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Aston Villa 0-3 Chelsea - Match Report
Chelsea sealed their place in this season's FA Cup final after romping to a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley on Saturday evening.
Carlo Ancelotti's men didn't have it all their own way though and they were lucky to get away with a huge penalty shout in the first half as John Obi Mikel tangled with Gabriel Agbonlahor.
- Aston Villa 0-3 Chelsea: As it happened
However, a ruthless second-half performance swept Martin O'Neill's men away with some ease.
Villa held the upper hand in the opening exchanges, keeping possession and playing with freedom but they couldn't break down the stingy Blues back-line that was well marshalled by John Terry and Alex.
But the game burst into life as England man Agbonlahor skipped around Mikel and, as he prepared to shoot on goal from inside the area, the Nigerian brought him down.
Villa launched a staunch appeal, but referee Howard Webb was unmoved as play continued, much to their bemusement.
A succession of half chances followed but neither keeper was overly tested as the opening period reached a drab conclusion.
Both teams upped the ante as play re-started, but it took a fortuitous Didier Drogba goal to break the deadlock.
Florent Malouda's corner was headed tamely by Richard Dunne to the edge of the area and Terry's equally weak effort was guided home by the poaching Drogba in the 67th minute.
O'Neill refused to make instant changes as he kept his faith in the starting line-up but, as they huffed and puffed, Chelsea grew in confidence and looked more likely to double the lead.
As Villa pushed forward, they were punished on the counter-attack and, as substitute Michael Ballack was fed on the right, his majestic ball into the box was missed by Carlos Cuellar and the marauding Malouda's cool right-footed effort hit the back of the net in the 88th minute to seal the win.
The Midlands outfit were down at out at this point and, as they continued to press, Yuri Zhirkov broke free for the Londoners, released the instrumental Malouda and he fed Nicolas Anelka, who unselfishly cushioned a pass into the path of Frank Lampard and he made no mistake, slotting beyond the despairing dive of Brad Friedel.
Webb soon ended the contest and Chelsea will now face either Tottenham Hotspur or Portsmouth in the final in May as they look to retain the trophy they picked up last season.
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