Chelsea 0 Aston Villa 0
Mauricio Pochettino’s team had scored six in their previous outing, dispatching Middlesbrough to reach next month’s Carabao Cup final, but found Unai Emery’s Premier League high-flyers a more obdurate hurdle as a combined 23 shots from both sides failed to yield a winner.
John McGinn spurned Villa’s best chances in either half, while Emiliano Martinez twice denied Chelsea as Noni Madueke and Cole Palmer found themselves frustrated.
It was a theme of the night in west London as a replay at Villa Park beckoned.
Villa should have led after 10 minutes, Youri Tielemans with a free header from six yards out that he thumped downwards into the ground, the pace taken off the ball allowing Djordje Petrovic to save.
Visiting supporters were on their feet when Douglas Luiz tapped in from almost on the goal line, but their delight was curtailed after VAR determined the midfielder had handled as the ball deflected to him off Alfie Gilchrist.
Palmer fed Madueke who might have done better with his low finish, aimed towards the corner but instead fired against Martinez.
Palmer was then the recipient of a ludicrous gift from Clement Lenglet, the defender’s square ball easily cut out by the former Manchester City man who again found only the goalkeeper with his shot.
Madueke was next to go close, he knocked an effort from close range against the legs of Martinez after Raheem Sterling had dazzled Matty Cash on the right and fed Palmer who crossed.
With virtually the final act of the first period, Moussa Diaby raced down the right and centred for McGinn, who with a sweep of his right boot hit a curling strike that cleared the crossbar by inches.
Villa ended a run of eight straight FA Cup defeats with their third-round victory at Middlesbrough but here they were made to weather a first half in which Chelsea had the better of the chances, though as so often this campaign Pochettino’s side lacked cutting edge in front of goal.
Palmer tried to benefit from another Villa howler at the back midway through the second half.
Martinez hit a clearance with insufficient height that struck Chelsea’s top scorer, who seemed in too much of a hurry to execute the finish. Trying to catch out the backtracking goalkeeper, he missed his kick entirely, as Emery breathed a sigh of relief.
Thiago Silva flung his head at a goal-bound Luiz effort as the game started to become stretched.
Ollie Watkins took a touch and hit a fizzing drive that Petrovic beat away, then the goalkeeper made the save of the match diving low with a stunning reach to claw Cash’s left-footed piledriver from the foot of the post.
McGinn had the chance to settle it and dodge a replay four minutes from time, arriving at the near post to meet Nicolo Zaniolo’s cross at the near post. However, he got too much of a glance on the ball under pressure from Silva, as the chance and the game fizzled out.
Bristol City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
Bristol City and Nottingham Forest fought out a goalless FA Cup draw and will replay their fourth-round tie at the City Ground.
Forest will be glad to avoid the fate West Ham suffered in the third round at Ashton Gate when the Championship side produced a memorable upset against Premier League opposition.
But Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will not welcome the extra game amid their battle to stay in the top flight.
Forest shaded the clearest openings during what was a pretty even affair but, in the end, had to settle for a rematch and the first clean sheet of Nuno’s seven-game reign.
City – 13th in the Championship and 17 places below Forest in the football pyramid – fielded 10 of the team that started the West Ham win, with Ireland’s Jason Knight replacing Joe Williams in the Robins’ midfield.
Forest were unchanged from the side that lost a five-goal Premier League thriller at Brentford last weekend.
There was heartening news on the bench as the influential Morgan Gibbs-White returned following a two-game injury lay-off, and the England Under-21 international came on at half-time to good effect.
City, roared on by another capacity crowd, began on the front foot and Tommy Conway was snuffed out twice by another Irish international Andrew Omobamidele.
Conway was the hero against the Hammers, scoring in both games, but the young striker missed the target from 10 yards when unmarked, side-footing Anis Mehmeti’s cross wide.
Forest had carried little attacking threat in the opening quarter, apart from Nuno Tavares curling a free-kick in to the side-netting.
But the visitors did force the only save of the first half after 28 minutes, with Ryan Yates firing straight at Max O’Leary in the home goal.
City continued to probe but were almost caught by a swift raid moments before the interval.
Chris Wood led the breakout and fed Callum Hudson-Odoi, who pulled the ball back for the onrushing Danilo to hit the hoarding behind the goal.
Knight headed over Taylor Gardner-Hickman’s corner in first-half stoppage time, but Gibbs-White’s arrival gave Forest more fluidity when building attacks.
Gibbs-White almost made an instant impact with a header that was blocked and it was the midfielder’s lofted pass which saw Wood nod tamely at O’Leary.
City responded with Cameron Pring crossing to the far post and Forest goalkeeper Matt Turner shovelling the ball behind under pressure from Knight.
Robins substitute Sam Bell saw Murillo’s midriff get in the way of a powerful attempt, while Hudson-Odoi should have done better than find the side-netting after Gibbs-White had driven at the heart of the home defence.
When Pring ended a swift City counter-attack by rippling the side-netting and Danilo fluffed his line from a free-kick, the tie was destined to be replayed.