Di Matteo lauds Blues showing

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CHELSEA assistant manager Roberto di Matteo was impressed with the team’s performance as they began their FA Cup campaign with a 4-0 defeat of Portsmouth yesterday.

The west Londoners never looked in any real danger of slipping up at Stamford Bridge as they netted four times in the second half of the third-round tie.

Juan Mata directed home a Florent Malouda cross to give Andre Villas-Boas’ side the lead three minutes into the second half before the npower Championship club pushed for a leveller.

However, Chelsea eased into the fourth round as Ramires grabbed a late brace and Frank Lampard scored deep into stoppage time.

“I thought it was a very good all-round performance,” Chelsea assistant manager 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 their was never any danger of Chelsea playing a weakened side.

He added: “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.”

Ramires was one of the west Londoners’ standout performers at Stamford Bridge.

The Brazil international came close on several occasions against Pompey before tapping home from close range in the 85th minute and then clipping the ball over goalkeeper Stephen Henderson two minutes later.

“He helps things,” Di Matteo said of Ramires.

“I don’t think he is the only one as we have a few goalscoring midfield players.

“I very much enjoyed the second goal he scored today.

“I think the scoreline was a bit harsh on Portsmouth, especially the way they were organised and defended.

“We are very pleased with it and we deserve a few goals as well.”

There had been speculation Bolton defender Gary Cahill may have completed his expected move to Stamford Bridge in time for the match, but the deal has still not yet been completed.