Joel Piroe, Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo


FROM STAMFORD BRIDGE – Chelsea left it late to beat Championship side Leeds United and progress into the last eight of the FA Cup.

The Blues’ hopes for silverware this season just about remained alive after playing poorly on home soil before scoring in the 90th minute to set up a sixth-round tie at home to Leicester City.

Daniel Farke’s side controlled much of the game and will feel hard done by not to have at least forced extra-time.

With eight minutes on the clock, Leeds went in front. A poor pass out from the back by Axel Disasi to Moises Caicedo was pounced upon by the alert Archie Gray, and Mateo Joseph was on hand to slot past a helpless Robert Sanchez.

But after a quarter of an hour, Chelsea pulled level. Moises Caicedo’s clever pass in behind the Leeds backline found the run of Nicolas Jackson, who fired past Illan Meslier from close range.

And just before the break, the hosts went ahead. Noni Madueke carried the ball through midfield and shifted play wide to Malo Gusto, who fed Raheem Sterling in behind and he in turn pulled it back for Mykhailo Mudryk to bury with ease.

Leeds spurned a great chance to equalise soon after when a well-worked free-kick routine fell to Dan James at the back post, but his half-volley ballooned over and Chelsea were let off the hook.

Jaidon Anthony then flashed a curling strike narrowly wide as Leeds went into the break a goal down.

After the restart, Leeds deservedly found themselves level once again. Gray did tremendously well to dribble his way out of trouble at the back before former Chelsea midfielder Ethan Ampadu switched play over to Anthony, and his pinpoint cross was nodded in by Joseph.

With the game heading into four minutes of added time, Chelsea snatched the victory. Enzo Fernandez drove his way into the final third and slipped in Conor Gallagher, who lifted his shot over Meslier to send the Blues into the sixth round.

Joel Piroe, Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo

A mixed bag in the Chelsea midfield / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

GK: Robert Sanchez – 5/10 – Didn’t inspire confidence when playing from the back on his first start since sustaining a knee injury back in October.

RB: Malo Gusto – 5/10 – Beaten far too easily by Anthony on several occasions and was hauled off after an hour.

CB: Axel Disasi – 3/10 – For a second successive match, Disasi was shaky when building from the back and Leeds were able to feast on this early on.

CB: Trevoh Chalobah – 5/10 – Had to do a fair bit of handholding for Disasi, though he himself wasn’t particularly at the races, losing the run of Joseph for the second goal.

LB: Alfie Gilchrist – 5/10 – Very limited on the ball and his lack of pace became quite glaring when trying to stop James.

CM: Moises Caicedo – 8/10 – Perhaps the biggest criticism of Caicedo is he didn’t get on the ball enough to begin attacks. One of his better performances for Chelsea.

CM: Enzo Fernandez – 6/10 – The only World Cup winner in the midfield battle was by far its worst participant, though at least he came up with the match-winning assist. Foolishly booked for dissent.

RM: Noni Madueke – 6/10 – Looked good when driving in transition but didn’t have enough of a lasting impact on the game before being hooked.

AM: Mykhailo Mudryk – 8/10 – Used his electric turn of pace and unpredictability well to unsettle Leeds, popping up with a go-ahead goal in the first half.

LM: Raheem Sterling – 6/10 – Like Madueke was excellent when carrying the ball through space, though a lack of decisiveness let him down. A smattering of boos emerged from the Matthew Harding Stand upon being substituted.

CF: Nicolas Jackson – 7/10 – Took his goal very well but didn’t hold the ball up well enough or bring others into play when Chelsea were struggling.

SUB: Ben Chilwell (61′ for Gusto) – 6/10

SUB: Conor Gallagher (61′ for Madueke) – 8/10

SUB: Levi Colwill (74′ for Gilchrist) – 6/10

SUB: Cole Palmer (74′ for Sterling) – 6/10

SUB: Jimi Tauriainen (90′ for Mudryk) – N/A

Subs not used: Djordje Petrovic (GK), Harrison Murray-Campbell, Ishe Samuels-Smith, Ollie Harrison

Mauricio Pochettino – 5/10 – Chelsea were poor and for the most part lacked initiative. The win saves his skin for another week at least.

FBL-ENG-FACUP-CHELSEA-LEEDS

Joseph was nearly the hero / GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

GK: Illan Meslier – 5/10 – Didn’t have too much to do in way of shot-stopping. Arguably made Jackson’s life easier for Chelsea’s first goal.

RB: Connor Roberts – 6/10 – Found it difficult to live with Sterling in the first half and Leeds’ high line could have set him up for failure in the second, but he coped well with his side’s aggressive style.

CB: Joe Rodon – 6/10 – Didn’t allow himself to be beaten in a foot race against Jackson. A calm head at the back.

CB: Liam Cooper – 6/10 – Like Roberts didn’t seem comfortable in the first half when Chelsea attacked with pace but grew into his own eventually.

LB: Junior Firpo – 6/10 – Looked a man reborn after half-time, getting right up alongside Anthony and causing Chelsea real headaches.

CM: Ethan Ampadu – 8/10 – A young player that Chelsea should have perhaps kept hold of. Broke up play well and distributed it excellently, leading to Leeds’ second-half equaliser.

CM: Archie Gray – 8/10 – Doesn’t turn 18 for a few more weeks and yet he was completely unafraid of Chelsea from start to finish. Had no problem wriggling his way out of tight spaces.

RM: Dan James – 5/10 – Frightened Chelsea with his quickness early on but didn’t cause them enough problems.

AM: Joel Piroe – 5/10 – Popped up in pockets of spaces to move the ball on but lacked much of a direct threat.

LM: Jaidon Anthony – 8/10 – Relished the chance to get at Gusto and came up with a superb cross for Joseph’s second goal.

CF: Mateo Joseph – 9/10 – Had never scored a senior goal tonight but managed to bag an outstanding brace away at Stamford Bridge.

SUB: Crysencio Summerville (79′ for Piroe) – 5/10

SUB: Wilfried Gnonto (79′ for James) – 5/10

Subs not used: Kristoffer Klaesson (GK), Dani van de Heuvel, Sam Byram, Charlie Cresswell, Jamie Shackleton, Glen Kamara, Patrick Bamford

Daniel Farke – 7/10 – If Leeds play like this for the rest of the season, they’ll win promotion back to the Premier League no question.



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