Chelsea 3-2 Leeds: Conor Gallagher fires in 90th-minute winner as Blues bounce back from Carabao Cup final defeat | Football News

Report: Gallagher set to win FA Cup for Chelsea; Leeds took an early lead through Mateo Joseph, but goals from Nicolas Jackson and Mikael Mudric turned the game around; Joseph's second tie looked like sending it to extra-time, but Chelsea won it late on; The Blues face Leicester in the quarter-finals

By Peter Smith, veteran football journalist @psmithXI


22:02, UK, Wednesday 28 February 2024

Chelsea fought back against Leeds to book an FA Cup quarter-final date with Leicester at Stamford Bridge and hit a 90th-minute winner as Chelsea bounced back from a 3-2 Carabao Cup final defeat.

Leeds arrived in west London fresh from Friday night's win over Championship promotion rivals Leicester, and within eight minutes of Chelsea's extra-time defeat at Liverpool exposed Chelsea's vulnerability, with Matteo Joseph capitalizing on a mistake in his own box by first-team senior Axel Disasi. target.

But Chelsea – nicknamed the Bottle Jobs in that Wembley defeat – battled back with slick build-up play with Nicolas Jackson and Mikaelo Mudric in positions.

Leeds – unbeaten in their previous 12 – couldn't finish though. Daniel Farke's side provided second-half impetus as Chelsea hit back and deservedly equalized when Joseph headed past the impressive Jayden Anthony to double his tally.

Leeds' young forward had another good chance soon after, but it was Chelsea who would strike the final blow. Enzo Fernandez's sprint opened things up and Gallagher's turn and finish was outstanding. Chelsea fans burst into applause.

Their season – and the dream of silverware – is still alive. They face Leicester on the weekend of March 16 and are just one game away from another trip to Wembley.

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FA Cup quarter-final draw

  • Wolves vs Coventry
  • Man Utd vs Liverpool
  • Chelsea vs Leicester City
  • Manchester City vs Newcastle United

How Chelsea finally saw off Leeds

The big question at kick-off was whether Chelsea would be in any form and mood after their Wembley defeat, with Leeds immediately looking to exploit any insecurities in Sunday's beaten finalists. Early signs were encouraging for visitors.

Group message

  • Chelsea made five changes from the cup final, with Robert Sanchez, Alfie Gilchrist, Trevoh Chalupa, Mikael Mudric and Noni Maduke all out.
  • Leeds also made five changes, with Wilfried Gnonto and Crisencio Summerville on the bench and Georginio Rutter out injured.

From the first whistle Joseph rushed Robert Sanchez and returning keeper Don James – playing for the first time since early December – was almost caught. Instead it is Disasi who slips into his box. The defender was very casual with his pass out. Leeds' forwards pounced and Joseph broke the ball and he slotted firmly past Sanchez with eight minutes on the clock.



Image:
Mateo Joseph celebrates after giving Leeds the lead early on

On the one hand there was the thought that Chelsea would crumble under that scrutiny, but they responded with a brilliant equaliser, Noni Maduke and Moises Kaisedo playing Jackson through the right channel and responding quickly under Ilan Meslier. .

Fernandes tested the 'keeper with a rasping shot from 30 yards, Mudric – also enjoying a key role – forced a loose ball into a save from a tight angle, and Maduke hit the side-netting as Chelsea built confidence.

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It was a slick second move with Maduke and Malo Gusto involved before Raheem Sterling cut the ball to Mudric to hook in his first-time shot.



Image:
Chelsea's Mikailo Mutric celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Leeds

But the warning signs continued at the other end, with James firing over from a set-piece and Anthony brilliantly beating a pair of defenders to curl a shot from the edge of the box with Sanchez stranded.

Leeds carried that momentum into the second half and deservedly leveled the match when Joseph met Anthony's inviting cross, who headed upfield from Trevo Saloba and past Sanchez. What a night for a 20-year-old.

Leeds report on away fan

Paul Gilmour of Sky Sports News: A Leeds fan fell from the top tier of the Shed End at Stamford Bridge during a first-half goal celebration, according to reports.

Leeds United report: Leeds United can confirm an incident involving a Leeds United supporter in the Shed end of Stamford Bridge during the first half of tonight's FA Cup tie.

The incident has been investigated and handed over to the emergency department.

We will not comment at this time.

He could have – and probably should – get his hat-trick sooner rather than later. But failed to connect with another header and Chelsea were out. The home side rode their fortunes again when they cut in Anthony Chaloba and Caicido before firing over. With a star-studded attack that saw Wilfried Gnondo and Chrysenzio Summerville deployed, Leeds showed ambition. Chelsea were in shambles.

But finally Fernandez showed the missing drive. Gallagher brought quality. Chelsea can shift their focus to another cup run and hope to go a step further than they did on Sunday.

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What's next?

Chelsea Saturday's trip to London rivals Brentford in the Premier League, kick-off at 3pm.

Leeds Travel across West Yorkshire to face Huddersfield head-on Sky Sports Football This Saturday from 12 noon, starting at 12.30 pm.

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