London: A first-half strike from Luciano Becchio briefly threatened an upset but the Blues turned on the style after the interval to comfortably book their passage into the last four
Chelsea turned on the style to see off Leeds and advance to the Capital One Cup semi-finals after an entertaining encounter in the rain at Elland Road.
Luciano Becchio`s first-half strike briefly threatened an upset for the hosts but goals after the break from Juan Mata, Branislav Ivanovic, Victor Moses, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres wrapped up a convincing win for the Blues.
Victory gives Rafa Benitez`s chances of bringing silverware back to Stamford Bridge a timely boost, having already presided over exits from the Champions League and Club World Cup.
Much was expected of the first meeting between these two historic rivals in over eight years but events on the pitch only served to show the gulf which has emerged between them.
Benitez shuffled his pack after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Corinthians, handing Marko Marin and Ryan Bertrand rare starts and recalling Oscar. Neil Warnock, meanwhile, made three changes to the side which defeated Ipswich Town 2-0 on Saturday, with Jamie Ashdown, Jason Pearce and Michael Brown replacing Paddy Kenny, Alan Tate and David Norris.
Leeds attacked with conviction from the start but it was Chelsea who conjured the first chance on six minutes – Oscar playing in Moses, whose fierce low drive was beaten away by Ashdown.
The visitors appeared to be taking control and Moses stung the palms of Ashdown again before Mata`s goalbound effort was deflected behind by Pearce.
Benitez`s men were dominating possession but a mistake from David Luiz saw them go behind on 37 minutes.
The advancing Brazilian`s dinked pass was intercepted by Sam Byram and the flowing counterattack which followed ended with Becchio sweeping home his 16th goal of the season.
It is not pleasant at all that I had to approach the court but there was no option left for me. I am glad that I have been proved right and it has lifted my morale ahead for the Asian Games.
Manoj Kumar, Indian boxer