MAURICIO POCHETTINO turned frosty when asked why he dropped Thiago Silva for Chelsea’s impressive 3-1 FA Cup win at Aston Villa.
Blues’ boss Pochettino replaced 39-year-old Silva with Benoit Badiashile on Wednesday, forming an inexperienced central defence alongside Axel Disasi.
Before kick-off, however, Poch became spiky when pressed over Silva.
Responding to ITV’s Gabriel Clarke, the ex-Spurs chief said: “Why the question?
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“I am professional and a coach and I always pick my players because of performance and balance.
“I think I understand the question but I want to be calm because I need to be professional and I always make my decisions because of the professional side.”
When asked if there were any other reasons for the Brazilian’s axing, Poch replied: “My answer was clear, no?”
Pochettino had earlier revealed he met Silva to disucss a “private” matter – assumed to be Isabelle’s post on X.
He added: “I am not going to talk in the way we were talking. The important thing is he came and wanted to talk with me.”
Chelsea went on to book a fifth-round home clash with Leeds with a stylish replay triumph at Villa Park.
Conor Gallagher and Nicolas Jackson pounced neatly before the break.
Enzo Fernandez then curled the Blues’ brilliant third goal, with Villa sub Moussa Diaby netting a stoppage-time consolation.