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FA Cup holders Chelsea ease through

Nicolas Anelka is congratulated by his teammates after opening the scoring in Chelsea's English FA Cup win over Preston.
Nicolas Anelka is congratulated by his teammates after opening the scoring in Chelsea's English FA Cup win over Preston.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FA Cup holders Chelsea secured their place in the last 16 of the competition after they claimed a 2-0 victory over Preston.
  • Nicolas Anelka's low strike put Chelsea ahead before Daniel Sturridge slammed in a second just after halftime.
  • Wigan needed a late Ben Watson goal to secure a replay against League Two Notts County after they were held to a 2-2 draw.
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(CNN) -- English FA Cup holders Chelsea secured their place in the last 16 of the competition with a 2-0 fourth-round victory over Preston at Deepdale on Saturday.

Preston, managed by Darren Ferguson - son of Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson - produced a spirited performance but Carlo Ancelotti's Premier League side possessed too much quality for their Championship opponents.

Nicolas Anelka's low strike put Chelsea ahead in the 37th minute before Daniel Sturridge slammed in a second just after the halftime interval to ease any nerves.

Chelsea assistant first-team coach Ray Wilkins, who stepped in for manager Ancelotti at the post-match press conference, singled out Anelka's performance for special praise.

Wilkins said: "From our perspective Nicolas is playing some outstanding football. He is a joy to have around the place.

"He enjoys his training, he is working extremely hard and he is getting the rewards from that."

Nicolas is playing some outstanding football.
--Ray Wilkins

In the day's late kick-off League One Leeds United scored a dramatic injury time equalizer as they twice came from a goal down to earn a replay after a 2-2 draw with top-flight outfit Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

Jermaine Beckford, who was the hero of Leeds' shock FA Cup victory over Manchester United in the third round, again stole the limelight for Simon Grayson's side as he grabbed both goals for the visitors.

Spurs took the lead through Peter Crouch in the 42nd minute before Beckford levelled for Leeds seven minutes after the halftime break with a well-taken finish.

Tottenham looked to have secured passage to the next round when Russian international Roman Pavlyuchenko stroked the ball home in the 75th minute but Leeds refused to throw in the towel and were awarded a penalty in the sixth minute of injury time when Michael Dawson fouled Beckford inside the box.

The Leeds striker dusted himself down and emphatically despatched the resulting spot-kick past Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes and into the top corner to earn his side a replay.

A late goal from Wigan Athletic's Ben Watson denied League Two Notts Country a famous FA Cup win as Roberto Martinez's side fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Meadow Lane and force a replay.

Birmingham's recent good form continued as they recorded a 2-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park with goals from Christian Benitez and Barry Ferguson.

Reading, who knocked out Liverpool in the third round, added another Premier League scalp as they clinched a 1-0 win over Burnley thanks to a goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson while Portsmouth ended a tough week off the pitch on a high with a 2-1 win over Sunderland at Fratton Park.

Elsewhere, Wolves were held to a 2-2 home draw by Crystal Palace, Aston Villa survived an early scare to beat League One side Brighton 3-2 at Villa Park while Fulham ended the dreams of Accrington Stanley as they ran out 3-1 winners.