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Chelsea still in the race

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

LONDON - A superb free kick from Oscar gave Chelsea a 1-0 win over Stoke in the fourth round of the FA Cup yesterday while Fulham needed an equaliser 15 minutes from time to draw 1-1 with third-tier strugglers Sheffield United, who were down to 10 men.

The Brazil midfielder scored in the 27th minute at Stamford Bridge with a curling 20-metre shot that ended in the top corner as Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic dived in vain.

Dangerous on the break and dominant in midfield, Chelsea almost doubled its lead soon after when Oscar hit the post.

Andre Schurrle also hit the woodwork after the interval with a shot from a tight angle as Chelsea kept creating the better chances.

Samuel Eto'o missed the target from close range after Ramires failed to convert Eden Hazard's precise cross, but the home side had done just enough by the final whistle.

Earlier, Hugo Rodallega scored Fulham's equaliser with a low shot that spared his side more misery this season. The London club is just one point above the relegation zone in the Premier League standings.

Chris Porter put the hosts ahead in the 31st minute as he diverted a shot past David Stockdale. But the League One club had Michael Doyle sent off for a kick at Muamer Tankovic early in the second half and could not hold on to its lead.

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough praised his players for their grit after the 1-1 draw but said the referee's decision to send off his player was a bit harsh.

"There was some sort of contact, whether it was enough to warrant a red card I'm not sure," he said.

Meanwhile Chelsea have completed the signing of 21-year-old Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah from Swiss side Basel, the Premier League club announced on Sunday.

Salah has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract with the reigning Europa League champions and will wear the number 15 shirt at Stamford Bridge.

"I'm very happy to sign for Chelsea, such a big club in the world," he told the Chelsea website.

"I hope I can make the Chelsea supporters happy and have a good career at the club for many years to come."

Chelsea said on Thursday that they had reached an agreement to sign Salah, subject to the completion of a medical examination and the agreement of personal terms.

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