Middlesborough vs. Chelsea: Final score 0-2, Blues win comfortably

Julian Finney

An absolutely horrible first half gave way to a very solid second half performance for Chelsea, who had no problem dispatching of Middlesborough.

A marquee FA Cup quarterfinal tie awaits Chelsea, who will face Manchester United at Old Trafford in the next round of the competition. The Blues were poor as a whole in the first half of their match against Middlesborough at The Riverside, but luckily, their opponents weren't any better. In the second half, they picked up their game and coasted to an easy 2-0 victory.

The first half was truly uneventful on both ends, with neither team threatening goal. Fernando Torres was supplied with half-chances and situations where he could create chances for others, but he regularly gave the ball away and made poor decisions on the ball, killing Chelsea attacks with an alarming frequency.

Chelsea's central midfield pairing of Ramires and Nathan Ake were very good on the night, and their play was arguably the highlight of the match. Ramires was the man who fired Chelsea in front in the 51st minute, powering a piledriver that deflected off the back of Torres. With a lead and little need to press forward, the visitors took total control and never looked much like conceding.

In the 73rd minute, Chelsea produced one more serious moment of quality, through substitute Eden Hazard. He played a one-two exchange with Oscar as he cut into the box, then squared towards Victor Moses, who was left with an easy tap-in. It was a brilliant bit of football, and showed off the large gap in quality between the two sides.

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