Chelsea sweep past Villa

Chelsea sweep past Villa

Chelsea sweep past Villa

On target: Frank Lampard scores Chelsea’s third goal during their 3-0 rout of Aston Villa in the FA Cup semifinal at the Wembley stadium in London on Saturday. AP

All three goals came late with Didier Drogba breaking Villa's resistance after 67 minutes before Florent Malouda (89th) and Frank Lampard, deep in stoppage time, gave Chelsea an ultimately comfortable but flattering margin of victory.

Defeat left a sour taste in the mouth of Villa manager Martin O'Neill, who said referee Howard Webb should have given his side a clear first-half penalty.O'Neill added that Chelsea skipper John Terry should have been sent off for a ‘horrendous’ second-half tackle on his England team-mate and Villa midfielder James Milner.

The opening goal came when Drogba turned a Terry shot into the net past goalkeeper Brad Friedel. Malouda added the second after a cross from substitute Michael Ballack and Lampard grabbed the third just before the four minutes of added time ended.

Chelsea meet Tottenham Hotspur or Portsmouth, who play in the second semifinal on Sunday, in the showpiece at Wembley on May 15.

United lose ground
Manchester United suffered a third major blow in eight days on Sunday when a 0-0 draw at Blackburn Rovers damaged their hopes of claiming a fourth straight Premier League title.

United, who went out of the Champions League on away goals to Bayern Munich on Wednesday, failed to break down a resolute Rovers side which means they remain stuck behind leaders Chelsea having played a game more.

Chelsea have 74 points from 33 games while United, whose 2-1 defeat at home to Chelsea last weekend cost them top spot, have 73 from 34 games.
Wolverhampton Wanderers took another step towards ensuring their top flight survival with a 0-0 draw against Stoke City that leaves them six points above the relegation zone.