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Chelsea smoothly advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday night, securing a surprising one-sided victory over Aston Villa in a fourth-round replay at Villa Park.

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Conor Gallagher opened the scoring with his first goal of the season early in the game, establishing dominance. Nicolas Jackson, making his first start since returning from international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations, added to the lead. Enzo Fernandez extended Chelsea’s advantage soon after halftime, putting the game beyond Villa’s reach.

A late goal from Villa substitute Moussa Diaby in stoppage time provided a consolation but couldn’t overshadow Chelsea’s triumph. The win sets Chelsea up for a clash against Leeds United in the quarter-finals at the end of the month.

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Recapping the game, Chelsea, coming off a Premier League defeat to Wolves, displayed an early spark that contradicted their recent struggles. In contrast, Villa, despite their recent victory over Sheffield United, appeared sluggish. Fernandez, dispelling rumors of a Chelsea exit, impressed from the start, delivering a close-range header that was saved by Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Conor Gallagher opened the scoring in the 11th minute after a sequence involving Fernandez and Noni Madueke. Chelsea’s second goal followed shortly, with Nicolas Jackson heading in a cross from Malo Gusto.

Villa attempted a response, with Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins testing Chelsea’s defense. However, Chelsea’s dominance continued, and Fernandez sealed the victory with a world-class free-kick early in the second half.

Villa had moments of threat, but Axel Disasi’s superb block and the woodwork denied them further goals. Despite Moussa Diaby’s late strike for Villa, Chelsea’s significant lead allowed them to secure a comfortable win.

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