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Chelsea thrashes Man City 5-1 to reach FA Cup quarterfinals

21 February 2016, 22:20

London — Chelsea advanced to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup with a 5-1 victory against an understrength Manchester City side on Sunday, while Crystal Palace and West Ham also won.

Palace defeated Tottenham 1-0, and West Ham came from behind to thrash second-tier Blackburn 5-1.

At Stamford Bridge, City manager Manuel Pellegrini showed the focus was on his side's Champions League last 16 first-leg match against Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday by handing five players their debut.

The youthful visitors almost went ahead after two minutes.

Striker David Faupala collected a loose ball, weaved between Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill, before shooting low at goal — only for Thibaut Courtois to beat the effort away.

Chelsea heeded the warning and almost took the lead with its first notable attack.

Cesc Fabregas flicked the ball neatly into Pedro's run inside the penalty area from the right, but he could only sidefoot his shot against the far post.

But when Chelsea took the lead, it was two of Pellegrini's senior players at fault.

Diego Costa was allowed space on the six yard box between Aleksandar Kolarov and Martin Demichelis. When Eden Hazard hooked the ball across goal, Costa had as much time as he liked to stoop and head powerfully past Willy Caballero.

But the lead only lasted two minutes. City forward Kelechi Iheanacho received a pass on the right and spread the ball into Chelsea's six yard area.

Cesar Azpilicueta tried to clear, but Faupala stretched out a leg in anticipation and converted the ball into Chelsea's net for a debut goal.

It marked an encouraging first half for City's youngsters but Chelsea's experience proved too much after the break.

Hazard, whose movement and passing resembled the player who propelled Chelsea to the Premier League title last season, threaded in Willian in the 48th and he finished ruthlessly, lashing the ball fiercely past Caballero and into the far corner.

Five minutes later, Chelsea added a third when Fernandinho made a feeble attempt to clear Willian's corner and Gary Cahill fired in from the edge of the area.

Hazard then marked his impressive display with a goal, whipping a free kick low past Caballero in the 67th before substitute Bertrand Traore scored with a header in the 89th.

It could have been a heavier defeat for City, but Caballero saved a 75th minute penalty from Oscar.

Elsewhere, Crystal Palace dumped London rival Tottenham out of the tournament with a 1-0 victory.

Martin Kelly hit the decisive goal for Palace at White Hart Lane just before halftime, controlling a pass from Wilfried Zaha before lashing past Michel Vorm.

Tottenham came close to equalizing in the second half through Christian Eriksen, who was denied by a smart save from Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, and Alan Pardew's side held on for a narrow victory.

"It wasn't our day," Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli said. "There are a lot of disappointed lads in the dressing room but we will move on."

West Ham avoided a fifth-round upset with a 5-1 comeback victory at Blackburn.

Ben Marshall put the hosts ahead with a low, left-footed strike after 20 minutes, but Victor Moses equalized six minutes later.

Dimitri Payet then put West Ham ahead with a free kick and Emmanuel Emenike struck twice in the second half, before Payet got his second in stoppage time.

Chris Taylor was sent off for Blackburn and Cheikhou Kouyate for West Ham, both in the second half.

"After the first 20 mins we played fantastic," West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said. "We played really great football and it looked easy."

- AP


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