Chelsea wins quar­ter fi­nals of FA Cup


Hold­ers Chelsea ground out a 2-0 win at sec­ond-tier Mid­dles­brough on Wed­nes­day to set up an FA Cup quar­ter­fi­nal glam­our tie at Manch­ester United. Sec­ond-half goals from Ramires and Vic­tor Moses se­cured vic­tory at the River­side Sta­dium as Chelsea bounced back from Sun­day's 2-0 loss at Manch­ester City, which had seen them slip to fourth place in the Pre­mier League.

Vic­tory in the fifth-round tie means Chelsea re­main on course for what would be a fifth FA Cup ti­tle in seven sea­sons.

In­terim man­ager Rafael Ben­itez has com­plained about fix­ture con­ges­tion in re­cent weeks, but with his side also still in con­tention in the Europa League, the Euro­pean cham­pi­ons look set for a busy few weeks.

Chelsea made eight changes to the side beaten by City at the week­end, with Fer­nando Tor­res and skip­per John Terry both re­turn­ing to the start­ing line-up.

Os­car and Moses also came back into the team and they al­most com­bined to break the dead­lock in the 11th minute, but Os­car could not get enough pur­chase on his shot from his team-mate's cut-back.

Chelsea started au­thor­i­ta­tively but as the first half wore on, Mid­dles­brough came back into the game. In the 26th minute, Scott McDon­ald came close to open­ing the scor­ing but his header from Nicky Bai­ley's right-wing cross drifted nar­rowly wide of the right-hand post. The hosts went even closer five min­utes be­fore half­time, with Petr Cech spilling a shot from Boro winger Mustapha Carayol and oblig­ing Terry to make a hur­ried clear­ance.

It there­fore came as some­thing of a re­lief to the vis­i­tors when Ramires put them in front six min­utes into the sec­ond half.

Yossi Be­nay­oun laid the ball back to Ramires and his placed shot from the edge of the box beat goal­keeper Ja­son Steele with the aid of a slight de­flec­tion off the back of the crouch­ing Tor­res.

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