Chelsea hit back to thump Leeds in League Cup

Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:55am IST

Chelsea's Jaun Mata (2nd R) shoots to score against Leeds United during during their English League Cup quarter-final soccer match in Leeds, northern England December 19, 2012. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Chelsea's Jaun Mata (2nd R) shoots to score against Leeds United during during their English League Cup quarter-final soccer match in Leeds, northern England December 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Nigel Roddis

REUTERS - Chelsea brought a ray of light to a largely miserable December when they reached the Capital One (League) Cup semi-finals after a 5-1 triumph at second tier Leeds United on Wednesday.

The Londoners, dumped out of the Champions League as holders and beaten in the Club World Cup final already this month as dubious fans adjust to interim boss Rafa Benitez, went a goal down before storming back to set up a last-four tie with Swansea City.

Leeds, rivals of Chelsea after a series of fractious games between the sides since an infamous 1970 FA Cup final, went ahead on 37 minutes through Luciano Becchio after Chelsea defender David Luiz had again charged up field and lost the ball.

Chelsea, who had numerous chances in a rain-hit first half, struck back through Juan Mata just after the break when his shot from the edge of the box following a fine move foxed the goalkeeper.

Branislav Ivanovic headed in Frank Lampard's corner at the near post to make it 2-1 on 64 minutes and forward Victor Moses soon increased the lead when he fired in after a mazy run.

Eden Hazard then latched on to David Luiz's long pass before Fernando Torres completed the scoring for a strong Chelsea lineup, who host Villa in the Premier League on Sunday lying third.

Swansea, Villa and fourth tier Bradford City, who stunned Arsenal, had already progressed to the last four last week as they chase England's secondary knockout trophy which provides a Europa League berth.

Chelsea are at home to Swansea in the first leg in the week starting January 7 while Bradford host Villa. The second legs take place in the week commencing January 21.

"The reaction in the second half was fantastic, especially with travelling back from Japan (World Club Cup) and having jet lag," Benitez told Sky Sports television.

"We were looking for character and the reaction was so good, we have to consider it for the future. Every competition is important for us and a top side like us has to win every competition. Swansea like to play football, on the floor." (Writing by Mark Meadows; Editing by John Mehaffey)

Cricket

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ten Years On

Ten Years On

10 years on, tsunami warning stumbles at the "last mile".  Full Article 

Exit Polls

Exit Polls

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls.  Full Article 

Forceful Conversions

Forceful Conversions

BJP distances itself from religious conversions.  Full Article 

Hopeful Dhoni

Hopeful Dhoni

India's new vintage nearly ready, says Dhoni.  Full Article 

Photo

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Ali Hospitalized

Ali Hospitalized

Boxing great Muhammad Ali hospitalized with pneumonia.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage