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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Di Matteo lauds Blues' game of patience

Roberto Di Matteo believes Chelsea's patient approach kept their FA Cup ambitions alive against Portsmouth yesterday.

The west Londoners never looked in any real danger of coming a cropper at Stamford Bridge, although they looked devoid of ideas against the Championship side in the first half.

Juan Mata gave Andre Villas-Boas' side the lead three minutes into the second half, before a Ramires brace and Frank Lampard stoppage-time goal secured progression.

Chelsea assistant Di Matteo was pleased with the west Londoners' performance in the 4-0 victory and wants the side to press on from here.

"I thought it was a very good all-round performance," Di Matteo said.

"Portsmouth made it very hard, especially in the first 45 minutes.

"It was just a matter of scoring the first goal and we were always confident we were going to be able to do that.

"In the second half we got further forward and secured the win.

"We knew the chances would come and that is exactly what happened in the second half."

Weakened

Di Matteo said there was never any danger of Chelsea playing a weakened side.

He added: "I don't think we ever said we wouldn't play a strong team.

"It is a competition we would like to win and today we have gone a step further towards the target."

Victory sets up a mouth-watering trip to west London rivals QPR, assuming Rangers can defeat MK Dons in their third-round replay.

For Portsmouth, though, attention returns to the Championship after a slightly cruel defeat for Michael Appleton's side.

"I think (the performance) was a credit to the boys but that is why Chelsea are where they are and we're a Championship club," the Pompey manager said.

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