Wed, 19 Dec 2012 22:21:00 – Leeds manager Neil Warnock had no complaints after his side suffered a 5-1 defeat to Chelsea in their Capital One Cup quarter-final.
Luciano Becchio's well-worked goal had taken Leeds into the break 1-0 ahead, but Juan Mata equalised within two minutes of the restart.
Two goals in three minutes from Branislav Ivanovic and Victor Moses then effectively sealed Chelsea's passage into the last four, although the final scoreline was harsh on Warnock's team with Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres on target late on.
"To concede as early as that in the second half against world-class players you're going to be in trouble," Warnock said.
"It was such a relief from them to get back into the game. Then they took over and were too good for us."
Warnock admitted that goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown, who made several important stops in the first half, was at fault for Mata's goal, letting his shot slip through his grasp and into the corner.
"When you're a goalie you make a mistake and it counts," he conceded. "When you're anywhere else on the pitch you get away with it.
"I don't think the scoreline reflects the game but I've got no complaints. I thought it was a great cup tie for an hour."
Much of the pre-match build-up involved specualtion about whether Warnock would snub opposite number Rafael Benitez, in a row going back to the days when the pair were managers of Sheffield United and Liverpool, respectively.
But the pair shook hands before and after the game and the Yorkshireman joked: "If it wasn't for Rafa I wouldn't have had a great time at Crystal Palace, at QPR and now at Leeds, so I owe him one really, don't I?"
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A number of fans were buying shares up until the 5pm deadline although it looked likely the club would fall well short of their original ?1.79million target.
Hearts revealed seven days ago they had raised more than ?800,000 and urged fans to sign up or the club could face another do-or-die situation after averting a winding-up order earlier this month by paying a ?450,000 tax bill.
Hearts settled another issue with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs by agreeing to pay ?1.5million over three years.
Players voluntarily deferred their wages last month but they were paid before receiving their full salary for this month on December 16.
However, Hearts director Sergejus Fedotovas last week continued to warn fans of the dangers ahead by stating they were facing a ?1million deficit.
The talented 18-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season under manager Brendan Rodgers, starting all but one of their 17 Premier League games.
Sterling's displays have also attracted the attention of England head coach Roy Hodgson, who called up the teenager for their World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in September.
While the Jamaica-born talent did not play against Ukraine, he won his first cap last month, then aged 17, in England's 4-2 friendly defeat to Sweden.
Sterling had 18 months to run on his existing deal after joining from QPR in February 2010 and fans will be delighted one of their key assets has committed his future to the Merseyside outfit.
His first-ever Premier League goal came in October when he netted in a 1-0 success over Rodgers' former club Reading.
Sterling is expected to put pen-to-paper on his new contract prior to Liverpool's Premier League clash against Fulham on Saturday.