Watford's Carling Cup adventure shows no sign of ending as they crushed Portsmouth 3-0 in a thrilling quarter-final at Vicarage Road.
Just hours after a Fratton Park press conference involving owner Milan Mandaric and his former manager Harry Redknapp, rudderless Pompey crashed to a
Watford side, who had thrashed South Coast neighbours Southampton 5-2 in the previous round. Strike pair Heidar Helguson and Bruce Dyer sank the
Premiership outfit, the Icelander grabbing goals in either side and Dyer outsmarted the visiting defence to seal a famous victory with the third.
Portsmouth should have taken the lead in the opening minutes after Sean Dyche had been penalised for fouling striker Ricardo Fuller. Patrik Berger's
free-kick found Linvoy Primus, but the defender's shot went wide from only four yards.
Five minutes later they were made to pay as Heidar Helguson headed Watford in front. The Icelander rose splendidly to a right-wing cross and somehow
hook an effort over Jamie Ashdown, who should have made a better effort of dealing with it. Portsmouth needed a big second half but were stung by two
Hornets goals in the space of four minutes. Firstly, Helguson side-footed home Jermaine Darlington's cross and then just after the hour mark, Dyer was
alert to tap home the rebound after James Chambers' shot had been parried by Ashdown.
A late goal from sub Frank Lampard kept Chelsea's four-pronged trophy bandwagon on the road after a 2-1 win at Fulham. Fulham heeded boss Chris
Coleman's stark pre-match warning as they went on the offensive against Chelsea in the first-half. In the wake of his side's tame 2-0 weekend defeat
by Blackburn, Coleman had warned that "if we show any fear, they will rip us apart". And while Fulham still did not make a first-half breakthrough,
they were full of commitment as Mark Pembridge and Andy Cole came close before Chelsea started to rally.
Within the first four minutes, Mark Pembridge's shot was deflected wide by Ricardo Carvalho, while Andy Cole flicked a header just past the far post.
Cole's cross also just eluded McBride as the ball flashed across the face of goal, while Pembridge drove another effort over the top. Chelsea
gradually got back inot the match inspired by the impressive Arjen Robben. Having switched flanks with Damien Duff, he jinked effortlessly past
Pembridge and let fly with a 25-yard shot from a tight angle that van der Sar had to dive full length to parry. Left-back Carlos Bocanegra managed to
block his next advance, but Chelsea were slowly increasing their pressure on the Fulham goal.
Drogba just failed to get on the end of Duff's cross, while Smertin's long-range effort was held by van der Sar. Duff was flagged offside as he
scuffed a golden chance against the outside of the post early in the second half. But luck was on the Irishman's side when he did put Chelsea ahead
after 55 minutes. Robben again carved holes in the home defence before laying off for his wing partner whose shot deflected off Ian Pearce and totally
wrong-footed Edwin van der Sar.
But Fulham refused to lie down and after Cudicini had tipped over Papa Bouba Diop's back-header, the Cottagers equalised a quarter of an hour from
time. Sub Elvis Hammond drilled in a low cross from the right and McBride eluded his markers to side-foot past the exposed keeper from eight yards.
But coach Jose Mourinho turned to Lampard with 20 minutes to play and it was his shot from the edge of the area that bounced over Van der Sar for the
winning goal two minutes from time.