Second half goals from John Obi Mikel and Oscar saw Chelsea down Derby 2-0 in a third round FA Cup tie at Pride Park on Sunday.
The opening 45 minutes was a half dominated by Chelsea, but for all their possession they really struggled to break down a stubborn Derby defence.
The Blues outran the home side in the middle of the park, but their last pass in the final third was either lacking or intercepted by the defence.
Consequently, Chelsea’s first shot on goal only came in the 25th minute as Samuel Eto’o let fly from long range, but he dragged his effort narrowly wide.
Six minutes later and Ramires came close for Chelsea when he picked up the ball in the middle of the park and drove towards goal before unleashing a thunderbolt inches wide of the target.
In the 38th minute, Oscar showed some superb skill down the left flank, beating a couple of defenders before cutting inside and flashing a well-struck shot agonisingly wide.
A minute later and Derby created their first opening of the game as Eustace robbed Ramires of the ball and unleashed a powerfully struck shot which was well-saved by Schwarzer.
Chelsea came closest to opening the scoring in first half injury time as Ramires struck the woodwork from just inside the box.
The second 45 saw the Blues continue to dictate terms and they finally made their pressure tell in the 67th minute when John Obi Mikel found the back of the net on his 300th appearance. Willian’s devilish set-piece from the left was met by the towering Mikel who headed home from six-yards out 1-0.
Five minutes later and Oscar was able to double Chelsea’s lead after some swift interplay between himself and Eden Hazard saw the former strike the ball home from just inside the box, 2-0.
Derby tried to find some consolation, but Chelsea kept it tight at the back to walk into the fourth round of the FA Cup.