Chelsea steamroll lowly Brentford

The Premier League’s big-hitters restored some normality to the FA Cup on Sunday with holders Chelsea crushing third tier Brentford 4-0 in a fourth round replay while Manchester City also dismissed Leeds United 4-0 in a fifth round tie.

Midfielder Frank Lampard scored his 199th goal for Chelsea who put four second-half goals past Brentford at Stamford Bridge. Juan Mata, Oscar and captain John Terry also netted as Chelsea secured a fifth round clash at Championship (second division) Middlesbrough on February 27.

Argentine Sergio Aguero scored twice for 2011 winners Manchester City who eased into the quarterfinals with a confident display that was the complete opposite from their abject surrender in a 3-1 Premier League defeat at Southampton last weekend.

Yaya Toure’s superbly-worked early goal set City on their way against Championship side Leeds and Aguero added a second from the penalty spot.

Carlos Tevez bundled in a third soon after half-time and Aguero added a fourth in the 74th minute.

Earlier, Lampard, whose Chelsea future remains unresolved with his contract expiring at the end of the season, tucked away a simple volley in the 71st minute to edge closer to Bobby Tambling’s all-time club record of 202 goals. The goal prompted Chelsea fans to chant ‘sign him up’ as billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, sat with hands deep in his pockets, forced a wry smile high up in the stand.

Chelsea twice had to come from behind to earn a 2-2 away draw in their first encounter
and were again sluggish in the first half against their fellow Londoners. Mata finally broke Brentford’s resistance in the 54th  minute when he latched on to Demba Ba’s flick from a long Petr Cech clearance and drilled in a left-foot shot from 20 metres.

Oscar doubled the lead 14 minutes later from Branislav Ivanovic’s cutback, scoring with a deft flick, and Lampard quickly added a third from Mata’s cross. Terry headed in at the far post, this time from Oscar’s curling delivery, to make it 4-0 in the 81st minute.

Blackburn stun Arsenal

Arsenal were booed off the pitch after a second humiliation in two months against lower league opponents when visitors Blackburn Rovers beat them 1-0 with a late Colin Kazim-Richards goal on Saturday.

Manager Arsene Wenger’s gamble of leaving out a batch of first-team regulars against the Championship (second tier) side backfired as Arsenal fan Kazim-Richards struck a 72nd minute winner to send Rovers into the quarterfinals.

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