Mauricio Pochettino called Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez a “world class” player after Chelsea were shut out at Stamford Bridge on Friday night.
The Argentine made a string of crucial saves in the FA Cup fourth round tie, which ended in a goalless draw. Both sides will face again in a replay.
“Of course he is a world champion and is world class,” the Blues boss told BBC Sport. “It’s always so difficult to beat them.
“Of course it will be difficult but it is also an opportunity for us to keep growing and improving and of course we will take it in this way.”
“He played amazing today,” the Spaniard said. “He saved us two or three times. And then he was always ready to cover our centre-backs in behind.
“Emiliano today, we needed him. And really he played like he is – number one.
“I am so happy with the performance of the whole team, I think the performance was good we just weren’t clinical enough,” he said.
“For them to face a team like Aston Villa who are doing fantastic in the Premier League and are in the top four, I think it’s a very good signal that we are improving.”
Emery, meanwhile, felt that a draw was the right result. “There were two different halves in the match,” he said.
“The first half was more or less for them and they created chances. But we played very well defensively, very well in our own box and we played very well with Emiliano Martinez.
“Second half we got better. We created chances and we were in their box. We were controlling the game. But at the end, I think this draw, for both teams, is what they deserve.”
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