FA Cup 6th Round: Chelsea 5:2 Leicester City
City’s FA Cup run came to a halt at the quarter-final stage at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, as they were outclassed by a superior Chelsea side…
Nigel Pearson made one change to the side that beat Birmingham, with Konchesky regaining his place, but it was always a tall order for City against the Champions League quarter-finalists and it became even more daunting in the 12th minute.
City had enjoyed a good attacking start to the game, but fell behind when Mata delivered a corner from the right which saw Cahill outjump Bamba to nod home.
The tie was all but settled just six minutes lkater when Torres showed lightning pace on the break to square for Kalou to slot past Schmeichel.
Already it seemed to be a case of damage limitation, and at least this was achieved, as Sturridge and Torres missed good chances and and then Schmeichel produced a fine save to deny Torres again.
There were a couple of chances for City but Danns had his effort saved by Cech and Dyer failed to find the target.
Gallagher, ended a poor game limping out of the action just before the break, replaced by Peltier who took on a defensive midfield role.
City had a decent spell early in the second half but, almost inevitably, Torres then ended his long goal drought in the 67th minute after being fed a ball from Meireles to a great outpouring of emotion from 32,000 members of the 38,000 crowd.
The travelling City fans had something to cheer at last in the 77th minute when City Man of the Match Danns battled his way through and sent a shot against the right hand post where Beckford was well placed to tidy up.
His over-long celebrations suggested something of a ‘just pleased to have got a goal’ attitude rather than grabbing the ball and racing back to the centre-circle.
Eight minutes later Torres proved that lightning can strike twice drifting in at the near post without anyone picking him up at a corner, to notch Chelsea’s fourth.
With two minutes of normal time remaining substitute Marshall cut in from the left to fire home a fine 25 yarder, but still Roberto Di Matteo’s side had the final word. Into time added on Torres returned a favour setting up Meireles for Chelsea’s fifth.
City were well beaten by a side that didn’t include Terry, Drogba or Lampard and, in truth, never had to move out of third gear.
For many City’s disappointing season ended here, though the more wildly optimistic may still hold out hope that we have a chance of reaching the play-offs.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic (Luiz 76), Cahill, Bertrand, Mikel, Meireles, Sturridge, Mata (Malouda 46), Kalou (Essien 63), Torres. Unused Subs: Hilario, Lampard, Drogba, Ferreira.
Leicester: Schmeichel, St Ledger (Schlupp 63), Morgan, Bamba, Konchesky, Gallagher (Peltier 43), Danns, Wellens (Marshall 83), Dyer, Beckford, Nugent. Unused Subs: Smith, Howard, Kennedy, Hopper.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire). Attendance: 38,276.