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16.02.2009 Football News

Anelka Powers Chelsea To Victory

By Daily Guide
Anelka Powers Chelsea To Victory

NIcholas Anelka Chelsea came from behind to see off Watford and reach FA Cup quarter-finals as relieved new manager looks on from stands.

Chelsea required a late hat-trick from Nicolas Anelka on Saturday to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for the fourth successive season after trailing 1-0 to lowly Championship side Watford with 20 minutes to play.

Guus Hiddink, placed in charge last week until the end of the season, visited the dressing-room after the game and must have felt as much relief as satisfaction with a wasteful performance.

The London side had more than 20 attempts on goal but only Anelka could convert one and it took a switch from the normal 4-3-3 formation to prevent a repetition of last season's embarrassing Cup defeat by Barnsley.

Ray Wilkins, who chose the team and the tactics, said: "We had a scare but overall the performance merited a victory. We showed tremendous character to come back. People keep saying it's been a difficult season but we're still in three competitions."

Watford's manager, Brendan Rodgers, a former Chelsea employee, was "very proud of the club, supporters and players".