Preston North End 0
- Anelka 37,
- Sturridge 47
On a busy Saturday of FA Cup fixtures Preston versus Chelsea was an early game as the champions looked to find a way through to the fifth round before the rest of the fourth round games were played.
Chelsea had rested a few key players for this game and Preston looked to take advantage of that by taking the game to their opponents early on. This early attacking quickly settled down as the game became a battle that Chelsea seemed to be winning. The Blues dominated possession during the first half hour but created very few chances.
Nicolas Anelka's low drive put Chelsea ahead after 37 minutes and Daniel Sturridge slammed in a second just after the restart to ensure their comfortable passage into the next round.
Preston's big opportunity came and went shortly after Anelka gave Chelsea the lead, and Darren Carter will have nightmares about how he somehow failed to hit the target from point-blank range with keeper Hilario out of position.
And the Preston fans did themselves great credit on a day of disappointment by warmly applauding the England midfield man as he made his way to the tunnel.
Chelsea could, and should, have added to their lead as Sturridge twice came close and the ever-dangerous Anelka saw his effort well saved by Lonergan. Joe Cole, on for the injured Lampard, almost got in the act, but his shot was off target.
Preston: Lonergan, Hart, Mawene, St, Ledger, Davidson, Sedgwick (Major 72 '), Chaplow, Jones, Carter (Parkin 59'), Wallace, Brown (Mellor 72 ').
Chelsea: Hilario, Paulo Ferreira, Alex, Terry, Zhirkov, Belletti (Malouda 19 '), Ballack, Lampard (Joe Cole 66'), Deco, Anelka, Sturridge.