The round of 16 in the FA Cup concluded on Wednesday, and one game that stood out was Chelsea hosting Leeds. Even though this was a match involving teams from different divisions, the storylines were there. Chelsea, coming off its League Cup Final loss against Liverpool, was desperate for a bounce-back victory. That would not be easy, though.

Leeds is one of the most in-form teams in England. Currently second in the Championship, Leeds has won their last nine fixtures. Moreover, the Whites have only conceded two goals in those nine victories on the bounce. Daniel Farke’s side would prove a true test for the Blues at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea recovers after blunder

Chelsea’s recent misery hit a new low after just 10 minutes. A near miss from Leeds winger Dan James led to a Chelsea goal kick. A pressing Leeds put Chelsea under pressure, and a poor pass from Axel Disasi to Moises Caicedo created a chance for the visitors. Mateo Joseph pounced on the turnover on the edge of the Chelsea box. He drove inside on his right foot before releasing a shot that beat Robert Sanchez. Chelsea fell behind at home against one of the most in-form teams in England.

However, the talent gap between Chelsea and Leeds became clear. After falling behind, Chelsea had an inspired comeback and dominant 35 minutes. The equalizing goal came via Nicolas Jackson seven minutes after Joseph’s opener. A movement up the field from Chelsea as a team. A smart pass from Caicedo found Jackson streaking in the box. Jackson did well to hold off the Leeds defense before firing a shot between the legs of Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

After that, Chelsea had several opportunities to pull ahead. Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke both ran out of room down the left side on their shot attempts. Meslier saved an attempt from the Ukrainian, while Madueke blasted a ball into the side netting.

Mudryk, who was active in the first half, found Chelsea’s second in the 37th minute. Raheem Sterling drove down the right side before playing a firm pass into Mudryk. The winger did well to open his body and direct his shot toward the far side of the goal. Meslier was out of reach, and Chelsea entered the break with a lead.

Disorganized Chelsea leaves it late against Leeds in FA Cup

The second half did not have much fizzle to it on either end. As the first 15 minutes of the half went on, the game looked more and more likely to fall in favor of Leeds. The visitors drew level just before the hour mark. A sumptuous cross from Jaidon Anthony to the back post of Chelsea’s net met the head of Mateo Joseph. He secured his brace by nodding the ball to the back post, leaving Sanchez helpless.

Leeds trapped Chelsea in its half. Ian Darke, on the call for the game on ESPN+, summed it up when he said Chelsea played the role of visitors. Leeds held more of the ball and created more dangerous chances while Chelsea only hit out on the break. Mateo Joseph nearly grabbed his hat trick in the 70th minute. Chelsea’s defense failed to win a header, and the ball fell to Joseph. The 20-year-old was surprised to get the ball, and Axel Disasi desperately cleared the chance.

With the game level, both Chelsea and Leeds put in some of their traditional starters. For Leeds, that meant Wilfried Gnonto and Crysencio Summerville. Chelsea brought on Cole Palmer, Levi Colwill, Ben Chilwell and Conor Gallagher. The latter made the difference on the night. A clever turn off a pass from Enzo Fernandez put Gallagher in on goal. His shot went over an oncoming Meslier to give Chelsea another lead.

With just four minutes of stoppage time to play, Leeds was effectively out of the FA Cup. A corner kick in the dying moments almost led to an equalizer, but the ball went out of the box, and the official blew for full-time. Chelsea advances to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup, and it will host Championship-leading Leicester City.

FA Cup quarterfinals shape up major fixtures

The draw for the sixth round of the FA Cup happened before kickoff for the games on Wednesday. Now that there are no replays in this stage, the teams advancing know who they will play. Here are the matchups for the FA Cup quarterfinals this season. The home teams are listed first in the matchups.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Coventry City
Manchester United vs. Liverpool
Chelsea vs. Leicester City
Manchester City vs. Newcastle United