Chelsea beat Leeds to reach last eight in FA Cup

After being outplayed for long spells by Leeds, Chelsea managed to find an extra surge of energy to beat Leeds 3-2 and secure a place in the quarterfinals of the ongoing FA Cup.

World Cup winner Enzo Fernández rightly got the acclaim after his gorgeous assist for Conor Gallagher’s late winner.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side may well be cele­brating the win, but as they go on to face Leicester at home in the last eight, Chelsea will recognize this win was far from convincing.

Criticized by some as ‘blue billion-pound bottle jobs,’ Pochettino’s boys still are figuring out their identity. Moments of quality are interspersed with timid possession and at other times, the Chelsea eleven look completely lost at sea.

Automatic promotion is the ­priority for Leeds, who made five changes from their victory against Leicester. Daniel Farke’s team clearly fancied their chances with Chelsea and pushed on, despite their standing in the tournament.

This despite Georginio Rutter not playing and Wilfried Gnonto, Crysencio Summerville and Patrick Bamford on the bench.

Pochettino had a task on his hands, definitely. He will have known that Leeds, second in the Championship, even without their strongest 11, would be formidable to get past.

Chelsea had a slow start, similar to their start against Liverpool. When Leeds moved in. Disasi made a slow pass and Leeds exploited the chink in Caicedo’s defense when he was deep. Chelsea were punished when Mateo Joseph fired past Sánchez.

Chelsea came back when Caicedo went on the offense, linked with Noni Madueke in the final third and a fine pass sent Nicolas Jackson through and the striker equalized.

Chelsea led in the 37th minute, but would they hold on?

The defence did not look secure.

Leeds rallied, as Archie Gray and Ethan Ampadu took control of midfield away from Caicedo and Fernández.

Chelsea sat back at the start of the second half and could not impose themselves. Counterattacks lacked conviction and it was not a surprise when Leeds equalized.

Anthony, moving past Malo Gusto, crossed from the left and Joseph headed past Sánchez for the equalizer.

Pochettin’s move to replace Gusto and Madueke with Chilwell and Gallagher provided the boost they needed, even as Chelsea still toiled.

Leeds were running the game, by all measures and pressed on, Joseph almost heading in his third.

Chelsea missed Cole Palmer’s thinking cap earlier and he was brought on for Raheem Sterling, who was booed off for the second consecutive home game.

Leeds remained on top, as Gnonto and ­Summerville came on. ­Summerville was in the thick of things soon enough, going for net, his shot going over, also wasting a presentable chance after an error from Fernández.

In the 90th minute, there were no errors as Fernández finally resembled a world champion, coming in from the left, beat a couple of challenges and shooting a beautiful pass through to Conor Gallagher, whose finsih took Chelsea home and into the last eight.