Chelsea saw off a confident Derby side with two second-half goals from Mikel and Oscar, to set up a tasty encounter with Premier League outfit Stoke in the Fourth Round.
Despite leaving Mata on the bench and Ba at home, it was still a strong Chelsea first XI, but a slow first-half start promoted Mourinho to make two changes early in the second half, with Torres and Hazard entering the fray in place of Essien and Eto’o.
The added impetus and fresh legs allowed Chelsea to score two goals in quick succession. A rare Mikel goal — on his 300th Chelsea appearance and finishing the match as captain — started the proceedings, planting a header low past Grant from Willian’s corner.
The second came five minutes later, assisted by substitute Hazard and scored by Oscar, whose low drive rounded off a good personal performance.
It means the Blues will now have a home tie against Stoke in three week’s time.
Man Of The Match
OSCAR: Another man-of-the-match display from the Brazilian, who is continuing his form from 2013 into the new year. A player full of trickery and running. Made some good runs and capped off his performance with the goal. Fans have been frustrated with Mata’s absence, but it is clear Oscar has taken — and is thriving upon — this opportunity given to him by Mourinho at the start of the season to be Chelsea’s Number 10. 8/10
Mourinho on Mikel’s goal: “He reads the game well, plays in an intelligent and safe way, but I never recognise his goalscoring appetite. ‘There was a smile on my face [when he scored].”
McLaren was respectful of Mourinho’s team: “I couldn’t be more proud [of my team’s performance], we’ve played against one of the best teams not just in the Premier League, but in Europe. They have a front four that you can’t get near sometimes.”