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Three-goal Chelsea march into FA Cup final

Didier Drogba's opening goal at Wembley set Chelsea on the way to the FA Cup final.
Didier Drogba's opening goal at Wembley set Chelsea on the way to the FA Cup final.
  • Chelsea beat Aston Villa 3-0 to reach final of the English FA Cup
  • Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda and Frank Lampard score in second half for Blues
  • Tottenham or Portsmouth will face them in next month's final at Wembley
  • Vital wins in English Premier League for West Ham and Burnley in relegation battle

(CNN) -- Holders Chelsea stayed on course for the domestic double in England with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Wembley on Saturday to reach the FA Cup final.

A Didier Drogba goal midway through the second half and further late strikes from Florent Malouda and Frank Lampard secured victory for Carlo Ancelotti's men in a game of otherwise few chances.

They will face either Tottenham Hotspur or now-relegated Portsmouth, who play the second semifinal at Wembley on Sunday.

Portsmouth will go into that match as massive underdogs and hardly encouraged by West Ham's 1-0 win over Sunderland in English Premier League action on Saturday, which confirms their demotion after a season of financial turmoil.

Whoever reaches next month's showpiece will face a Chelsea side, who are leading the Premier League and playing with renewed vigor since their shock Champions League exit to Inter Milan.

It was the 32nd goal of the season in all competitions for Ivory Coast star Drogba and one of his most important as he reacted quickly to divert home John Terry's shot which was going wide.

Terry had been given the chance to shoot after a poor headed clearance from a corner by Villa center back Richard Dunne.

The double is still on, it'll be very tough but we want to go all the way
--Frank Lampard

The victory was sealed when substitute Michael Ballack crossed to the far post for the excellent Malouda to fire past Brad Freidel before Lampard scored a third with one of the final kicks of the match.

It proved another Wembley letdown for Martin O'Neill's Villa, who were beaten in the English League Cup final by Manchester United.

They started the match the brightest and had strong appeals for a penalty turned down by Howard Webb as Norway striker John Carew appeared to be pulled down by Jon Obi Mikel.

But in the second half Chelsea, who thrashed Villa 7-1 in the Premier League last month, took command and although the margin of victory was flattering underlined their growing confidence at the business end of the English season.

Lampard, who rounded off the win with his last-minute goal, said their confidence had increased after Drogba's opener.

"The double is still on, it'll be very tough but we want to go all the way," he told ITV Sport.

In the other Premier League game played on Saturday, Burnley beat fellow strugglers Hull City 4-1 to re-energize their survival hopes, but both sides remain in the bottom three after West Ham's win.