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[VIDEO GOALS & RATINGS] FA Cup: Chelsea 7-0 Ipswich: Chelsea Ignite Dwindling Season


Chelsea strolled past Ipswich Town in the FA Cup demolishing the Tractor Men 7-0 in the process and setting up a Goodison Park showdown against Everton in the fourth round of the competition.

Salomon Kalou opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge yesterday while Daniel Sturridge and the impressive Frank Lampard both grabbed a brace each.  A Carlos Edwards own-goal and a Nicolas Anelka strike completed the scoring on a day that could very easily have been mistaken for one of those early season displays that saw Carlo Acelotti’s side storm to the top of the table.

The impressive display coupled with the emphatic scoreline came as a timely reminder to those thinking that Chelsea’s season was beyond repair after a barren run of just two wins in eleven games.  But there was every reason for optmism at Stamford Bridge yesterday with the Blues passage into the next round never really in any doubt.

There will have been no sigh of relief in West London greater than Ancelotti’s after his side totally dominated and ultimately humiliated an Ipswich Town side that appeared very sorry for themselves as they cope with he recent dismissal of Roy Keane.  The Italian will be delighted with his side’s contribution, yet it was made so that he could not enjoy the afternoon’s play until the half hour mark.

With a host of big name players left out of the team, Anelotti felt it was about time youth were given the chance to revive an ageing and tiring group of players.  The last time the Blues boss entrusted his youngsters with such a task it was their second to last Champions Leaue group game.  His budding crop came out top of the class in that instance with a 2-1 win and he was hoping they would give a repeat performance in what was arguably a game with much more riding on it.

However the doom and gloom that has cast it’s shadown over the Bridge for what must seem an eternity for most fans, seemed to linger for the opening stages of the game and Chelsea struggled to settle.  Petr Cech had to beat away a powerful strike from Jason Scotland- the Ipswich forward combining well with David Norris before getting his effort goal bound.

With half an hour played though, the gears finally started to turn as two goals in the space of a minute put the Blues in a strong position.  Kalou buried the first and with it seemed to bury any recollection of the nightmare that has been the past two months.  The Ivorian tapped in past Marton Fulop who could only spill Anelka’s fierce shot.

Within seconds of the kick off, the ball had found it’s way to Fulop’s goal again with similar consequences.  And the goal just about summed up the way Chelsea would go on to clinch victory in this game: classy in style and emphatic in its finish.  Sturridge, making only his second start of the season turned in a Jose Bosingwa cross with the click of his heels- literally.

If the embarrassment of a back heeled goal was not enough for Ipswich’s caretaker boss Ian McParland to deal with, then the third goal moments before half time probably did it.  The home side were awarded a free kick just outside the area after John Terry was hauled down by Ipwich’s Norris.  England ace Lampard lined up the kick and his powerful shot found it’s way past Fulop and into the net- courtesy of a Carlos Edwards deflection.

And the interval only acted as a method of postponing the inevitable for the visitors.  Any chance McParland thought his side had of sneaking back into this game were crushed four minutes after play had resumed; Anelka back in the starting line up after being benched for the midweek visit to Wolves scored his first goal in 10 attempts.

At four goals to the good, it seemed only a question of how many the now fluent and fluid home side could get.  When Chelsea are in this sort of mood at Stamford Bridge, the contest quickly becomes a playground game of a school kid trying to beat his best score in a PE session.  The game also evolved into ‘who can score the most’ as players looked desperate to get their names on the scoresheet.

Sturridge stole a lead in this respect, rasping in a curling effort that highlighted the raw skill and potential of this exciting forward.  But the old was not about to be out-shone by the new and shining talent.  If there’s still a spark left in experience, then most of it is stored away in Lampard’s right leg.  Feeling aggrieved that his earlier effort was credited as an own goal, the England man looked desperate to grab a goal, and with 12 minutes to go he did just that with a typical drive from outside the area that found the bottom corner.

He did not have to wait long for his next one either, findng the back of the net from a Branislav Ivanovich cross.  And while Sturridge and Lampard will have to squabble about who should or should not have gotten the most goals, there will be no qualms from boss Anclotti with his side who produced the type of response that in all honesty they could have done with eight weeks ago.

Blues fans will be hoping that this is not the false dawn that the December win over Bolton promised to be, but with a display that took us back to the much rosier sunny days of August and September (and a result to match) the bleak winter gloom does seem to be lifting; slowly but surely.

Player Ratings

Chelsea: Cech 7, Ivanovic 6, Terry 8, Bosingwa 7, Van Aanholt 7 (Bruma 6), Ramires 7, Lampard 8, McCreachan 7, Kalou 7 (Kakuta 5), Sturridge 8, Anelka 8

Ipswich: Fulop 3, Peters 4, McAuley 4, Brown 5, O’Dea 3, Edwards 4, Norris 6, Healy 5, Kennedy 5, Wickham 4 (Priskin 5), Scotland 5 (Murray 5)

Match Highlights

Waht does this win do for the team’s confidence?…How do you feel about the tough 4th round draw at Everton?…What are the Blues chances of retaining the trophy?…please leave your comments below…

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