Chelsea Hit Derby For Four  (Sky Sports)

Gianfranco Zola

Derby   0-4 Chelsea
    Zola 63
Hasselbaink 85
Poyet 90, 90
FA Carling Premiership

Dan Reynolds reporting

Chelsea kept their European dreams alive after hitting Derby for four to claim just their second away win in the Premiership this season.

Strikes from Gianfranco Zola, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and a deadly late double from Gustavo Poyet sealed an emphatic win for Claudio Ranieri's men, who move up to sixth in the Premiership, just five points behind third place Leeds and a Champions League spot.

And it was no more than Chelsea deserved after dominating the match from start to finish, condemning Jim Smith's strugglers to their first home defeat since November that will keep them anxiously looking over their shoulders at the relegation trap door.

But the Londoners had to wait until the 63rd minute before breaking the deadlock when Italian striker Zola fired home to send Chelsea on their way to a thrilling victory in the 100th meeting between the sides.

The visitors stamped their authority on the game from the outset and former Leeds hit-man Hasselbaink ran the Rams defence ragged and came close to scoring after 10 minutes when he shrugged off Paul Boertien before lashing a right-foot shot just high of Mart Poom's crossbar.

Hasselbaink was proving a real thorn in Derby's side and he set up Chelsea's best chance of the first half on 17 minutes when he fed Graeme Le Saux on the edge of the penalty box, but Poom, in his first game for four months, pulled off a breathtaking save.

Derby briefly hit back when Powell's sent Boertien racing down the left, but his low cross was woefully struck wide by Adam Murray with just Carlo Cudicini to beat.

It proved to be a rare attack, however, as Chelsea continued to dominate and Zola came agonisingly close to scoring one of the goals of the season on the half hour.

The mercurial Italian met Icelandic international Eidur Gudjohnsen's right wing cross with a thunderous volley that crashed against the post to the relief of Poom.

Zola again went close to opening the scoring for the visitors before his frustration was finally ended when he swept home Hasselbaink's cross on 63 minutes to give Chelsea a thoroughly deserved lead.

The goal knocked the stuffing out of Jim Smith's side and Chelsea soon put the game beyond doubt when Hasselbaink ran onto Mario Stanic's defence-splitting pass before superbly despatching past Poom for his 20th goal of the season.

But the visitors were not finished there as super-sub Poyet made the final scoreline a fairer reflection of the afternoon's play after plundering a late double.

The Uruguayan first knocked home Le Saux's cross from the right and then superbly headed home Marcel Desailly's centre to seal an emphatic away win for the Blues.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Chelsea)
The Dutch striker was a constant menace and ran the Rams ragged before capping a superb performance with a clinical finish - his 20th goal of the season.

Derby: Poom, Delap, Riggott, West, Carbonari (Gudjonsson 82), Boertien, Murray (Kinkladze 55), Powell, Johnson, Christie, Burton.
Subs Not Used: Higginbotham, Mawene, Grant.
Booked: Johnson.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Desailly, Terry, Le Saux (Gronkjaer 90), Stanic, Dalla Bona, Wise, Hasselbaink, Zola (Babayaro 79), Gudjohnsen (Poyet 45).
Subs Not Used: de Goey, Jokanovic.
Booked: Wise.

Att: 29,320
Ref: S Lodge (Barnsley).

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