BLUES EARN HARD – FOUGHT VICTORY OVER RESILIENT RAMS.

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Chelsea booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup by cruising past Derby County at Pride Park.

Both teams came into the fixture in fine form, with Chelsea having won their last three games in the Premier League and Derby having only lost one in their 10 games under Steve McClaren’s stewardship.

John Obi Mikel scored a collector’s item and Oscar rounded up victory for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea who will now go on to face Stoke City in the next round.

Chelsea came to Pride Park to find a resilient Derby side defending well with the Blues mostly restricted to long-range efforts in the first half.

Mourinho made two substitutions early on in the second half with Hazard and Torres replacing the ineffective Essien and Eto’o and the changes seemed to spark Chelsea into life.

The breakthrough finally came in the 66th minute from one of the most unlikely sources with John Obi Mikel getting his head onto a superb Willian cross to nod Chelsea in front. It was only the Nigerian’s fourth goal of his career, but his third in the FA Cup.

Oscar then doubled Chelsea’s lead just a few minutes later when his powerful swerving shot could only be parried into the net by Derby keeper Lee Grant.

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