Andriy Shevchenko and Frank Lampard each scored twice as Chelsea routed Wycombe 4-0 for a place in the final of the English League Cup on Tuesday.
Shevchenko hadn’t scored in his 10 previous appearances for Chelsea, and has reportedly fallen out with manager Jose Mourinho, partly because of his friendship with owner Roman Abramovich.
Mourinho is also said to be on poor terms with Abramovich.
The Ukraine striker scored in the 22nd and 43rd minutes in the second leg of the semifinal at Stamford Bridge, following a 1-1 draw at League Two club Wycombe. He also set up Lampard in the 69th, and the England midfielder scored his second goal in the 90th.
When he was replaced near full time, Shevchenko shook hands with Mourinho, who was impressed by the player’s performance.
”I demand commitment, effort, being aggressive, working and playing for the team, working with the ball, working without the ball — that’s what I demand,” Mourinho said.
”He did that, scored two goals, created some more. He was alive all the time while on the pitch. I think it’s a step forward in the direction of how we want him to play and perform on the pitch.”
Chelsea will face the winner of the Tottenham-Arsenal semifinal.
The final is on February 25 at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
In the Premier League, substitute Jay DeMerit scored the winner for bottom club Watford in a 2-1 victory over Blackburn.
Luton advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers in a third-round replay.
Shevchenko’s first goal came when he intercepted a pass from Wycombe’s Tommy Doherty and ran through to score past goalkeeper Ricardo Batista. He then volleyed in a goal from a cross from Didier Drogba for his eighth of the season.
Lampard took a Shevchenko cross to score his first, then netted in injury time after taking a pass from Drogba.
Shevchenko was taken off in the 85th minute for Salomon Kalou.
Shevchenko last started for Chelsea in their 6-1 third-round FA Cup win over Macclesfield, but has rarely completed 90 minutes since joining the club this season.
”I’m very happy to reach the final,” Shevchenko said. ”It’s important the team plays very, very well. The support of this team and fans has been unbelievable.”
Lampard said Shevchenko had been overly criticised.
”You’ve got to give the man a lot of credit for his dignity because he hasn’t come out and spoken too much,” Lampard said.
”He’s kept working hard, got his chance today [Tuesday], and does what he does best and scores goals. Hopefully, he can push on from there.”
Chelsea were again without captain John Terry, but the central defender has returned to full training after recovering from leg and back injuries.
”I still need to improve it and it’s been taking longer than we thought,” Terry said. ”But I am delighted to be back involved with the lads.”
Watford took a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute when Brett Emerton headed past his own goalkeeper, Brad Friedel, when trying to clear a cross. Benni McCarthy levelled the scores in the 45th before DeMerit headed in his second goal of the season.
Watford have 15 points from 23 games and are seven points from safety.
”I’m one of these weirdos that believes in impossible possibles,” Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd said. ”I think if we can put a winning run together, we might just pull this off.”
Luton’s win over Queens Park Rangers came when Zeshan Rehman scored an own-goal in the 80th minute. QPR midfielder Stefan Bailey was sent off in the 74th for a tackle on Luton midfielder Ahmet Brkovic, who had to be carried off on a stretcher.
Luton will face Blackburn in the fourth round on January 27. — Sapa-AP