Date:Thursday December 20 2012
Up in deepest Yorkshire Chelsea eased through to the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup.
In a hostile atmosphere and very inclement weather, a five goal second half burst sent the natives` home with their tails between their legs.
After the long hike back from the Land of the Rising Sun, Rafa Benitiz, thanks to suspensions and injuries, wasn`t able to make the wholesale changes he`d have liked to have done, instead seven were forced to start this tie after the grueling trip.
Chelsea started the first half well, Leeds were enthusiastic but unable to create any clear-cut chances. Chelsea`s football was neat but, to be honest, a little sluggish and we too were unable to test Ashdown in the Leeds goal, save for a few long-range shots that were easily dealt with.
Matters changed though, in the thirty-seventh minute, when David Luiz ventured forward and his pass was cut out by the home side. In a flash Byram fed the ball to Thomas and with no cover on our right flank the ball was fed across into the box where Becchio wa son hand to sweep the ball past Cech.
Elland Road erupted in a wall of noise and you feared that Chelsea might crumble and slip to defeat. In fact, before half-time, Leeds had another glorious chance to double their lead but, thankfully for Chelsea, Lees headed over.
Chelsea, having discussed matters at half time, came out with a different outlook in the second half. Driven on by Lampard, the captain for the night, there seemed more purpose about their play and were soon level when a low shot form Mata, squirmed past Ashdown in the Leeds goal.
From that moment Chelsea never looked back. Surging forward and utilizing their neat, short passing game, they forced Leeds onto the back-foot and with sixty-four minutes on the clock went ahead when Ivanovic escaped his marker to head home a Lampard corner.
Two minutes later the game was effectively over when Moses made it 3-1, driving in a low shot, from twenty-five yards, after a precise ball from Mata. Although Leeds huffed and puffed, it always looked as if we`d be the team to score the next goal and another two goal burst, in three minutes, gave the tie that flattering score-line.
The first of the brace, coming in the eighty-first minute, saw David Luiz play the pass of the night, splitting the home defence with a thirty-five yard ball that fell straight to the feet of Hazard. The young Belgian strode forward and despite being under pressure from a defender, eased his shot past Ashdown, in the Leeds goal.
With the home supporters drifting away in their thousands and the travelling support in jubilant voice, there was time for a fifth when Torres netted after Ashdown had saved Lampard`s initial shot.
Game, set and match to Chelsea, now what was that about a possible upset the press were harping on about?
Date:Thursday December 20 2012
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