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 Saturday, 4 January, 2003, 16:57 GMT
Ten-man Chelsea see off Boro
Mario Stanic celebrates his first-half goal for Chelsea
Stanic opened the scoring in the first half
Chelsea 1-0 Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough brought their wretched away form in the Premiership into the FA Cup as Chelsea booked a fourth-round place.

But the game will be remembered more for the dismissal of Chelsea's keeper Carlo Cudicini than for the first-half winning strike from Mario Stanic.

Cudicini was shown the red card in the 63rd minute but when referee Mark Halsey sees the incident again he may well reconsider his decision.

Carlo used only his eyes, so they must be very dangerous

Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri on Cudicini's sending off

And Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri confirmed after the match that the club would be appealing against the sending off.

Boro striker Dean Windass charged into Cudicini at a free-kick, causing the 'keeper to carry the ball over the line and sparking a fracas in the goalmouth.

When the dust settled referee Halsey rightly disallowed the effort for Windass' shove and booked the forward, but then sent-off Cudicini - supposedly for retaliation.

Replays appeared to prove Cudicini did very little to deserve even a booking.

The rest of the game made it very easy to see why Boro had failed to score on their travels in five matches while Chelsea had not conceded in six at home.

Dean Windass (in red) challenges John Terry
Windass (in red) was at the centre of controversy

The atrocious Stamford Bridge playing surface, in its penultimate game before being torn up, made life hard for both teams.

But the Londoners coped better while Boro did not give Cudicini a single save to make in the first half.

In the early stages Stanic, Frank Lampard and Emmanuel Petit were all off-target with headers and Gronkjaer blasted wide.

In the 27th minute, after another near-miss by Gronkjaer, Steve McClaren sent on Colin Cooper to replace the hapless Franck Queudrue at left-back, with Mark Wilson the unlucky player to be sacrificed.

Cooper lasted just six minutes before going into the book for a late challenge on Gronkjaer.

Chelsea squandered another chance in the 36th minute as Hasselbaink dragged his effort well wide but two minutes later the Dutchman set up his side's goal.

The FA Cup is all about passion, commitment and character and Dean Windass epitomised that today

Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren

Hasselbaink drifted across the face of the penalty area but, unable to find a shooting opportunity, set up Stanic instead who blasted a left-foot effort past Schwarzer.

At half-time McClaren changed his formation to a more attacking 4-3-3 with striker Noel Whelan on at the expense of midfielder Job.

But that left gaps in midfield for Chelsea to exploit and five minutes after the re-start Lampard wrapped a shot inches wide.

Hasselbaink had a curling attempt well saved by Schwarzer and shortly after Windass caused the game to explode into controversy.

After the dismissal of Cudicini, substitute keeper Ed de Goey was sent on by Ranieri at the expense of Gudjohnsen and he had to make an important save from Geremi.

Boudewijn Zenden shaved a post with his shot in the closing stages before Boro staged an unsuccessful late rally.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Babayaro, Desailly, Terry, Gallas, Lampard, Stanic (Zenden 61), Petit, Gronkjaer (Melchiot 90), Hasselbaink, Gudjohnsen (de Goey 66).
Subs Not Used: Morris, Zola.

Booked: Terry, Gudjohnsen.

Sent Off: Cudicini (64).

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Parnaby, Vidmar, Southgate, Queudrue, Wilson (Cooper 21), Job (Whelan 45), Geremi, Greening, Windass (Boksic 81), Nemeth.
Subs Not Used: Crossley, Maccarone.

Booked: Cooper, Windass, Vidmar.

Att: 29,796

Referee: M Halsey (Lancashire).

 BBC Five Live's Mike Sewell
"A routine Chelsea home win"

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