Chelsea FC 1 Leeds United 0 – another close defeat. Leeds held Chelsea FC and had their own squandered chances but again they succumb to a goal.
Leeds United are quickly adopting a more settled style under Gracia. Leeds now play more patiently from the back with Gracia looking for a stronger defence. When the opportunity comes they counter attack quickly. The result at Fulham FC was more shots on goal. However, there is more work to be done in confidence in front of goal and not running out of steam before 90 minutes.
Leeds United beat Chelsea FC at the beginning of the season which led to Tuchel’s demise but Potter has yet to revive them this season. This match is Rutter’s moment, being given a start over the injured Bamford. Gnonto is also dropped in favour of Aaronson – both surprising changes.
Leeds United played from the back but it was nervous to watch as Chelsea pressed Leeds high up the pitch looking to dispossess Leeds and stretch them on the counter by crossing the ball diagonally to the wingers. With Leeds sat deep Chelsea dominated possession.
Whilst Chelsea were stronger at tackling Leeds out of possession they lacked threat in front of goal – Havertz in a one on one with Meslier was safely blocked. Joao Felix with a clear shot on goal from a counter attack hit the cross bar.
After early Chelsea pressure Leeds grew into the game. Aaronson earned their first shot on the half hour, by the end the first half they were creating more opportunities but not getting shots on target. With no goals at half tie the Chelsea fans were nervous.
Referee had a weak game – too lenient he should have booked Koulibaly who had deliberately fouled Summerville on the edge of the penalty box.
Chelsea start the second half putting pressure on the Leeds defence which earned them the first goal when Fofana headed in from a Chelsea corner.
Aaronson had done just enough to try to link up with Rutter but Harrison and Firpo were largely nullified. Harrison’s crosses were wasteful. Putting his faith in youth with subs Gnonto and Joseph came on adding energy to Leeds’ attack. Adams, not one to take any grief from an opposing player saw off Chilwell in the dying minutes – Meslier dived in to split them up – you don’t mess with the tall man.
The addition of Greenwood saw Leeds passing better on the Chelsea penalty box – Leeds showed some late positivity. Late efforts by Joseph and then Meslier up for a corner in the dying seconds were easily caught by the Chelsea keeper – too little too late.
Man of the match: Tyler Adams