Losing League Cup finalists Aston Villa FC must wait until next season for another chance of silverware having been beaten 3-0 by Premier League leaders Chelsea FC in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Chelsea, who were 7-1 victors against Villa last month, are well placed in the league having last week beaten nearest challengers Manchester United FC, but were made to work hard to progress in the cup. Villa were denied a strong penalty claim early on and more than held their own until midway through the second half when Didier Drogba turned in John Terry's miscued shot.
It was not a moment that opened the floodgates, however, Villa once again giving as good as they got until the closing stages. Florent Malouda coolly finished Michael Ballack's deep cross to double Carlo Ancelotti's side's advantage a minute from time with his fifth goal in four games. Villa were condemned to further misery five minutes into added time when Frank Lampard slotted past Brad Friedel.
Burnley FC and West Ham United FC, meanwhile, both strengthened their Premier League survival hopes with victories. Burnley remain in the bottom three but leapfrog Hull City AFC after Graham Alexander scored two penalties to help them to a 4-1 away win against their fellow strugglers. West Ham secured a 1-0 home success against Sunderland AFC thanks to Ilan's second-half strike and are now four points clear of the bottom three.
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|Last updated: 02/07/2011 06:30 CET|