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Chelsea star admits jet leg led to slow start at Leeds

Branislav Ivanovic in action against Monterrey in  the Club World Cup semi-final. Photo: AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama Branislav Ivanovic in action against Monterrey in the Club World Cup semi-final. Photo: AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama

Thursday, December 20, 2012
3:13 PM

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic was pleased jet lag did not force his side out of the Capital One Cup at Leeds last night.

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The Blues travelled to West Yorkshire with 6,000 miles already clocked up over recent days following their return from Club World Cup duty in Japan, and it looked as though that weariness would cost them when Luciano Becchio gave the npower Championship side a first-half lead.

But Chelsea found a second wind after the break, with Ivanovic one of five different scorers as Rafael Benitez’s men booked a semi-final date with Swansea.

It was a resounding way for the European champions to respond to their Club World Cup final loss on Sunday but, according to Ivanovic, they were worried it would not turn out that way.

“Leeds was a very difficult game which came at a very difficult moment for us. We didn’t have a lot of time to adapt,” he said.

“We were tired and that is why it was a little scary for us at the beginning. We didn’t know how we were going to feel at the start of the game, but now we have to look forward.

“We have to recover well because we still feel the strain from Japan and we will probably still be adapting a week after coming back.”

Ivanovic was joined on the scoresheet by Juan Mata, Victor Moses, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres as Leeds, old and bitter rivals of Chelsea, were put to bed.

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