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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Gallagher snatches last-gasp FA Cup winner as Blues see off determined Leeds 3-2 at the Bridge

Stamford |Bridge Picture by Paul Lagan
Stamford |Bridge Picture by Paul Lagan

By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 3 v Leeds United 2


It was Chelsea's turn to experience a last-minute winner as Conor Gallagher smashed home the winner in a pulsating and often frustrating night for the Blues.

The memory of Virgil Van Dijk Carabao Cup winner on Sunday still lingers at SW6, but at least it was their turn to put a determined opposition to the sword when it mattered in a 3-2 win over Leeds at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues will face Leicester City, at home in the next round.

Having gone behind in the seventh minute, Chelsea responded well with a fine goal from Nicolas Jackson. They took the lead through Mykhailo Mudryk before being pegged back again – both goals from Connor Joseph.

But with the clock ticking into four added minutes, up popped Gallagher to salvage a wretched week of football for Chelsea and give the Blues and their fans a much-needed shot in the arm.

Leeds United dressed like mini Mr Blobby's started well enough, hoping to exploit the inexperience of Alfie Gilchrist, playing at left back.

And so it work out, when he was easily bocked off by Daniel James who then looped the ball over Robert Sanchez. But the ball went away for a goal kick.

If the danger was over, then the next 20 seconds were farcical as Sanchez gave the ball to Malo Gusto, who tried to give it to Moises Caicedo. But he was quickly dispossessed and the ball fed to into in-running Connor Roberts who smashed the ball home with venom with seven minutes on the clock.

The Blues did not panic, thankfully and with eight minutes they were level.

Some excellent set-up play swept the ball from left to right and the ball ended up with Nicolas Jackson getting the ball over Caicedo and drilling home a smart right-footer from an angle on the right, past Illan Meslier.

Noni had a better chance than he made it look on 33 minutes, latching to the ball on the left of the penalty area, he raced through but smashed his shot into the side-netting.

The turnaround was complete on 37 minutes when the b all was fed to Gusto on the right, he popped it along to Sterling who cut back from the byline to Mykhailo Mudryk, who slotted home coolly across the desperate dive of Meslier and the ball nestled in to the inside netting to make it 2-1.

There were no changes by either side at half-time.

But it felt as though the Blues had stayed in the changing room, such was their non-violent in the game.

Leeds took full advantage on 59 minutes when Roberts got his second with and unchallenged header from close range.

Conor Gallagher and Ben Chilwell were brought on instantly for Gusto and Noni.

There were co mi g on before the leveller so their introduction to the game was not a consequence of the goal.

Pochettino made another double substitution, this time no goal was conceded just before.

Off went Gilchrist, with a slight muscle twang and ineffectual Raheem Sterling – on came Levi Colwill and Cole Palmer on 72 minutes.

Just as the 90th minute was tuning into added minutes, up popped Gallagher to send the Blues I to the quarter-finals.

The goal was set up by Enzo who fed the midfielder and with just one touch to control the ball he smashed home past Meslier.

Pochettino even went as far as bringing on Jimi Tauriainen for his debut.

Off went Mudryk, but it was all over really.

Teams: Sanchez, Disasi, Sterling, Enzo, Mudryk, Noni, Chalobah, Jackson, Caicedo, Gusto, Gilchrist

Subs: Petrovic, Palmer, Chilwell, Gallagher, Colwill, Tauriainen, Samuels-Smith, Murray-Campbell, Harrison

Leeds: Meslier, Firpo, Ampadu, Cooper, Piroe, Anthony, Rodon, James, Gray, Roberts, Joseph

Subs: Klaesson, Van den Heuvel, Creswell, Kamara, Summerville, |Shackleton, Byram, Gnonto


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