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Chelsea's Dominant Win Secures FA Cup Fifth-Round Spot

 Chelsea's Dominant Win Secures FA Cup Fifth-Round Spot

Raheem Sterling of Chelsea celebrates
Raheem Sterling of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's second goal with teammates during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Chelsea and Preston North End at Stamford Bridge on January 06, 2024 in London, England.(Image-Getty) 

Chelsea delivered a remarkable display, showcasing one of their finest performances this season as they triumphed 3-1 against Aston Villa, securing a spot in the FA Cup fifth-round clash at home against Leeds United.

The opening goal arrived on the 11th minute mark courtesy of Conor Gallagher, who calmly slotted the ball into the top-left corner following a precise pass from Noni Madueke, marking his inaugural goal of the season.

Chelsea extended their lead ten minutes later, with Nicolas Jackson nodding in a cross from Malo Gusto.

The match's fate was nearly sealed nine minutes into the second half when Enzo Fernandez executed a magnificent free-kick from 25 yards out, finding the top-left corner beyond the grasp of Emiliano Martinez, Villa's compatriot.

A late consolation goal came from Villa substitute Moussa Diaby, who struck in the first minute of stoppage time, his shot ricocheting off the post before finding the net.

Looking ahead, Unai Emery's squad aims to recover from the cup exit as they host Manchester United on Sunday. Meanwhile, Chelsea heads to Crystal Palace on Monday for a London derby.

In another fixture, Nottingham Forest set up a fifth-round encounter at home against Man Utd after edging past Championship side Bristol City in a tense penalty shootout.

Forest seized the lead after just eight minutes through Divock Origi, who capitalized on a scramble following Felipe's flick from Morgan Gibbs-White's corner. However, Bristol City's captain Jason Knight equalized six minutes later with a close-range effort.

With neither side breaking the deadlock in regulation time nor extra time, the match proceeded to a penalty shootout. Matt Turner's save from Sam Bell's spot-kick gave Forest the advantage, and Taiwo Awoniyi, who returned from a 10-week layoff, clinched the decisive penalty as Forest prevailed 5-3 in the shootout.

Forest returns to Premier League action, hosting Newcastle United on Saturday.

The FA Cup fifth-round draw features matchups including Coventry versus Maidstone, Blackburn against Newcastle, Bournemouth versus Leicester, Luton versus Man City, Chelsea against Leeds, Liverpool versus Southampton, Nottingham Forest against Manchester United, and Wolves against Brighton on various dates in February.

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