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5 January 2014
• iPro Stadium, Derby
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 32110
J. Obi Mikel 66'
FULL-TIME Derby County 0-2 Chelsea: And that's it, the Blues progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup for the 16th season in succession with an ultimately rather comfortable win at the iPro Stadium thanks to second-half strikes from John Obi Mikel and the brilliant Oscar as Derby's high-tempo start to the game eventually fizzled out in the face of intense pressure from a Chelsea side who continue to impress.
90' + 2'
The game is petering out now, with Chelsea completely comfortable in the second half after a slight struggle early on.
90' + 1'
Cole has to be on his guard to see away Derby left-back Forsyth's delivery with Wisdom lurking at the back post after Bennett had done well to initially rob Cole in the Chelsea area.
Derby's free-kick on the right ultimately comes to nothing and Chelsea are able to wrestle possession back. The hosts must be severely fatigued having to constantly chase shadows in this final quarter of the match.
Bennett wastes a wonderful opening to draft his side back into the contest and make for a grandstand finale as he snatches at the ball just outside the area, with the ball zipping just wide of the stranded Schwarzer's upright. Oscar comes off to a standing ovation, with Lewis Baker coming on to replace the man of the match.
Derby orchestrate their first real chance of the second half as the peripheral Chris Martin latches onto Sammon's pass to drill across goal towards the far corner but Schwarzer is down smartly to parry the ball away for a corner.
McClaren makes his final change as James Bailey enters the field to replace Simon Dawkins who has worked hard but to little avail this afternoon. For those who love a stat, today's game represents John Obi Mikel's 300th appearance for Chelsea and what a way it was to cap it off with the opening goal.
So close to a third again for Chelsea as Ramires' deflected effort flicks the top of the crossbar. The Brazilian linked up nicely once more with the effervescent Oscar but cannot quite get enough purchase on his shot to make it 3-0 and the ball goes for a corner.
Fernando Torres squanders two chances in quick succession to rub salt in the Derby wounds by first dallying over a finish before getting in again down the right just moments later. His contact this time is much cleaner but Grant does brilliantly to get down to his right and push the ball away.
Chelsea get forward again after a lovely interchange between Hazard and Oscar but Willian is only able to force a throw-in deep into the Derby half after his attempt at a low centre was blocked.
It speaks volumes about how well Derby have performed that Chelsea's two goals have actually been their only two shots on target. It will be of scant consolation, though, and epitomises the brutal ruthlessness of the Blues this afternoon.
Derby beginning to look more and more tired here as Chelsea toy with them in the final third. It was always likely to be the case after their first-half endeavours but McClaren's men have battled hard this afternoon.
GOAL! Oscar doubles the advantage and that should be that for Chelsea, who have hit Derby with a quickfire double to surely confirm their progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup. The Brazilian collected the ball on the turn from Azpilicueta's throw-in and fired towards the near post. Grant will question whether he could have done better but the sheer ferocity of the strike has put the game out of the Rams' reach.
Ramires is booked after attempting to con the referee with a blatant dive but gets his comeuppance and is duly cautioned. McClaren responds to his side going a goal down by hauling on Connor Sammon and Mason Bennett for Ward and Eustace respectively.
Yellow Card Ramires
The goal came just seconds after Ramires had fired in from long range as a result of a previous free-kick amounting to nothing but when they secured another opening from just outside the box, Derby failed to heed the warning.
Goal John Obi Mikel
GOAL! John Obi Mikel has finally broken the deadlock and given his side a deserved lead as Derby's resistance finally comes loose. Willian's free-kick in from the left is delightful and wreaks havoc in the Rams backline, with Mikel nipping in to head home from close in. Advantage Chelsea.
David Luiz is down and writhing in agony after another bruising challenge but is fine to continue as Mourinho throws on Torres for the disappointing Eto'o as Chelsea look to grab what could prove to be a decisive opening goal.
Chelsea almost hit their hosts on the counter with devastating effect as Willian surges through midfield before slipping in Hazard on the left. The sub dallies, however, and his ball into the overlapping Cole is too heavy for the full-back, who cannot get a meaningful ball into the middle.
Yellow Card Will Hughes
Two thirds of the way through the game and we are still goalless here. Hughes goes in cynically on the onrushing Oscar, who had skipped past his midfield opponent and Chelsea have a free-kick around 35 yards from goal.
Wisdom powers his way down the right wing and earns his side a corner - and a breather - as Mikel tracks back to deflect the ball out of play.
John Obi Mikel takes on the captaincy duties for Chelsea as they go in search of the elusive opening goal. Will it be long before we see the likes of Fernando Torres and Juan Mata taking to the pitch?
Ward has certainly been the brightest spark in the Rams attack this afternoon and works some shooting space but his effort is deflected into the grateful arms of Schwarzer. Eden Hazard comes on for Essien as Jose Mourinho looks to inject some much-needed attacking verve into his side's play.
Derby earn a free-kick in a promising position just outside the area but Ward's attempt is wasteful, going for goal rather than picking out a team-mate at the far post and Schwarzer is happy to see the ball out.
Derby are happy to let Chelsea have the ball in front of their back four, with Willian unable to pick a lock and instead crosses to the far post but Forsyth is able to head away from danger before Mikel strikes from range but, yet again, Eustace is there to get a block in.
Precious little to report in the opening couple of minutes of the second half as both sides continue to suss out the best way to break the stalemate here at the iPro Stadium.
We're back underway at the iPro Stadium, as Derby get the ball rolling for the start of the second period.
HALF-TIME: Derby County 0-0 Chelsea: It's all square at the interval but not for the want of trying on both sides' part. Ramires came the closest to breaking the deadlock right on the stroke of half-time as his low strike through the bodies hit the post but Derby have certainly played their part in the latest pulsating encounter between a Championship and Premier League side this weekend.
Willian wastes an opportunity to give his side a precious advantage before Ramires comes closer than anyone so far, smacking the face of the post with a left-foot effort after using the overlapping Michael Essien as a decoy.
The so far ineffectual Will Hughes makes a burst forward but cannot find a gap in the Chelsea defence before the equally quiet Cesar Azpilicueta finds space down the right but his pass across the face is hacked away by the hosts.
Dawkins wins a corner for his team after some direct running at the heart of the Chelsea defence. Can the Rams force home an opener in the closing stages of this first half?
Derby refuse to roll over, though, and come forward once more, with Eustace getting a shot off on goal which Schwarzer is able to clutch close to his chest. The west London outfit almost shoot themselves in the feet when Luiz and Cole have a misunderstanding but the impressive Cahill bails his colleagues out.
Oscar is inspiring his side just now and Chelsea have slowly begun to assert their dominance. The diminutive technician slaloms away from a bamboozled Jeff Hendrick and lets fly but his shot swerves just off target.
Chelsea get forward with menace and Oscar is the latest to engineer some space for himself but the increasingly-involved midfield man can only win a corner off Wisdom, which ultimately led to nothing.
Derby break and supply another wonderful ball in from out wide but Schwarzer is equal to it once again. The Australian's handling has been very impressive so far.
Ramires takes aim from 25 yards out and only narrowly misses the far post, with Lee Grant sprawling across goal before fellow Brazilian Oscar curls a free-kick up and over the wall but also just wide of the same corner his compatriot targeted seconds earlier.
Yellow Card John Eustace
Oscar sends in a teasing cross towards the far post and looks to link up with Cole on the left flank to force an opening but the home side are resilient in their defensive work once more before David Luiz loses the lively Ward at the other end, but the striker could not beat Cahill, who was happy to block his effort.
Willian attempts to fend off the attentions of the industrious John Eustace but cannot find a way through as the hosts continue to press Chelsea high up the field. Is it a ploy that will work against them in the latter stages of this cup tie?
Derby seem to be getting most of their attacking joy down the right and it proves the case again as Ward picks Cole's pocket to rush down the wing but his low cross was easily dealt with by Mark Schwarzer.
Chelsea are trying to be patient and work their way through Derby but the Rams are standing firm and refusing to be breached. Michael Essien tries another route towards goal with a long-range drive but the ball sails wide.
Simon Dawkins lashes over the bar before Derby are given a real let-off by a sluggish Eto'o, who had broken clear. Mikel won back possession in midfield and immediately slid the ball through for the striker but his touch was heavy and his body shape all wrong as Wisdom got back to usher him out of the way.
Both sets of fans very vociferous in the early exchanges, with the game ebbing and flowing accordingly. Refreshing to see the hosts take the game to their more illustrious opponents.
Derby look the most threatening at the moment. Ward is again the architect of some good play and, after getting slightly lucky with a ricochet off John Obi Mikel, his shot is subsequently blocked.
The first real sustained spell of pressure from Derby, who fire in a series of speculative efforts before Ward's strike slices wide. McClaren will be encouraged by his charges' start to this contest.
Absolutely superb defending at the far post from Ashley Cole, who prevents a near certain goal as he gets his weaker right foot to a left-wing centre with Ward lurking.
Chelsea are finding plenty of pockets of space out wide and Ramires robs Craig Forsyth's pocket before trying to cut back for Oscar, but the Rams clear the danger with minimal fuss once more.
Jeff Hendrick is penalised for a rather unceremonious shove on Gary Cahill before the visitors work the ball out to Ramires on the right. The midfield workhorse's ball in is a searching one, but Andre Wisdom does well to shepherd the ball out with Willian in close proximity.
Michael Essien feeds Oscar down the right and the Brazilian duly tries to clip a ball into Eto'o, but the ball trickles out for a corner. Oscar takes, but it is a poor delivery and Derby clear their lines.
This time it's Derby's chance to come forward and Jamie Ward obliges, advancing down the right and whipping in an inviting cross which was well claimed by goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
Oscar nearly weaves his way through the hosts' defence but is thwarted at the last before Samuel Eto'o wastefully lashes high and wide from range.
Chelsea kick us off and we are underway here for this FA Cup third round encounter.
Chelsea are hoping to progress to the fourth round of this competition for the 16th season in succession. Quite a remarkable feat, irrespective of today's outcome.
The teams are coming out of the tunnel and onto the field and we are just minutes from kick-off at the iPro Stadium.
The draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup is underway as we speak and the winner of these two teams will take on Stoke at home on the weekend of the 25th and 26th of January.
But if there's any hope to be afforded to the hosts this afternoon, then it is through their goalscoring threat. The Rams have plundered 48 goals in 24 league matches this season and lead the Championship goalscoring charts with an average of two goals per game.
Derby won their solitary FA Cup way back in 1946, while the Blues have won the competition on seven occasions, all of which came between 1970 and 2012.
The two sides have met seven times in this competition, with two wins apiece and two draws in total with Chelsea running out winners the last time the two met, in 1988, with a 3-1 success at the Baseball Ground.
Jose Mourinho has urged his side to respect their opponents on Sunday but his side will go there hoping to continue their recent groove after their impressive 3-0 win at Southampton but the fact the Portuguese has fielded such a strong line-up hints at a desire to get the job done today and avoid a replay.
The former England manager has helped the Rams to 10 wins from the 15 league games played since starting out at the iPro Stadium, including eight wins from their last 10.
Chelsea go into this weekend's clash in good form but so too do Derby, whose rise up the Championship standings coincided with Steve McClaren's arrival at the club.
And here's the Chelsea team for this afternoon: Schwarzer; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Essien, Mikel; Ramires, Oscar, Willian; Eto'o. Substitutes: Cech, Kalas, Terry, Baker, Hazard, Mata, Torres.
Derby County line up like this: Grant; Wisdom, Buxton, Keane, Forsyth; Hendrick, Eustace, Hughes; Ward, Martin, Dawkins. Substitutes: Legzdins, Bailey, Sammon, Bennett, Whitbread, Freeman, Cisse.
Chelsea, meanwhile, make six changes to the team that won 3-0 last time out at Southampton as Mark Schwarzer, David Luiz, Michael Essien, who captains the Blues, Oscar, Willian and Samuel Eto'o all come into the starting XI.
It's two changes for Derby County this afternoon as Jeff Hendrick and Simon Dawkins come in to replace the injured duo of Craig Bryson and Johnny Russell.
Good afternoon and welcome to this LIVE commentary of the FA Cup third round clash between resurgent Championship outfit Derby County and Premier League high flyers Chelsea. Could we see an upset this afternoon?
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