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‘We are brave’: Pochettino hails Chelsea resilience in FA Cup win over Leeds

Mauricio Pochettino called his ­players “brave” after Chelsea moved on from their defeat against Liverpool in the ­Carabao Cup final by reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 3-2 win against Leeds.

Branded by Gary Neville as “blue billion-pound ­bottle jobs” after ­losing at Wembley, Chelsea responded to questions about their character, overcame a nervy performance against Championship opposition and set up a home tie with Leicester thanks to Conor Gallagher’s last-minute goal.

“With all my love to Gary, it is not fair to use this type of word [bottling] for a team that is so brave and a club that always shows it fights for big things,” Pochettino said. “What can we do? Now, only with this type of performance, show that we are brave, can win games.

“It is not important for the team, it is not important for us, because we know who we are and how we behave and why we lost against Liverpool is nothing to do with this. We know we are brave, working hard.”

The game was overshadowed by a Leeds fan reportedly falling from the upper tier of the Shed End after Mateo Joseph gave the ­visitors the lead ­during the first half. Both clubs confirmed an investi­gation is under way.

A statement from Leeds said: “Leeds United can confirm an incident involving a Leeds United supporter occurred in the Shed End of Stamford Bridge during the first half of tonight’s FA Cup game. The incident is being investigated and is in the hands of the emergency services. We will be making no further comment at this time.”

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Daniel Farke was proud of how Leeds, who are second in the Championship, played. “The game should be played in this way,” the manager said. “You should try to be offensive and dominate the ball like we did in the second half. The supporters have a good sense for this. The level of the performance and commitment was excellent.”

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