Tue, Feb 01, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Chelsea overcomes Birmingham City

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL The Blues advanced into the final 16 of the FA Cup on Sunday following a 2-0 victory

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Chelsea's Glen Johnson, left, goes for the ball with Birminghan City's Julian Gray during their FA Cup match at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge in London on Sunday.

PHOTO: AP

Centerbacks Robert Huth and John Terry headed Chelsea into the last 16 of the FA Cup in a 2-0 victory over Birmingham City on Sunday.

The German and English internationals scored a goal in each half as Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho stayed on course for four titles in his first season in English soccer.

Chelsea is 10 points clear atop the Premier League, faces Liverpool in the League Cup final and is also going strong in the Champions League.

In Sunday's other FA Cup game, Bolton scored a 1-0 victory at League One Oldham.

Mourinho, who moved to Chelsea after guiding FC Porto to a Champions League triumph last season, rested eight of the players that beat Manchester United 2-1 on Wednesday to reach the League Cup final.

His team soon went ahead at Stamford Bridge when Huth arrived unmarked at the near post and headed home a left wing corner in the sixth minute.

Chelsea made sure of a place in the last 16 when Frank Lampard floated a ball into the area and Terry guided a long range angled header inside the far post in the 80th minute.

On Saturday, Terry's brother, Mark, scored for Yeovil in a 3-2 loss at Charlton.

"At half time, the reality was that the score was 1-0 and should have been two or three or four because we had played fantastic football," Mourinho said. "In the second half we didn't. It was our fault but they improved a lot."

The Chelsea manager also denied a newspaper report that his club had made an illegal approach to try and sign England defender Ashley Cole.

"It's not true," he said. "Every player who is a really good player, or any agents who try to improve the situation of his player, the player is always connected with Chelsea. I've never met the boy. I've just played against him."

Teenage Portuguese striker Ricardo Vaz Te fired Bolton into the fifth round and made sure League One Oldham didn't claim another Premier League victim in a 1-0 victory for Wanderers.

Oldham was out to add to its upset victory over Manchester City in the previous round.

But Vaz Te, an 18-year-old Lisbon-born forward who joined Bolton as a trainee, struck in the ninth minute at Boundary Park, although his close range header should have been saved by Oldham's Australian goalkeeper Les Pogliacomi.

Ricardo Gardner swung in a cross from the left wing and Vaz Te dived between two defenders to head goalwards. Pogliacomi got a hand to the ball but it slipped past him and inside his left hand post.

The results mean that the weekend's 16 fourth-round games didn't have a single upset.

Defending champion and record 11-time winner Manchester United marched into the last 16 with a 3-0 beating of Middlesbrough on Saturday with Wayne Rooney scoring two spectacular goals.

His first was a 35m lob over stranded Boro goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and the second was a first-time volley from the edge of the area.

"They are two of the best I have ever scored," the teenage England striker said. "That's three in the FA Cup now, so hopefully I can carry on and get a few more in the next round."

Nine-time winner Arsenal beat League Championship Wolves 2-0 and Blackburn, Newcastle and Everton comfortably beat teams from the lower divisions.

A penalty in the third minute of injury time gave Southampton a 2-1 victory over neighbor Portsmouth as Saints' new manager, Harry Redknapp, ousted the club he left six weeks ago.

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