Wilkins: Blues relishing United trip

BY foxsports • March 28, 2010

Ray Wilkins immediately turned his attention to next weekend's trip to Manchester United after Chelsea destroyed Aston Villa 7-1 on Saturday.

Four goals from Frank Lampard, two from Florent Malouda and another from substitute Salomon Kalou, gave Chelsea their biggest top flight victory.

John Carew had briefly stunned the Blues with a 29th-minute equaliser but Chelsea were back in front before the interval and then slammed another five past Villa in the second half.

Chelsea took their goal tally to 82 for the season and 12 in their last two outings since shaking off their Champions League exit.

And Wilkins insists they could not be in a better frame of mind for the trip to Old Trafford next Saturday.

"We will go to Manchester United with the utmost confidence because we are playing good football, defending well and attacking with pace and power," said Wilkins. "We are looking a good side again.

"I am not sure what message it sends out but as far as we are concerned in the camp, we are delighted with the way things are going.

"We are playing some very good football and the work ethic is absolutely top draw.

"We have a group of winners. The goal difference is in our favour but I still think there are many more twists and turns to come and I think it will go to the wire.

"The guys were first class today. They played some lovely football and scored some very good goals and their work ethic was first class.

"The winning is the most important part but is always nice to score lots of goals."

Four of Chelsea's seven were scored by Lampard who is now the third-highest goalscorer in the history of the club.

His quartet took him beyond Chelsea legends Roy Bentley and Peter Osgood and with 151 goals to his credit. Only Kerry Dixon and Bobby Tambling now lie ahead of him.

"What a performance as well," said Wilkins. "It is no fluke. The fella works extremely had week-in, week-out in training and he just takes that out on to the pitch and performs as he did today.

"Frank is world class. When you consistently score goals and play to the level he has over the years, you would have to say he is world class.

"He is invaluable to us. He has the ability to get forward but also the ability to get back and defend as well. He just loves playing football. He trains as he plays."

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill admitted the defeat been one of the worst days of his managerial career.

Villa, who face Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley in a fortnight, were given a real lesson by the Blues.

"We were well beaten," said O'Neill. "At 3-1 we capitulated which is unlike us.

"It was a tough lesson to take. We have not conceded too many goals this season. We have been well and truly hammered today.

"We have the same opposition in a fortnight and we will need to do an awful lot better. I would not have seen it coming at half-time, despite the concession of a late penalty, we were well and truly in the game."

Villa's chances of finishing in fourth spot now look slim as they languish seven points behind Tottenham.

"We have to fight back and we intend to do so, but we have to put some things in perspective and we were well beaten by a top quality team," said O'Neill.

"But from our own view point, that was not good enough. In terms of finishing fourth? On that performance we would not finish 44th.

"It's as devastating as I have felt in the game. I have been in the game as a player and manager for some considerable time and you get taught quite a few lessons along the way, but that was as tough as any.

"We did not compete and that is something I could not level at the team too many times this season."

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