Di Matteo: Chelsea are one step closer
Chelsea assistant coach Roberto Di Matteo believes the club's patient approach kept their FA Cup ambitions alive yesterday.
The Blues never looked in any real danger of losing at Stamford Bridge, although they looked devoid of ideas against Championship side Portsmouth 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.
Di Matteo was pleased with the Chelsea's 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, and it is always difficult to break an opponent down and find a space with so many players.
"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. I think it was a matter of finding the spaces and keeping possession. We knew the chances would come and that is exactly what happened in the second half."
Di Matteo said there was never any danger of Chelsea playing a weakened side, adding: "I don't think we ever said we wouldn't play a strong team so it wasn't really a surprise. 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 Queens Park Rangers, 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.
"Conceding after two or three minutes of the second half does not help matters, especially after a good first-half performance," the Pompey manager said. "I thought we got back into the game and you could sense their was a bit of nervousness before the end when they got their second goal.
"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 longer the game goes on, fatigue comes in, a lack of concentration comes in at times and obviously they have got players that can be clinical."