Lampard embraces Terry after the defender ended a tough week with a goal
By Sam Lyon
John Terry will grab the headlines for all the right reasons after scoring Chelsea's second goal to help them sink Stoke and reach the FA Cup semi-finals.
The home skipper has been the subject of a host of allegations about his private life of late, but headed in a Frank Lampard corner to seal the win.
Lampard himself opened the scoring when his 20-yard drive was deflected in.
Stoke rarely threatened, and only then from set pieces, as holders Chelsea set up a last-four clash with Aston Villa.
And it was perhaps fitting that Terry - so revered by the Chelsea supporters - should have grabbed the hosts' all important second goal as the 29-year-old ended another difficult week on a high.
The centre-half has undoubtedly been off colour in recent weeks during the fallout of the newspaper revelations, but this was a determined return to his best from the Chelsea captain, both in defence and attack.
And while he may have been barracked by a small section of England fans during the midweek friendly defeat of Egypt, there is no doubting the regard he is held in by the Stamford Bridge faithful.
There is little argument that recent weeks have seen Chelsea endure the most difficult period of their season so far.
The Terry saga has been well documented, injuries to Petr Cech and Ashley Cole, among others, have uncovered something of a soft centre to their squad, and consecutive defeats to Inter Milan and Manchester City have all seen their campaign stutter of late.
But this might prove something of a turning point for the Londoners following a performance that saw them grow in stature and confidence the longer the game went on.
This was always likely to be a match-up of Chelsea's guile and Stoke's physicality - and so it proved.
Cech's absence has meant a run in the Blues goal for Hilario, but the Portuguese keeper is simply not in the Czech's class and he looked vulnerable throughout against the visitors' barrage at set pieces.
As early as the fifth minute Stoke could have made the most of a Rory Delap throw, Mamady Sidibe flicking over from Robert Huth's header, before the same player forced a good close-range block from Alex.
Neither came as close as Whitehead, though, who latched on to a tame Hilario punch clear to lash goalwards, forcing Jon Obi Mikel into a fine clearance on the line.
However, that was about as close to a goal as Stoke came to a goal, although Ricardo Fuller forced a smart stop from Hilario in injury time with the game all but done and dusted.
In between, Chelsea were in complete control.
Nicolas Anelka should have opened the scoring when he forced an error from Whitehead on the edge of the area only to lash wide of the far post.
But five minutes later, the hosts were ahead. A Florent Malouda corner caused problems in the Stoke defence, Terry laid it back to Lampard and the England midfielder lashed in from 20 yards via a deflection off Abdoulaye Faye.
It could have been 2-0 before the break but Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen got down well to keep out Didier Drogba's volley, while the visitors then had Andy Wilkinson to thank for two fantastic blocks in quick succession, from an Anelka header and then an Alex header.
Chelsea's deserved second was not too long in coming, though, with Terry muscling his way among the Stoke defence to head in Lampard's corner.
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