Chelsea smash seven past Ispwich to set up Everton clash
Blues romp to victory over Ispwich at Stamford Bridge to give Carlo Ancelotti's men a vital FA Cup win
Chelsea opened the defence of their FA Cup crown with a rampant display against Championship strugglers Ipswich.
The Blues were in devastating form to put seven goals past a dismal Ipswich but Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti will be under no illusions that Sunday’s performance turned the corner for his side.
The pressure has built on the Italian following a dismal run of form with Chelsea having picked up just 10 points in the last 11 league games.
Desperate for a morale boosting victory, Chelsea fielded a strong side with a blend of youth and experience.
The opening exchanges were frosty and for half an hour manager-less Ipswich held their own and forced Chelsea wide.
However, in the 32nd minute the building pressure was too much for the Tractor Boy’s back line as Salomon Kalou slid home after a Nicolas Anelka shot had trickled under Martin Fulop.
Within 60 seconds Chelsea had doubled their lead when Jose Bosingwa delivered a low wicked cross from the right for Daniel Sturridge to flick the ball past the despairing goalkeeper.
The tie was all but wrapped up on 41 minutes when the visitors gifted Chelsea a third. Frank Lampard’s free-kick was headed in by Carlos Edwards for an own goal that lifted the tension from around the ground.
Chelsea started the second half just as menacingly as the impressive Anelka beat a couple of defenders on the right of the box to fire a low drive into the bottom left corner for his first goal since November.
Ancelotti’s side continued to heap misery on Ipswich as Sturridge marked his 40th appearance for the club with a sensational strike on 53 minutes, turning inside the box to curl a delicious shot into the roof of the net.
Lampard then marked his impressive return to form with two goals in two minutes. His first coming on 78 minutes with a signature 18-yard drive from the edge of the area. And within a minute the talisman had struck again, smashing in Branislav IvanoviÃ„”¡’s clever cut back.
The rout was complete but Ancelotti tried not to get carried away after the final whistle. He said: “Obviously we need to give the same performance against Blackburn but with this victory we can improve our confidence.”
Ancelotti’s men will travel to Everton for their fourth round tie after the draw was made earlier on Sunday.
Ipswich caretaker boss Ian McParland said: “I live in the real world. We are in a bit of shock from the manager going and unfortunately we took a real thrashing.
“For half an hour we were doing OK and in the game but then we gave them three bad goals. But let’s not forget who we were playing against.”
Asked about the possible replacement for Roy Keane, he replied: “Whoever he is, he has a very tough job.”