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Chelsea 3 - 1 Huddersfield


BlueLion.

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Chelsea F.C. 3 - 1 Huddersfield Town

Saturday 16 February 2008, FA Cup, Round Five, Stamford Bridge Stadium, London

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Rampant England midfielder inspired Chelsea to victory over League One outfit Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup Fifth Round.


The Chelsea vice-captain netted his 100th and 101st goals for the club as well as supplying Ivorian forward Salomon Kalou for the third. Nevertheless, the visitors were obviously not fazed by the occasion, least of all former Chelsea player Frank Sinclair, who captained the Huddersfield side from right-back. The travelling supporters were praised for turning up in such numbers by both managers, with the fans knowing their team had done admirably to restrict Chelsea to such a few opportunities.

Ahead of a busy week of football that could determine the fate of Chelsea's season, manager Avram Grant elected to field a weakened team ahead of their crucial Champions League game away to Olympiacos. However with the Carling Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur fast approaching, Grant will have been happy to see both Lampard and skipper John Terry fit once again. Carlo Cudicini played in goal as Petr Cech was rested; Hilario the substitute goalkeeper. Ferreira deputised at full-back whilst Mikel partnered Lampard in the centre of midfield. Scott Sinclair was offered a run out on the right of a 4-3-3 which featured Peru striker Claudio Pizarro and Kalou on the left, the Ivorian's first action at Chelsea since leaving for the African Cup of Nations. Nicolas Anelka and Ricardo Carvalho were dropped to a bench that featured £90 million of talent, as the pair were joined by £30.8 million Andrei Shevchenko and Michael Essien.

Huddersfield Town were missing their regular captain but Frank Sinclair, formerly of Chelsea, deputised and led his team out at Stamford Bridge. Highly-rated Luke Beckett started up front for the visitors who utilised a flat pack 4-4-2 formation.

Chelsea found their rhythm early on, despite Frank Lampard being the only player in the starting eleven to have played against Liverpool the previous Sunday. Huddersfield looked timid when in possession and were struggling to get the ball out of their own half. Chelsea's early dominance was causing concern amongst the away defence as Scott Sinclair and Salomon Kalou had the beatings of their respective markers with considerable ease.

Scott Sinclair especially was finding plenty of space as he hogged the far touchline, and it was the young English player who came closest to breaking the deadlock after merely six minutes. Receiving the ball from Kalou, the player spun and shot beyond the goalkeeper, only for Robbie Williams to excellently clear off the line. Angelic by name and performance.

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But their resistance was short-lived when Lampard opened the scoring after 18 minutes in somewhat inevitable fashion. Sinclair beat his marker after receiving the ball from a glorious Lampard pass, before feeding it into the feet of the England midfielder who slotted home accurately from 8 yards.

But rather than knock the visitors, Lampard's 100th for Chelsea did nothing but galvanise them, and the Huddersfield players were close to celebrating an equaliser when John Terry cleared off the line. The Chelsea captain had been missing since breaking his foot in December against Arsenal, but was looking as immense as ever alongside Tal Ben Haim, who was enjoying a solid game in front of Carlo Cudicini.

However the visitors were offered something to shout about with a brilliant finish from Michael Collins drew them level. The Chelsea backline attempted to play the offside trap but the run from James Berrett's immaculate pass was well-timed and clinical - the Huddersfield number four bringing the ball down with his thigh before lashing it past Cudicini.

Chelsea turned up the tempo in the second half though it took them till the hour mark to break down the away side's defence. It was Lampard who spearheaded Chelsea's attacking play whilst John Obi Mikel was enjoying an excellent defensive display behind the number 8, and the Nigerian was involved in Lampard's second goal.

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Mikel launched the ball up field before Lampard was fed on the edge of the area. The driving run of the midfielder took him around two defensive challenges before his relatively tame effort was palmed away weakly by Matt Glennon, and Lampard tucked the rebound away with his left boot.

The offside flag prevented Huddersfield further embarrassment, as John Terry's goalbound effort was put in by Kalou from an offside position - with replays indicating the ball would have gone in if Kalou had not have become active. Scott Sinclair looked to have wrapped the game up moments later after Claudio Pizarro took on seven Huddersfield players before his shot was palmed straight to the feet of Sinclair, who put the ball in the net, only for it to be chalked off.

Kalou made amends with his third goal in four games for Chelsea with 20 minutes remaining. The Ivorian was brilliantly fed by Lampard before nut-megging the goalkeeper with a precise finish. The interplay between Lampard and Kalou was magnificent - the pass was exquisite and Kalou's touch was deadly. Lampard was substituted for Essien ten minutes later to a rousing round of applause from both sets of fans, with the Ghanaian Essien playing his first match for Chelsea since before the African Nation's Cup. Shevchenko and Anelka were later introduced as Chelsea hung on for a win, despite Huddersfield going close with a freekick in stoppage time.

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Match Fact : Chelsea are now 59 games unbeaten at home in all competitions - surpassing a club record set between February 2004 and February 2006.

Chelsea: Cudicini (6), Ferreira (5), Ben-Haim (7), Terry (7), Bridge (6), Sidwell (5) (Shevchenko (6)), Mikel (8), Lampard (9) (Essien (6)), Kalou (8), Pizarro (6) (Anelka (6)), Sinclair (7)

Goals: Lampard 18, 60, Kalou 70

Huddersfield: Glennon (6), Sinclair (5), Clarke (7), Page (6), Williams (6), Collins (7), Brandon (6), Holdsworth (6), Berrett (7) (Schofield (6)), Beckett (5) (Booth (6)), Jevons (6) (Kamara (6))

Goals: Collins 45

Attendance: 41,324

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Man of the Match : Frank Lampard

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Edited by BlueLion
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