On a busy Saturday of FA Cup fixtures Preston versus Chelsea was an early game as the champions looked to find a way through to the fifth round before the rest of the fourth round games were played.
Chelsea had rested a few key players for this game and Preston looked to take advantage of that by taking the game to their opponents early on. This early attacking quickly settled down as the game became a battle that Chelsea seemed to be winning. The Blues dominated possession during the first half hour but created very few chances.
This domination paid off in the thirty-seventh minute, when Anelka shot from just inside of the box, his shot hit the keeper and bounced underneath him, a sloppy goal to put the champions ahead.
Darren Carter had the perfect opportunity to equalize for Preston a few minutes later but he managed to miss from just a few yards out, his sliding shot flying over the bar. This miss did seem to lift their spirits though and they finished the half playing some decent football as Chelsea went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes into the second half Chelsea ended Preston hopes of a fifth round when Sturridge mopped up a rebounded header from John Terry to put the away side 2-0 up. Preston tried to fight their way back into the game but their efforts were fruitless. This game withered away with Preston failing to supply their strikers and Chelsea happy to toy with their competition.
In the other early kickoff Reading, who knocked Liverpool out in the previous round, hosted Burnley. The home side looked the more likely to score and dominated the game and with just three minutes left on the clock Sigurdsson slipped the ball past the Burnley Goalkeeper. Reading advanced through to the fifth round and took another Premiership scalp with them.