Cup misery followed by cup relief as Chelsea ease past Leeds United in FA Cup

You win some, you lose some. That even-handed assessment of the trial and tribulations affecting Chelsea at the moment is not gaining much traction among the fanbase.

Having succumbed to a horrible EFL Cup final defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, the vultures were circling Cobham earlier this week hoping to find a carcass or two for lunch. But instead, the mood in the camp, while a tad muted, was not at all mutinous against the management.

For the most part, these are youngsters and in reality, not much really hurts them. When they reach the venerable age of 39 and are still putting the boots on at the elite level, losing means so much more.

Brazilian Thiago Silva was not used at Wembley nor in Wednesday’s pulsating but poverty-stricken 3-2 victory Leeds United in the FA Cup.

Still recovering from a slight muscle injury sustained against Crystal Palace a few weeks ago, Silva’s absence was much-missed on Sunday against Liverpool. Not so much against Leeds, it has to be said.

But Liverpool and Leeds while divided by the Pennies are divided even more in ability, class and experience. Make no mistake about it, Chelsea will face Leicester City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and know they are a tad lucky to be in the next round.

A wide gamut of emotions filtered out of the home fans in the bridge – one minute it was a sense of resignation that things could only get worse as they went 1-0 down.

Relief greeted the equaliser, while virtually uncontrolled joy was spread across the pitch at going ahead.

But it was back to gloom and doom and for a few minutes, a sense of mutiny towards the management and club owners when Leeds levelled.

Quite what the reaction would have been had the game headed into extra-time, who knows, I suspect less than supportive

But with 90 minutes on the clock, up popped Conor Gallagher to score the winner.

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino was in a strong position to dismiss criticism from TV pundit Gary Neville, who said his side were “billion pound bottle jobs” on Sunday.

Countering this, the Argentine said: “We cannot agree about that. It’s not fair to use these types of words with a team that is so brave and a club that is always fighting for big things.

“With this type of performance, [against Leeds] we show we are brave and we can win games.”

The Blues are at Brentford tomorrow in the Premier League.

Chelsea return to Women’s Super League action after the international break at Leicester City (6pm).

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