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Chelsea cruise past Portsmouth in FA Cup

Chelsea cruise past Portsmouth in FA Cup

Chelsea sealed their progression into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 4-0 win.

London: Chelsea sealed their progression into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 4-0 victory over Portsmouth that somewhat flattered the home side.

Juan Mata opened the scoring just after half time with a close range finish, before Ramires added two late goals and Frank Lampard grabbed another to ensure the hosts' name was in the hat for the next round.

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas was clearly taking the match extremely seriously, as noted by his vastle experienced starting lineup, with John Terry passing a fitness test on Saturday that allowed him to take his place at the centre of defence.

There were no real absentees for the hosts, and Portsmouth also fielded a strong lineup in a 4-4-2 formation with Marko Futacs and Dave Kitson up front.

And it was Kitson who almost opened the scoring for the away side in the opening 30 seconds, latching onto a flick on by his giant partner and rolling a shot just wide of Petr Cech's post.

Chelsea were gernerally on top during the opening stages, and their first chance of the afternoon came just after the 10th minute when Florent Malouda's cross was headed goalwards by Fernando Torres, only to be denied by a great save from Stephen Henderson in the Portsmouth goal.

Portsmouth were the next to get an effort in, with Aaron Mokoena heading over from a Liam Lawrence corner.

It was a rather quiet game, with Chelsea holding much of the possession, but Portsmouth were restricting them to long shots that failed to test Henderson.

Just after the half hour mark Ashley Cole was counting his lucky stars as he played a blind pass that left Portsmouth with a three-on-two situation, but David Norris' shot was just wide of Cech's post again.

The visitors looked to be coping well, and Futacs was causing problems with his hold-up play and quick feet.

But it was Chelsea who came close next, as Mata and Malouda combined to send Lampard through, but the ball just escaped him and Henderson came out to take the ball at the feet of the Englishman.

Just before half-time, Lampard had another opportunity after Malouda was felled outside the box by Kitson, but he spooned his free-kick over the bar and into the Shed End.

The second half started with a bang, as Chelsea went 1-0 up in the opening three minuts thanks to Mata. After Portsmouth's clearance was allegedly batted down with a hand, Malouda took advantage and got to the byline before pulling the ball back for the Spanish winger to convert from six yards.

That really got the fans going, but barely five minutes had passed and Pompey were nearly level.

Kitson robbed an otherwise impressive David Luiz in possession and fed Futacs on the edge of the box. His shot was saved by Cech, who spread hismelf well.

Joel Ward's follow up effort was brilliantly denied by John Terry, running back to clear the header off the line, and colliding with the post in due course. Another driven effort was then stopped by Cech.

Terry was down for a considerable amount of time receiving treatment as he looked to have damaged his knee, but was fit enough to resume.

Chelsea almost added to their lead with Ramires going close with a header that was easily saved by Henderson.

The rest of the game petered out without too many chances for either side, until the 84th minute when Ramires doubled Chelsea's lead after some good work down the left by Mata led to another close range finish for the home side.

Ramires then added some gloss to the scoreline by brilliantly chipping the ball into the corner on a quick counter attack, and Lampard grabbed another to seal Chelsea's progression into the fourth round.

first published:January 08, 2012, 22:47 IST