Chelsea cruise to six-goal Capital win

CAPITAL ONE CUP
CHELSEA 6 vs WOLVES 0

PREMIER League Chelsea last night returned to their finest form to advance to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup with a devastatingly clinical victory over recently-relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Blues had on Saturday remained unconvincing in a 1-0 victory over Stoke City and had last week squandered the lead in a draw with Juventus to increase a steadily growing pressure. Ruthless owner Roman Abramovich was thought to be unhappy at the earlier of those developments and, with the £50m record signing Fernando Torres continuing to appear unimpressive, manager Roberto Di Matteo’s job security looked variable at best.

If the myriad tensions reflected those to be found in the life of captain John Terry then both he and his team-mates emerged last night with a fresh-looking drive. The defender had on Sunday announced his retirement from international football and cited the Football Association’s disciplinary hearing into his role in the Anton Ferdinand race row as his reasoning for considering his England position to be “untenable”, but he characteristically handled the pressure as a near-virtual spectator in Chelsea’s significant win.

It took only four minutes for Terry’s central defensive partner Gary Cahill to give Chelsea the lead and given the belief that the underdogs usually need to score early, Wolves’s task thereafter looked considerably more difficult.

The England international comfortably headed in Juan Mata’s free-kick at the far post and it took only a fraction longer for another England man to double the lead.

Oriol Romeu had an eighth-minute shot saved by Wolves goalkeeper Dorus de Vries before debutant Lucas Piazon collected and passed for the unmarked Ryan Bertrand to powerfully strike into a near-open net.

A third was to follow when Mata, Ramires and Torres combined in a delightfully flowing passing move before setting up the former for a typically comfortable finish and another Spaniard soon followed with Chelsea’s fourth.

In the 53rd minute, De Vries fouled the energetic, advancing Victor Moses and conceded a penalty and it was Romeu who took it to score his first for the club.

The evening was a fine one for the club’s Spanish contingent; while Cesar Azpilicueta’s debut was relatively smooth, it was the out-of-form Torres who importantly secured Chelsea’s fifth.

From Mata’s corner, the striker was to score with a 58th-minute header and yet another was to follow before the evening’s end. Another of the club’s summer signings, the Brazilian Oscar, played for the final half an hour and it was he who crossed for Moses to powerfully head in another with 19 minutes to go for a victory that was Chelsea’s biggest in almost two years.

CAPITAL ONE CUP
WEST HAM 1 vs WIGAN 4

By sports desk staff

TWO goals from Wigan striker Mauro Boselli last night inspired an away victory that would have somewhat embarrassed West Ham.

Modibo Maiga gave the home side a seventh-minute lead before Boselli’s 14th-minute equaliser marked the point when Wigan took control.

Ivan Ramis put the Latics in front in the 38th-minute before Boselli’s second, in the 41st, and Jordi Gomez’s 84-th minute penalty sealed the win.

CAPITAL ONE CUP
MAN CITY 2 vs ASTON VILLA 4

By sports desk staff

THE Premier League champions last night suffered a shock defeat when Aston Villa fought back from a goal down to take an inspiring extra-time win.

Mario Balotelli and Aleksandar Kolarov had given City respective 1-0 and 2-1 leads but an own goal from Gareth Barry, a brace from Gabriel Agbonlahor and Charles N’Zogbia’s 96th-minute effort proved enough for a surprise victory.

CAPITAL ONE CUP
LEEDS 2 vs EVERTON 1

By sports desk staff

LEEDS last night advanced to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup with a surprise victory over in-form Premier League Everton.

Aidan White had clinically put the home side ahead with a smart finish after only four minutes and Rodolph Austin’s close-range effort in the 70th minute settled the tie with 20 minutes to go.

It was only then that Everton fought to avoid defeat but only Sylvain Distin could manage a goal.