino’s frustration.

‘This type of games are very even,’ said the Chelsea manager. ‘When you face a team like Aston Villa, always it’s difficult. We didn’t score but we created chances. I trust and believe in my players playing this way, we are going to score.

‘We came from Tuesday, we scored six so today should be good. But their keeper is an amazing keeper, he’s really good. Sometimes you need some luck to score.’

Chelsea have this week been linked with another Villa player in the shape of their young striker Jhon Duran but Pochettino insisted last night’s failure to break the deadlock represented evidence of his need to sign a new forward in what remains of the January transfer window.

Emiliano Martienz made a superb save from the in-form Cole Palmer

Emiliano Martienz made a superb save from the in-form Cole Palmer (Picture: Getty)

‘Yes, but for both sides, no?’ he said when asked if recruiting a new striker was a priority.

‘They have amazing players in attack, different players, and they didn’t score and we kept a clean sheet.

‘These types of games are even and of course when you face a team like Aston Villa, it is always difficult.

Of course, we didn’t score but we created chances.

‘I trust and believe in my players, for sure, playing this way, we are going to score. We came from Tuesday where we scored six. I think the keeper is an amazing keeper, Emiliano, he was really, really good.

‘Yes, sometimes you need some luck to score.’


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