Second half goals from Jon Obi Mikel and Oscar secured a 2-0 win for Chelsea in their FA Cup third round clash with Derby County at the iPro Stadium yesterday afternoon.
The Rams, who were statistically a match for their opponents in all areas bar the goals, kept the Blues at bay for the first half, before Mikel scored only his fourth Chelsea goal on his three hundredth appearance twenty minutes into the second half.
Oscar scored his eighth goal of the season just five minutes later to seal the victory, while eighteen year old Lewis Baker was introduced three minutes from time to make his professional debut.
Jose Mourinho’s men will now face Stoke City at Stamford Bridge in the fourth round of the competition later this month.
Meanwhile the Metro have reported that Kevin De Bruyne’s agent has been pictured at a Wolfsburg training session amid reports that the Belgium international is set to join the Bundesliga club.
The 22 year old has long been linked with a return to Germany having spent a successful season-long stint there with Werder Bermen before returning to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
The former Genk man has made just nine appearances under Jose Mourinho in all competitions.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is likely to rotate his squad for Sunday afternoon’s trip to Derby County in the third round of the FA Cup.
The Blues impressed in the league over the Christmas period, taking ten points from the twelve available after beating Southampton, Liverpool, Swansea City and drawing 0-0 with leaders Arsenal.
Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic have both been ruled out for a month, and join Ryan Bertrand and Marco van Ginkel on the side-lines.
Manchester City beat Chelsea 2-1 in the semi-finals of the competition last April to condemn the club to their first FA Cup defeat, within 90 minutes, since they lost to Barnsley in March 2008.
Derby currently sit in fourth place in the Championship, and lost for the first time in ten games last time as Wigan Athletic ran out 1-0 winners when the sides met at the iPro Stadium on New Year’s Day.
They are the top scorers in the second tier with 48 goals in 24 matches, though they have also conceded the most, 30, of all the sides in the top fourteen of the division.
Chelsea ran out 6-1 winners the last time the sides faced each other, in Derby’s disastrous Premier League campaign of 2007/08.
Chelsea have kept pressure on leaders Arsenal after coming from a goal down to beat Liverpool 2-1 at Stamford Bridge yesterday evening.
The visitors took the lead on three minutes through Martin Skrtel, before goals from top scorer Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto’o swung the game in favour of the hosts before the break, and that is how the score remained.
Chelsea stay third, one point behind Manchester City, who edged past a resurgent Crystal Palace 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, and a further point behind Arsenal who beat Newcastle United by the same score-line at St James’ Park yesterday.
Everton moved into fourth place with victory over Southampton while Liverpool, who topped the table just four days ago, have slipped to fifth.
The Blues will now turn their attention to their trip to St. Mary’s on New Year’s Day when they take on Southampton, before travelling to in-form Championship side Derby County in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.
They then return to league action against Hull City the following weekend before welcoming Premier League champions Manchester United, who appear to be getting their season back on track, to Stamford Bridge on January 19th.