Chelsea beat Preston to advance in FA Cup

FA Cup Round-Up
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The Independent Football

Chelsea continued its FA Cup defence with a 2-0 victory over second-tier Preston on Saturday, while Everton's hopes of a second successive final were ended by Birmingham's 2-1 fourth-round win.

Premier League struggler Burnley lost 1-0 to second-tier Reading, but Wolves and Wigan avoided defeats to lower league opposition by scoring late equalizers. Wigan drew 2-2 at fourth-tier Notts County and Wolves was held by the same scoreline by Crystal Palace.

But four other top flights clubs booked their places in the fifth round. Portsmouth put aside protests against the club's owners by defeating Sunderland 2-1, League Cup finalist Aston Villa edged Brighton 3-2, Bolton beat Sheffield United 2-0 and Fulham won 3-1 at Accrington.

In the late match, third-tier Leeds was at Tottenham looking to repeat its shock win over Manchester United earlier this month.

That loss was long forgotten for United on Saturday. In the day's only Premier League match, Wayne Rooney's four goals clinched a 4-0 win over Hull that sent the champions to the top of the table.

Chelsea trails United by two points, but it has two games in hand, while remaining on course for another FA Cup triumph.

At Preston, Nicolas Anelka made the breakthrough in the 36th minute against the League Championship club with his 11th goal of the season.

Anelka brushed past Youl Mawene and fired in a shot that had too much power for goalkeeper Andy Lonergan.

Daniel Sturridge sealed the win two minutes after halftime after John Terry's header rebounded to him. It was the English striker's third goal since arriving from Manchester City in the offseason.

"We found it hard in the first half, but that's what the FA Cup is all about," Terry said. "We tried hard to break them down in the first half and finally got a goal, then managed better in the second half."

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