Chelsea hit Rams for six
Frank Lampard struck four times as Chelsea hammered Derby 6-1 at Stamford Bridge.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 12/03/08 10:26pm
Frank Lampard struck four times as Chelsea bounced back from their FA Cup misery with a convincing 6-1 win over rock-bottom Derby at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard got the ball rolling after winning and converting a penalty in the 28th minute before Salomon Kalou inflicted more misery on Paul Jewell's men just before the interval.
England international Lampard netted a further three times in the second half with a Joe Cole goal sandwiched in-between as Avram Grant's side cut the gap between themselves and Arsenal to five points.
David Jones scored Derby's first goal since the beginning of February, but Jewell's men were completely outclassed in the capital, and could have easily conceded double figures.
Chelsea almost took the lead in the third minute when Derby defender Darren Moore failed to clear the ball and Nicolas Anelka and Kalou combined to set up Lampard, but his shot hit the post.
Derby struggled to deal with Chelsea's opening onslaught, which bordered on the relentless in the opening 10 minutes.
Joe Cole almost caught out Roy Carroll in the 11th minute when his deep cross eluded the Derby goalkeeper completely.
Fortunately for County, the ball bounced off Moore's back and into Carroll's hands.
Michael Ballack on the edge of the penalty area and the Germany captain sent the ball into the corner of the net.
But Derby remained under intense pressure and Joe Cole sent another effort well wide after Kalou and Ashley Cole combined to engineer an opening.
Chelsea went in front in the 28th minute when Lampard was upended by substitute Leacock and got up to send Carroll the wrong way from the resultant spot-kick.
Chelsea continued to pour forward at every opportunity and Lampard should have done better with a shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 35th minute.
Second goalIt was no surprise when Chelsea added a second goal three minutes before half-time.
But Derby boss Paul Jewell would have been far from happy with the way his side conceded the second.
Lampard found Anelka racing down the middle but Carroll and Moore were guilty of hesitating and when the County keeper's clearance landed at the feet of Kalou, the Chelsea striker hit the ball into an empty net from 25 yards.
Anelka should have made it three for Chelsea in the 51st minute but he headed a cross from Kalou wide of the target from six yards.
But Chelsea's desire to eradicate the memory of Barnsley was further underlined when Lampard scored his second of the night in the 57th minute following a superb run and cross from Joe Cole.
Lampard's contribution had been immense but it was about to get even better.
But it was Joe Cole who finally got on the score sheet himself in the 64th minute.
Anelka's initial shot was saved by Carroll but the ball ran into the path of Cole, who applied the necessary finish into an empty net.
A minute later, Lampard grabbed his hat-trick and Chelsea's fifth with a 25-yard effort.
It was all Chelsea now and in the 68th minute Carroll had to be at his best to prevent Kalou from making it six.
But Lampard was not to be denied and he added his fourth in the 72nd minute before Derby scored a consolation goal moments later through substitute David Jones.