Blues battle back for cup win
Chelsea are through to the fourth round of the FA Cup after battling back from a goal down to beat Southend 4-1.
Last Updated: 14/01/09 10:31pm
Chelsea are through to the fourth round of the FA Cup after battling back from a goal down to claim a fine 4-1 success over Southend at Roots Hall.
The Blues controlled proceedings from the off, but were stunned in the 16th minute when Adam Barrett headed home Junior Stanislas' outswinging corner.
Southend were minutes from taking their lead into the half-time interval before Michael Ballack's fine half-volley levelled matters.
Chelsea never looked back in the second half with goals from Salomon Kalou, Nicolas Anelka and Frank Lampard completing a thoroughly professional display from the visitors.
The only negative point on the night for Chelsea, who now tackle Ipswich in the fourth round, was the second-half knee injury sustained by Joe Cole.
Chelsea made a lively start as Kalou burst into the penalty area down the left, and got to the touchline before cutting the ball back across goal and Ballack's shot was blocked.
Joe Cole was then put in down the right by Lampard, but his low shot hit the legs of Southend goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall and was cleared.
Set-pieces have proved Chelsea's undoing in recent games - and was again their Achilles heel as the hosts snatched a shock lead on 16 minutes.
Stanislas, on loan from West Ham, sent over a corner, which the visitors failed to deal with and Barrett arrived on cue at the far post to power a header into the net.
Chelsea immediately went on the offensive, and it needed a desperate clearance from Anthony Grant in front of his own goal to prevent a certain equaliser.
Mildenhall produced a superb reaction block to deny Lampard from point-blank range, with Joe Cole's follow-up shot blocked and Ballack driving the loose ball over.
Ballack saw his shot on the turn deflected behind as another chance went begging before the German sent a 20-yard volley just over the bar as the one-way traffic continued.
Nearly a second
However, Southend almost snatched a second on the break.
Referee Chris Foy played a superb advantage after John Obi Mikel had flattened Grant, with the ball played out to Stanislas on the right. His looping cross floated over to the far post, where Revell arrived at pace, but somehow Cech kept out his bullet header and Franck Moussa blazed the follow-up over.
Just when it seemed Southend would go into the break ahead, Chelsea grabbed an equaliser.
A high ball into the penalty area caused confusion between Peter Clarke and his goalkeeper, with the half-clearance dropping to Ballack. The German needed no second invitation - and crashed a stunning half-volley into the top left corner.
Chelsea started the second half well, as Ashley Cole drilled in a low effort from 20 yards, which Mildenhall pushed out at full stretch and Southend scrambled the ball clear.
Chelsea finally got themselves in front on the hour mark. Joe Cole showed some neat footwork to release Kalou on the right, and the Ivory Coast forward drifted past two defenders before drilling a low shot into the far corner.
Joe Cole was then forced off with a what looked like a knee problem, to be replaced by Franco di Santo, the former West Ham man grimacing in pain as he hobbled off.Chelsea wrapped things up with 13 minutes left when Kalou and Lampard created space for Anelka to run into the box and he made no mistake from 12 yards before Lampard rubbed salt into the wounds to net a fourth after a breakaway in stoppage time.
|Southend United||Team Statistics||Chelsea|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|2||Shots on Target||11|
|4||Shots off Target||13|