Frank Lampard felt Juan Mata’s goal early in the second half against Leeds United changed the balance of the game and swung it back in our favour, helping us secure a Capital One Cup semi-final date with Swansea City.
The Blues had trailed 1-0 at the break to a Luciano Becchio goal, but after Mata had equalised immediately after the restart, the Blues took control, running out comfortable 5-1 winners at Elland Road thanks to further strikes from Branislav Ivanovic, Victor Moses, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres.
‘In the first half we weren’t at our best, we were a bit slow with the tempo and gave away a silly ball which allowed them to score,’ said Lampard. ‘Once we started to play with a bit of pace in our game you could see the difference.
‘We had a word with ourselves at half-time. Our preparation wasn’t ideal but there are no excuses, the early goal gave us the impetus to go on, we believed from then on and didn’t feel like we could lose the game. Some of the football we played where we opened them up showed what we can do.
‘Every trophy is a big deal; we’ve enjoyed all our trips to Wembley when we’ve won. We’ve got a tough semi-final to play, but we’re in there and we need to keep going.’
Mata, meanwhile, who has now scored 12 goals this season, was delighted with the character shown by the players following a gruelling 10-day period.
‘It was tough to play here against a team like Leeds, but in the second half we showed the desire to win the trophy,’ he explained.
‘It was so difficult to play here as an away team, they are very physical as well, so in the first 45 minutes it was very hard for us.’