Daniel Farke on why Leeds United deserved to win FA Cup tie at Chelsea

Daniel Farke felt his Leeds United players deserved the reward of an FA Cup quarter-final at home to Leicester City, but that Chelsea's clinical edge denied them.

It was hard to argue with his assessment of a performance which saw a depleted Championship side only beaten by Conor Gallagher's 90th-minute winner to earn the Blues a 3-2 win.

Leeds were the stronger team in the second half, when Mateo Joseph's second goal of the game sandwiched strikes by Nicolas Jackson and Mykhailo Mudryk.

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But there was no shame in defeat on a night when Archie Gray was outstanding in the centre of midfield and Jaidon Anthony's two assists were reward for a really strong performance.

"Congratulations to Chelsea, they were really clinical by taking their chances, especially the second goal, Mudryk a top-class class finish, and the third goal a really good action by Gallagher," reflected Farke.

"We are disappointed we lost this game because wherever we go we want to win a game of football. I know it's not realistic that we as a Championship side win the FA Cup but I wanted to win it if I'm honest.

"I wanted to go into the next round even though we played a pretty young side without several key players.

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PRIDE: Leeds United manager Daniel FarkePRIDE: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke
PRIDE: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke

"Mateo Joseph made his first steps on this level in a central position, 17-year-old Archie Gray played in midfield in the middle of the park against a really good side with many top-class players and we were excellent.

"In the second half we had more possession, more shots, more shots on (target), more expected goals, the lads would have deserved to get a reward with a win.

"You can always speak about the additional load but I would have preferred to go to extra time because the gut feeling was now we had a chance to win.

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"Yes we're disappointed we lost this game but I'm pretty proud of what my lads did today. The game should be played exactly as it was, even if you go with a young side against such a strong side you should try to play attractively, dominate the ball like we did in the second half, try to create chances and stick to your beliefs.

"That's what we did today and I think the supporters have a good sense for this.

"Although we lost the game it's important they celebrated, especially our young guys, after the game because the level of performance, the commitment and the mentality was definitely excellent."

Centre-forward Joseph's goals were his first in senior football.

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"He deserves to be in the spotlight for his two goals," said Farke. "It was a major step in his development.

"We are all happy that we have him and just a few weeks ago he signed a long-term contract. It was a good piece of business so many compliments to our key people (behind the scenes)."

With five changes from the side which beat Leicester City, Leeds were missing a string of key players, and Farke is unsure how many will be available for Saturday's lunchtime kick-off at Huddersfield Town.

"Today it was definitely a bit tricky," said Farke. "We travelled without key players for us, Georginio Rutter and Ilia Gruev because they reported during the last training sessions a few problems.

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"Ilia with his hip flexor, Georgie with his hernia - I hope it's not too bad.

"Yesterday they were not able to finish the training session so no chance to play with us. With the quick turnaround we have to wait for the assessment.

"Patrick Bamford and Cree Summerville both were not able to train on Monday so they were just there more or less for a short-term appearance, also Sam Byram because he's only been back in training two days after being out for three weeks.

"also we had to play without Jamie Shackleton, I wanted to play him instead of Junior Firpo but during the afternoon he felt unwell in the hotel. Perhaps he's got the flu or a cold.

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"He was named on the bench but he was not capable of playing.

"We had a pretty tight group available. But if you have a tight group and you go with the right mentality and the right unity, the odds can be against you but you can still put a shift in and deliver the performance we did today.

"Whoever is available for Saturday, one thing's for sure, we are competitive and we will try to win the points."

Joe Gelhardt was missing after a back spasm.

Mauricio Pochettino was proud how Chelsea put Sunday's League Cup final defeat behind them despite being pushed hard by the visitors.

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"Credit to Leeds because they are full of confidence and a very strong team," he said. "It was tough for us.

"When you concede after a few minutes but I think the character we showed, it's something for the team to learn. I'm so happy because I thought we were going to extra-time but we're in the quarter-final."

A Leeds supporter required medical treatment during the first half after falling from the top tier of the away section.

Farke sent his best wishes, saying: "Football is unbelievably serious but the health of human beings is more important."

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