Brilliant Blues batter 'Orns
Attendance: 40 912
Malky Mackay's young charges were taught a harsh, harsh lesson at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in the F.A Cup 3rd Round, sponsored by E.on.
The Golden Boys found themselves three-nil down within twenty-two minutes and despite going over forty minutes without succumbing the Chelsea pressure, conceded another two quick-fire goals to hand Carlo Ancelotti and easy F.A Cup debut with the Blues.
With Heidar Helguson back at Queens Park Rangers, Malky Mackay opted to draft holding midfielder Scott Severin in from the bench and revert to a 4-5-1 with Danny Graham ploughing that thankless loan furrow up top. Academy graduate Ross Jenkins was back on the bench following a back injury sustained at home to Coventry back in October.
It was far from the perfect start from Mackay's young charges as the rampant Blues, without African quartet Kalou, Essien, Mikel and Drogba, took the lead on five minutes. From Alex's knock down, centre half partner John Terry flicked the ball into the path of Daniel Sturridge who was close-by to open his account with the Stamford Bridge side.
Just ten minutes later it was two and game over for the travelling side as John Eustace found himself in the wrong place to scuff Joe Cole's attempt over the line after Malouda's tantalising far-post cross.
The third came just seven minutes after and was another harsh one on Scott Loach who saw Yuri Zhirkov's blast hit Florent Malouda and trickle past the wrong-footed England U21 'keeper.
Watford did get themselves into the Blues half in the second period and from a near-post corner routine, Jay DeMerit's header was gathered by backup 'keeper Henrique Hilario.
The fourth came just after the hour as Frank Lampard did what Frank Lampard does, swerving a viscious, yet perfect effort into Scott Loach's top right-hand corner. There was nothing the young stopper could've done yet again and he will take comfort from the fact vastly experienced 'keeper see those flash past them every season.
And, in the 68th minute, Sturridge completed the rout grabbing his second strike, deftly placing a shot under Loach rom Zhirkov's cross from the left.
Of course I understand that a youthful Championship side will never beat a side of Chelsea's strength, depth and experience, yet I'd hope that we could've given them a better game than this. However if you take out the equation two deflected goals and a Lampard special, I guess a 2-0 beating isn't too bad.
We do however have bigger fish to fry, and the visit of Sheffield United on Saturday at the Vic'.
Ivanovic Alex Terry (c) A.Cole
Belletti Lampard Zhirkov
J.Cole Sturride Malouda
Hodson Mariappa DeMerit (c) Doyley
Cowie Severin Lansbury Eustace Cleverley