Blues cruise to Pompey victory


Chelsea booked their place in the FA Cup fourth round with a comfortable 4-0 victory over 2010 final opponents Portsmouth at Stamford Bridge.

Andre Villas-Boas' side lacked a cutting edge in front of goal in the first half, and the two sides went in level at the interval, before Juan Mata broke the deadlock with a close-range strike just after the restart.

That score remained 1-0 until the 85th minute when two quickfire strikes from Ramires was topped off by a Frank Lampard goal in the third minute of stoppage time to give the Blues a scoreline that flattered the reality of their performance.

It's the first time that Chelsea have netted four goals in one game since their emphatic 5-0 UEFA Champions League victory over Genk back in October, and Villas-Boas will be hopeful that today's result is a sign of things to come.

Fernando Torres cut a frustrated figure as he led the forward line in the absence of African Cup of Nations-bound Didier Drogba, but the Spaniard was starved of service throughout the game.

Florent Malouda, making his first start for Chelsea since November, provided the cross to tee up Mata who opened the scoring with a powerful run down the left flank.

As the game wore on, Portsmouth had several chances to draw level, with Marko Futacs denied by Petr Cech after a goal-line scramble when David Luiz was intercepted.

Chelsea would probably have limped to victory, before Ramires’ brace, the first a close-range stab, and the second an impressive counter-attack in which the Brazilian converted a Torres assist.

But it was Lampard who had the final say with a typically well-driven shot from the edge of the box, marking his 10th Chelsea goal of the season.

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