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Preston 0-2 CHELSEA: Chelsea Stroll Into Fifth Round

PRESTON 0-2 CHELSEA

A very professional performance from Chelsea it has to be said. Maybe not reflected in the scoreline but we definitely never looked like doing anything other than progressing to the fifth round of the FA Cup. We completely controlled the game and if it hadn’t been for Lonergan, the score without a doubt would have been greater than it was.

Fair play to Preston though, they made sure we knew we were in a game, and had the odd chance themselves but it didn’t take us long to impose ourselves on this game and once we had, it was all fairly comfortable with the win never in doubt.

We found the net as early as the 26th minute through Florent Malouda – the Frenchman coming on for the injured Belletti less than 20 minutes in – but for some reason known only to himself, the ref had decided to pull play back for a free-kick on the edge of the area instead. Needless to say, we didn’t make the most of the subsequent free-kick but with Alex’s 25 yarder parried away by Lonergan just minutes later, the pressure was building.

That pressure paid off through none other than Nicolas Anelka in the 36th minute with the Frenchman losing Mawene on the edge of the box before putting it under the unfortunate keeper.  Ferreira then left a few open mouths with a a cracking shot going just wide but not quite as many as Preston’s Darren Carter who might well have equalised on the stroke of half-time.  Unfortunately for Carter though, despite Hilario’s best attempts to concede, the Preston man somehow managed to put it wide when it surely would’ve been easier to score.

Just two minutes after the restart though, we made the game secure with Daniel Sturridge poaching a John Terry rebound and we never looked anything less than completely comfortable with the lead. Could Sturridge have had a penalty off Davidson? I’d have to see it again to be honest but he certainly could have had a second if his shot hadn’t gone marginally off target just minutes later. But to be fair to the youngster, he really hasn’t done himself any harm with the performance he put in for us against the Championship side.

Hilario was tested by Parkin from distance in the last quarter of the game but in all honesty, it was Lonergan with all the work to do and he was fortunate not to concede more with first Sturridge and then Cole missing opportunities to add a third.

Overall then, it’s a pain in the arse our Premier League opposition took advantage of being out of the FA Cup by taking top spot (even if it meant having to play two more games than us to do so), but we can console ourselves with the fact that we pretty much strolled into the fifth round without having to exert ourselves too much.

 

TEAMS

PRESTON: Lonergan, Hart, Mawene, St Ledger, Davidson, Sedgwick (Mayor, 72), Chaplow, Jones, Carter (Parkin, 59), Wallace, Brown (Mellor, 72)

Unused subs: Henderson, Collins, Chilvers, Barton

CHELSEA: Hilario, Ferreira, Alex, Terry, Zhirkov, Belletti (Malouda, 19), Ballack, Lampard (Cole, 66), Deco, Anelka, Sturridge

Unused subs: Turnball, Ivanovic, Matic, Borini, van Aanholt

GOALS

Anelka 36, Sturridge, 47

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