Chelsea 5 Leicester City 2: Lessons from a comfortable Blues victory
What did we learn from Chelsea's comprehensive FA Cup quarter-final victory over Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday?
There are more important things than football
The tie was put into some perspective following the collapse and hospitalisation of Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba during his team’s FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham on Saturday. Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand and Gary Cahill – as well as Leicester’s Neil Danns – had played alongside Muamba before, and everyone inside Stamford Bridge joined in a minute’s applause for the Bolton-man before kick-off. When Cahill opened the scoring for Chelsea with an early header, he lifted his jersey to reveal an undershirt which read “Pray 4 Muamba”. The England under-21 international remains in an east London hospital in a critical state having suffered a suspected cardiac arrest.
It finally comes for Torres
Each time Fernando Torres plays under new boss Roberto Di Matteo, he seems to grow in confidence. The striker ran Leicester’s defence ragged and finally got his first goal after 1,541 minutes worth of drought – which was followed by a second minutes later. Torres hadn’t scored since a brace against Genk in the Champions League in October. The Spaniard looked strong, dribbled with confidence and purpose, and was ultimately sharp in front of goal as he scored twice and set up two of Chelsea’s five goals. It gives Di Matteo a nice selection problem ahead of his side’s trip to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
Di Matteo may bring some silverware to Stamford Bridge
Chelsea earned their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after their dramatic 4-1 win over Napoli on Wednesday, making them the only British team remaining in any European competition. However, with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and quarter-final opponents Benfica left in the Champions League, the FA Cup looks a much more winnable competition. Chelsea are now just one game away from a Wembley final, and with Manchester United and holders Manchester City having crashed out in earlier stages, Di Matteo could bring back the cup for the first time since 2010. The Italian knows what it is like to win the FA Cup as a player for Chelsea, having scored goals in finals in 1997 and 2000.
Leicester were predictably outclassed
Although Chelsea played well, they met little resistance from Nigel Pearson’s men. To their credit, Leicester came to play positive football, but Jermaine Beckford and David Nugent saw little of the ball up front and rarely troubled Chelsea’s second-string back line. Beckford and Ben Marshall eventually did get a goal each for the Midlanders, but over the 90 minutes it became quite clear which players were plying their trade in the lower tier of English football as Chelsea ran out convincing winners.