Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Chelsea thrash Watford

Chelsea 5 Watford 0

A Daniel Sturridge brace helped Chelsea to easily overcome Watford as the FA Cup holders stormed into the competition#s fourth round.

Sturridge started and finished the scoring as Chelsea produced a five-star showing against their Coca-Cola Championship opponents.

An own goal from John Eustace, a deflected effort from Florent Malouda and a thunderous finish from Frank Lampard were sandwiched in between Sturridge's brace as Chelsea dominated from the start.

Sturridge, handed the task of replacing Didier Drogba while he is away on international duty in the African Nations Cup, put the home side in front in the fifth minute with his first goal for the club.

A corner from Lampard was headed down by Alex for John Terry to fire the ball into the six-yard box, where Sturridge pounced to score.

Sturridge was in fine form and almost added a second moments later but saw his 20-yard shot just flash past Scott Loach's left-hand upright.

But Chelsea went two goals in front in the 14th minute thanks to a comedy of errors from the Championship side.

Malouda's cross was hit back into the six-yard box by Joe Cole, only for the ball to cannon off Jay Demerit. The Watford captain watched in horror as the ball then slammed against Lampard before Eustace turned it into his own net as he tried to clear.

Chelsea were completely on top and moments later Loach made a superb one-handed save to stop a thumping header from Alex finding the net.

In the 19th minute Juliano Belletti was inches away from a third when he hit Lampard's corner first time from 20 yards out.

But Chelsea made it 3-0 in the 21st minute when a 20-yard shot from Yury Zhirkov deflected off Malouda and sent Loach the wrong way.

Another superb Chelsea move in the 37th minute almost brought the home side a fourth.

This time captain Terry joined the attack and his superb through-ball gave Sturridge the chance to score his second - but the striker sent his left-foot shot just wide of the far post.

Watford started the second half brightly and in the 52nd minute, Henri Lansbury saw a shot deflected for a corner as Chelsea's defence failed to clear.

Seconds later Demerit tested Chelsea goalkeeper Hilario with a firm header from the resultant corner.

But Chelsea soon got back on top of the game and in the 55th minute Ashley Cole was a yard wide with an angled drive.

The England-full-back then lifted the ball on to the roof of the net in the 60th minute as the Blues continued to dominate.

Sturridge then raced clear of the Watford defence but was foiled by a fine save from Loach as he attempted to lift the ball over his head and into the net.

But Chelsea made it 4-0 in the 64th minute with a superb Lampard strike.

The England midfielder was given time and space some 25 yards out and sent a thunderous rising drive into the roof of the net. It was a fabulous finish from the Chelsea midfielder who had been at the centre of all the home side's best moves.

Four minutes later it was 5-0 after Ashley Cole and Zhirkov combined superbly on the left wing. Cole's run into the penalty was followed by a clever cross to the waiting Sturridge, who controlled the ball and slipped it beyond the helpless Loach.

However, the striker's hopes of a hat-trick were ended soon after when he was replaced by Fabio Borini, although he left the field to a standing ovation from the home fans.

In the 85th minute Joe Cole almost got himself on the scoresheet but his shot on the turn was just too high.

Chelsea continued push for a sixth and Lampard was inches away from getting a touch to a cross from Branislav Ivanovic in the 90th minute.

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