Chelsea can emulate class of 2005

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Chelsea can emulate the class of 2005 in using victory in the Capital One Cup as a springboard for future domestic dominance. 

The Blues battled past Steve McLaren's Derby County at Pride Park on Tuesday to book their place in the semi-finals of the competition and keep their hopes of an unprecedented quadruple alive.

And with Jose Mourinho keen to banish the memories of last year's trophyless campaign, victory in the final in March could be the start of something special.

Class of 2005

Mourinho first won the tournament in 2005, before then proceeding to lift the Premier League for the first time just a few months later.

They beat Rafael Benitez's Liverpool 3-2 in the final in Cardiff, with flop Mateja Kezman scoring the winner after replacing Joe Cole with just under 10 minutes of normal time remaining.

It was the first trophy of the Portuguese's tenure, and the first for the likes of John Terry, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Petr Cech who then used the victory in order to inspire them to future glory in the years to follow.

If they make the March's glittering final then Thibaut Courtois, Diego Costa, Nemanja Matic and Willian would all have ended their duck in English football, and could replicate the others in channelling their ecstasy into the efforts of the side. 

Quadruple hopes

The victory against McLaren's stubborn Derby has bolstered Chelsea's chances of lifting all four trophies possible this season, with Mourinho now having assembled a side that could rule the English game for years to come. 

They top the Premier League table having lost just once all season, and face Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League hoping to replicate the same successful result over the French giants as last year. 

All who arrived in the summer have played the part in their stunning first half of the season. Costa, Drogba and Loic Remy have all been scoring, Filipe Luis found the net in last night's win and Cesc Fabregas has been a revelation since touching down from Barcelona. 

The only potential banana skin in their bid to make history could be the Champions League, with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich strong favourites to win the European showpiece yet again. 

Cup journey

Sheffield United upset the odds to stun Ronald Koeman's Southampton at Bramall Lane, and given their status as a League One side would be Mourinho's first choice ahead of the semi-final draw. 

Tottenham and Newcastle United face off tonight, whilst Liverpool could also book their slot in the next round if they can overcome high-flying Championship side Bournemouth. 

But regardless of who they play, Chelsea will be the favourites. These are exciting times at Stamford Bridge, and the rest of the country will be praying they slip up on their quest to etch their name into footballing folklore.

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UEFA Champions League
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