Chelsea snatch dramatic win over Leeds in FA Cup

28 February 2024 0 By Total Football News

Conor Gallagher scored a last-minute winner as Chelsea snatched a dramatic victory over Leeds United to move into the FA Cup quarter-finals.

A thrilling fifth-round tie at Stamford Bridge looked to be heading towards extra time before the England international was free in the penalty area and lifted a finish past Illan Meslier.

The win keeps Chelsea’s hopes of winning a trophy alive after they lost 1-0 to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side will return to Wembley for the FA Cup semi-finals if they win at home against Championship leaders Leicester City in the last eight in March.

The Argentine began his role as manager in July and felt the performances were improving, but the squad needed more time.

“The expectation is massive because we are Chelsea, but this team needs to build and build the confidence,” said Pochettino. “The unity is starting to grow, it’s not magic, you can’t just create it.

“It’s difficult because of the expectations. You need to find the right balance and need time so they can perform.

“In the past four weeks we are doing fantastically, the team are fighting and starting to behave like a team.”

Chelsea fell behind early on when a defensive error led to Mateo Joseph scoring his first senior goal as Leeds went ahead after only nine minutes.

But the visitors, second in the second tier, were only leaders for six minutes.

Nicolas Jackson scores for ChelseaNicolas Jackson has scored 10 goals for Chelsea since his £32m move from Villarreal last summer

Nicolas Jackson made it 1-1 with a low strike from Moises Caicedo’s pass before Mykhailo Mudryk gave Chelsea a 37th-minute lead, sweeping Raheem Sterling’s pull-back into the bottom corner.

Yet Leeds were the better team at the start of the second half and got a deserved equaliser as Joseph grabbed his second goal with a header at the back post to connect with Jaidon Anthony’s excellent cross.

Anthony could not convert two chances to put the visitors ahead before substitute Gallagher proved to be the match winner.

Under-fire Chelsea battle for victory

Chelsea won the Champions League in 2021 and then followed that up by clinching both the Uefa Super Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup.

But they only finished 12th in the Premier League in 2022-23, failing to qualify for Europe, and are 11th this season and in danger of missing out on continental football again for 2024-25.

Chelsea have spent more than £1bn on transfer fees since a consortium led by American investor Todd Boehly and private equity firm Clearlake Capital bought the club in May 2022.

However, their players were heavily criticised for the manner of their Carabao Cup final loss against a youthful Liverpool side, with ex-England and Manchester United defender Gary Neville calling Chelsea the ‘blue billion-pound bottle jobs’.

Pochettino felt the comment was harsh and added: “He [Neville] was frustrated because Liverpool won another title. It’s not fair to accuse people in this way, with a team that’s very young.”

His side would have faced more criticism if they had gone out of the FA Cup but, despite being outplayed for large parts of the second half against a Leeds outfit that performed excellently, the hosts got the job done.

Gallagher admitted Chelsea had to respond in a positive way to the critics.

“It [the final loss] was a big disappointment and we wanted to bounce back and give the fans something to celebrate, and we managed to do that,” said Gallagher.

“It has been a really tough few days and everyone has been down but we had to make sure we were right because it was such an important game and the boys dug deep to get the win.”

Leeds United score a goalMateo Joseph’s two goals for Leeds came in only his third start for the club

For Daniel Farke’s Leeds team they should be proud of their efforts and now focus on their main target of winning promotion back to the Premier League.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Farke said he was “very proud” of his side’s performance but felt Chelsea were “clinical”.

“In the second half we had more possession, more shots at goal and more expected goals,” he added.

“It was no coincidence we scored the second goal, we wanted to dominate possession in order to stick to our beliefs – many compliments to my young lads.”

Player of the match

GrayArchie Gray

with an average of 7.93


  1. Squad number23Player nameGallagher

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  2. Squad number10Player nameMudryk

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  3. Squad number7Player nameSterling

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  4. Squad number49Player nameTauriainen

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  5. Squad number26Player nameColwill

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  6. Squad number8Player nameFernández

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  7. Squad number27Player nameGusto

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  8. Squad number42Player nameGilchrist

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  9. Squad number2Player nameDisasi

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  10. Squad number11Player nameMadueke

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  11. Squad number14Player nameChalobah

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  12. Squad number21Player nameChilwell

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  13. Squad number20Player namePalmer

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  14. Squad number15Player nameJackson

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  15. Squad number1Player nameSánchez

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  16. Squad number25Player nameCaicedo

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Leeds United

  1. Squad number22Player nameGray

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  2. Squad number49Player nameJoseph

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  3. Squad number4Player nameAmpadu

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  4. Squad number14Player nameRodon

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  5. Squad number12Player nameAnthony

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  6. Squad number20Player nameJames

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  7. Squad number33Player nameRoberts

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  8. Squad number29Player nameGnonto

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  9. Squad number10Player nameSummerville

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  10. Squad number1Player nameMeslier

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  11. Squad number6Player nameCooper

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  12. Squad number3Player nameFirpo

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  13. Squad number7Player namePiroe

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Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Sánchez
  • 27GustoSubstituted forChilwellat 61′minutes
  • 2Disasi
  • 14ChalobahBooked at 40mins
  • 42GilchristSubstituted forColwillat 74′minutes
  • 25CaicedoBooked at 49mins
  • 8FernándezBooked at 41mins
  • 11MaduekeSubstituted forGallagherat 61′minutes
  • 10MudrykSubstituted forTauriainenat 90+3′minutes
  • 7SterlingSubstituted forPalmerat 74′minutes
  • 15Jackson


  • 20Palmer
  • 21Chilwell
  • 23Gallagher
  • 26Colwill
  • 28Petrovic
  • 49Tauriainen
  • 53Samuels-Smith
  • 73Murray-Campbell
  • 79Harrison


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Meslier
  • 33Roberts
  • 14Rodon
  • 6Cooper
  • 3FirpoBooked at 69mins
  • 4Ampadu
  • 22Gray
  • 20JamesSubstituted forGnontoat 79′minutes
  • 7PiroeSubstituted forSummervilleat 79′minutes
  • 12Anthony
  • 49Joseph


  • 5Cresswell
  • 8Kamara
  • 9Bamford
  • 10data-reactid=".248xcnlg2pk.$include-$panel-0.$$3PO450070.1.0.0">Summerville
  • 13Klaesson
  • 17Shackleton
  • 25Byram
  • 29Gnonto
  • 40van den Heuvel
David Coote

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Chelsea 3, Leeds United 2.

Second Half ends, Chelsea 3, Leeds United 2.