The FA Cup is the only domestic trophy Jose Mourinho’s yet to win. The club won the last Wembley final back in 2000 and I’m sure Mourinho has it in his mind to win the first final at the new Wembley come May — Australian builders permitting.
An in-form Everton block the path to the next round. The Toffees have improved no end since holding us to a 1-1 draw in the Premiership at Goodison Park last October. They’ve won four straight League games recently and don’t in any way resemble the relegation-threatened side of earlier in the season.
Mourinho made wholesale changes to the starting line-up for the third round match against Huddersfield but is likely to opt for a “stronger” starting eleven today. He’ll be forced to make a change at the back because of Ricardo Carvalho’s one-match suspension for his harsh red card last weekend, and could reward Carlo Cudicini for his loyalty by handing him a start. Arjen Robben returns from suspension.
Prediction: This match has the potential to be a classic English Cup tie despite Everton missing a few first team regulars. Premiership form often goes out the window in Cup games and that’s likely to be the case today. With three matches in nine days — Aston Villa on Wednesday, Liverpool next weekend — Mourinho’s sure to want to avoid a replay, but something tells me that’s what he’ll have to settle for. 1-1.
Everton 1 – 1 Chelsea · Update
See Lampard’s goal here (downloadable zip file).
Match reports: BBC Sport; Sky Sports; ESPNSoccernet; Sporting Life; Official Chelsea FC Website; Sunday Times; Independent on Sunday; The Observer; Sunday Telegraph; The Guardian; The Independent; The Times; Daily Telegraph.
- Reaction: Jose — “We wanted extra time: the domination was amazing”
- FA Cup ticket and draw news
- Wembley may miss FA Cup deadline
BBC will show Chelsea Cup replay · Update
The match will be live on Wednesday 8 February, kick-off 2005 GMT.