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Monday, Feb. 15, 2010

Chelsea advances

LONDON (AP) Holder Chelsea had to step up a gear in the second half to reach the F.A. Cup quarterfinals Saturday with a 4-1 victory over Cardiff, and Manchester City will have to play Stoke again after being held 1-1.

Chelsea's fifth-round match was also level at 1-1 after Didier Drogba's second-minute goal was canceled out by Michael Chopra.

But the Premier League leaders took control after the break as Michael Ballack, Daniel Sturridge and Salomon Kalou scored to extend the club's unbeaten home run to 37 matches.

"They caused us a lot of problems in the first half," Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins said. "But thankfully we managed to up the tempo in the second half."

Shaun Wright-Phillips gave Man City an early lead before Stoke leveled at the start of the second half when Ricardo Fuller headed in Rory Delap's long throw in.

There will also be a replay between Reading and West Bromwich Albion after the League Championship teams drew 2-2.

Portsmouth beat south-coast rival Southampton 4-1 to advance and Birmingham beat second-tier club Derby 2-1.

The Chelsea defense was shorn of captain John Terry, who has been allowed to travel to Dubai to see his wife following newspaper allegations about his private life, and left back Ashley Cole, who is out for three months after breaking his left ankle.

It didn't seem the duo would be missed when Jon Obi Mikel's through-ball from the halfway line fell into Drogba's path and the Cote d'Ivoire forward flicked it over goalkeeper David Marshall.

But Drogba's fourth goal in three games since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations didn't curb Cardiff's ambitions.



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