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Leeds vs. Chelsea: 4 Things We've Learned

Greg ProbertContributor IIDecember 20, 2012

Leeds vs. Chelsea: 4 Things We've Learned

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    Chelsea and Leeds hate each other; it's as simple as that.

    These days encounters between the two are few and far between so when they do meet in cup competitions, it is a big deal.

    Wednesday night saw Chelsea travel to Elland Road for a quarterfinal tie in the Capital One Cup and it was expected to be a tough game for the Blues.

    The first half certainly started that way, with Leeds taking a 1-0 lead into the break.

    But in the second half, Chelsea's quality and class shone through and they gave Leeds nothing short of a battering, scoring five goals.

    But what should we take away from this game, and what lessons have been learned about both clubs?

Torres Needs a Rest

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    I know, I know: all the Torres bashing is getting boring now, but in fact, I think this is one of Torres' brightest periods in a Chelsea shirt.

    He has six goals in five games and is playing with a swagger that has been nonexistent for much of his Chelsea career.

    But in his last few games, even though he's got himself a couple of goals, he looks a few yards off this pace. He's getting caught offside too often, not following up rebounds and generally not being in the right positions in and around the box.

    But this is fully understandable considering he has played almost every minute of every game this season and is well in his right to feel a little tired.

    What Torres needs is a rest to recharge his batteries; unfortunately this is a luxury Chelsea may not have considering the lack of striking options available to Rafael Benitez.

Leeds Not Ready for the Premiership

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    This statement might seem as harsh as Wednesday's scoreline, but a club as big as Leeds shouldn't be such a world apart from any Premier League club.

    I know they led Chelsea at the break and played well in the first half, but it just never felt as if an upset was in the cards.

    Chelsea hadn't even started playing until Juan Mata made it 1-1 just after the break, and as soon as they put their foot on the gas, Leeds were left in a cloud of dust.

    Leeds are one of the biggest clubs in the Championship, and every season they are expected to make a challenge for promotion but they seem to be lacking the general quality to make a push for the Premier League.

    They have the desire, the fans and the stadium fit for the Premier League, as well as a manager who has bags of experience in the top flight, but they need to address their lack of quality sooner rather than later.

Chelsea's Character

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    Chelsea were of course expected to beat Leeds, giving that Chelsea are champions of Europe and Leeds are in the Championship.

    But enough factors were going against Chelsea to suggest that an upset was not out of the realms of possibility.

    With Chelsea suffering an embarrassing defeat in the Club World Cup final only a few days earlier and then an 18-hour trip back to London, they weren't expected to be at the top of their game.

    Add to this the list of injuries and suspensions going into the tie with Leeds, Chelsea looked far from tip-top shape.

    So when Chelsea went 1-0 down, they could have easily folded and felt sorry for themselves and not gotten back into the game.

    But the Blues rallied and gave themselves a huge confidence boost with a five-goal haul in the second half.

Lampard Needs to Stay

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    Frank Lampard is not the player that he was a few seasons ago, and anyone who thinks otherwise is perhaps being a bit naive.

    He is getting on in years and has understandably lost a bit of his pace and ability to change games.

    But this is not enough of a reason to deem him surplus to requirements at the club.

    Although Wednesday's game was not one of his best, he still showed enough of what he brings to the side to prove to the ownership that giving him another contract is a no-brainer.

    His fitness levels are unquestionable and he does his job for the whole 90 minutes professionally and capably.

    Add to this the fact he tested the Leeds goalkeeper on a number of occasions and it is clear to see he is still a big threat going forward.

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