MANCHESTER UNITED 4
CHELSEA manager Roberto Di Matteo insisted their extra-time victory would help ease his players’ fatigue for the weekend after last night’s comeback set up a grudge quarter-final against Leeds United.
Goals from Daniel Sturridge and Ramires finished off Manchester United after Chelsea had drawn level three times in 90 minutes, the Blues boss avoiding becoming the first in 10 years to lose three straight games.
“Playing extra-time has taken a bit more energy than we’d have liked, but on the spirit is sky high, and when the mood is positive you feel fatigue a little bit less,” he said.
Di Matteo also insisted referees would not feel greater pressure in Chelsea games, despite the club formalising their complaint about Mark Clattenburg’s conduct in Sunday’s defeat to United.
“No, I think refs should be going into games with the most confidence that they have,” he said. “We are all under pressure here to perform and I dont think there’s any prejudice from that point of view.”
Chelsea gifted the visitors the opener on 22 minutes, Oriol Romeu allowing Anderson to rob him and feed Ryan Giggs to steer around Petr Cech, but equalised when Alexander Buttner fouled Victor Moses and David Luiz converted the penalty.
Javier Hernandez finished low after Anderson played a through-ball, yet soon after half-time Gary Cahill levelled with a powerful header from a corner. Nani dinked over Cech moments later, but in the 94th minute Eden Hazard forced extra-time by scoring a low penalty. Sturridge and Ramires scored goals four and five, before Giggs’ late penalty to close a breathless night.