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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: MIDDLESBROUGH V CHELSEA

The reward for a replay win in the last round is a midweek visit to Teesside. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton look at some fifth-round facts and figures…


TALKING POINTS
Middlesbrough in the FA Cup. Di Matteo 43 seconds. Zola cavorting in a jester's hat. Matthew Harding remembered. A major trophy after 26 years without. The first fruits of the Chelsea revolution two years after it begun in 1995.

For the Boro fans the day reflected a sad swansong for an already relegated side, docked three points for an injudicious no-show at Christmas and beaten in both cup finals.

The clubs have been on different trajectories but Boro are vying for a return to the top flight and will sense the vulnerability of the Londoners, who have managed just five wins in 15 matches this year.

The Teessiders will also be aware that perhaps the last thing Chelsea want is a replay in this competition to be shoehorned into an already congested match schedule.

KEY STAT
Frank Lampard's next game will be his 592nd, joining John Hollins as third all-time highest appearance-maker behind Ron Harris (795) and Peter Bonetti (729).


The last two emphatic victories aside, Teesside has often been an unhappy arena for the current champions of Europe. Boro will also draw strength from holding out against eventual winners Swansea from the Premier League until the 81st minute in the Capital One Cup this season.

Tottenham's rise above the Blues on Monday comes ahead of the north London derby at White Hart Lane on Sunday, while the day before Chelsea face a West Bromwich Albion side stripped of their top scorer, on-loan Blue Romelu Lukaku.

Both Chelsea's incumbent forwards are in need of a goal. Fernando Torres has not hit the net in six games and it is seven for the masked Demba Ba.

In that period the Blues' midfield has carried the goalscoring burden, with Frank Lampard netting four times, Juan Mata three, Eden Hazard and Oscar twice, and Marko Marin, Ramires and defender John Terry once apiece.

Chelsea v Wigan


A high level of intensity from the off might be in order too: the Blues have managed just two first-half strikes in the last nine matches. The FA Cup against a Championship side missing several players must offer the chance to rebuild confidence.

Middlesbrough themselves are in a trough. After the home win against Leeds on 12 February they occupied the lowest Championship play-off place with a degree of comfort. The four-point cushion was lost with three winless matches since and Gustavo Poyet's Brighton have overtaken them.

Over the first half of the season, 10 home wins from 13 had Teesside buzzing but after losing at home to Millwall last weekend they slipped out of the top six for the first time since October and promotion must be the club's first priority.

In fact that result against Leeds is the only victory for Tony Mowbray's side in nine league outings, seven of which have ended in defeat.

The FA Cup provided some respite in January but they arrived at this stage of the competition by beating first non-league Hastings, 4-1, then League Two strugglers Aldershot by the odd goal in three.

KEY TWEET
Describe in three words your reaction when Roberto Di Matteo scored against Middlesbrough at Wembley in 1997.  #CFCPMB


Boro have been waiting a month to play their third match in this competition while the busy Blues found a gap in the diary to dispense with Brentford.

The winners of this match will play Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday 10 March - the date Chelsea FC were founded in 1905.

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The game between Middlesbrough and Chelsea can be viewed in full on Chelsea TV at midnight. 

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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: MIDDLESBROUGH V CHELSEA

WE HAVE HISTORY
Chelsea and Middlesbrough meet for the fourth occasion in the FA Cup and eighth in all cup competitions. Chelsea have won five of the ties.

The most celebrated was of course the final at Wembley May 1997. Some say it was all over the moment Roberto Di Matteo strode forward and thundered a shot in off the bar after 43 seconds. Others that the game was up when the two managers marched out and manager Ruud Gullit looked the picture of cool professionalism compared to his edgy-looking counterpart Bryan Robson.

1997


Di Matteo's record-breaking hit settled nerves in our first FA Cup final for three years and Middlesbrough struggled to generate momentum with 31-goal Fabrizio Ravanelli going off injured early on.

Chelsea's forward line of Mark Hughes and Gianfranco Zola occasionally excelled, Dan Petrescu went close with a clever lob, but it was not until the Romanian chipped the ball to Zola, who brilliantly flicked back for Eddie Newton to convert, that the scoreline reflected the play.

Gianluca Festa and Mikkel Beck had both headed the ball in the net from an offside position to go closest for the northeasterners. Chelsea would not be denied and the celebrations on the Fulham Road were lengthy.

A first-half Mario Stanic goal at Stamford Bridge was enough to progress in our last FA Cup meeting, in the third round 10 years ago. Carlo Cudicini was incorrectly sent off in the 64th minute after Dean Windass had run into him. His suspension was later overturned by the FA.

Chelsea have won on our last two visits to the Riverside. It's over four years since our last trip to Teesside when we won 5-0 in October 2008 in the Premier League with goals from Salomon Kalou, Juliano Belletti, a David Wheater own goal, Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda.


Chelsea v Middlesbrough in the FA Cup
3rd round, 13 January 1993
Middlesbrough..………….2 Chelsea……………………...1
Wright 70                                Mohan og 68
Falconer 82
                  Att: 16,776


Final, 17 May 1997
Chelsea..…...…………….2 Middlesbrough.…………..0
Di Matteo 43 seconds
Newton 83
                  Att: 79,160


3rd round, 4 January 2003
Chelsea..…...…………….1 Middlesbrough.…………..0
Stanic 38
                  Att: 29,796


Other cup meetings
League Cup
1967/68 (2nd Rd) Ayresome Park Boro won 2-1
1970/71 (3rd Rd) Stamford Bridge Chelsea won 3-2
1997/98 (Final) Wembley Chelsea won 2-0
Zenith Data Systems Cup
1989/90 (Final) Wembley Chelsea won 1-0

Chelsea v Middlesbrough in all competitions
Games played 113
Chelsea wins 53
Boro wins 31
Draws 29


Biggest win at Middlesbrough for each team
Middlesbrough 0-5 Chelsea - 18/10/2008 (Premier League)
Middlesbrough 7-2 Chelsea - 16/12/1978 (Old Division One)


DAYS SINCE
Chelsea were beaten by a second tier club in the FA Cup: 1,817
Boro beat a Premier League side in the FA Cup: 1,463
Arsenal won a trophy: 2,838
Liverpool won the league: 8,333

Visit again at lunchtime for Part Two of the Briefing.

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