Fighting for our survival Leeds United needed a point out of this match. In the end another red card turned the match into a deja vu of the last match against Arsenal – an early goal, a sending off and the match over within half an hour – Leeds United 0 Chelsea FC 3.
A poor start by Leeds with Chelsea dominating possession and scoring an easy goal after three minutes with marking absent. Leeds struggled again with their inability to string passes together in the middle of the park.
Both teams pressed high and Leeds spent a lot of time passing sideways in their own half without much of plan how to attack.
The red card after 25 minutes – same offence as against Arsenal – studs up in a challenge by Daniel James shocked Elland Road. Again, after half an hour Leeds were reduced to ten men and the game drifting away from them.
Kovicic, the victim of the James challenge, then went off with the ankle injury. How rare can it be that a team suffers two red cards for the same two studs up offence in two consecutive matches? Is this a result of Marsch asking his players to be more aggressive?
Chelsea kept looking to get behind the Leeds defence on the wings or into Lukaku’s lap and Leeds lived dangerously. First a goal line clearance, then a disallowed goal, and then another goal line clearance but offside.
Harrison was the injured after half an hour with Firpo on – not the most inspiring choice in terms of defense. The match became disjointed as a medical emergency in the away end led to another delay, with only Chelsea making penetrating runs.
Frustration grew as Phillips was yellow carded near half time for a bad tackle. Leeds now top the crime count of the number of yellow cards in a premier league season (currently 97). Half time brought a rare roar of boos from the crowd for Marsch.
Second half – more of the same
There was no sense of a revival in the second half as Chelsea continued to dominate possession and testing the Leeds defence with a second goal after ten minutes. Bate was subbed early for Klich. On the hour Leeds still had not managed a shot on target.
A rare flicker of attack midway when Rodrigo and Firpo passed the ball and crossed to Raphinha who headed too high. Otherwise Leeds continued to struggle to hold the ball.
More disruption to the match as Raphinha is injured and replaced by Gelhardt, with Cooper attending to a bloody nose.
Llorrente then had a mad moment as he tried to run out of trouble and was dispossessed with Lukaku getting the goal he had been trying to score all night. Leeds had their best attempt on 80 minutes with Gelhardt crossing to Koch who with a clear header could not aim it at the net.
Leeds were again playing with one arm behind their back, out passed, out tackled, too many passes going astray, lack of fire power in attack. Another red card and more injuries.
Man of the Match: Liam Cooper