All our stars were aligned for this match. Mendy the keeper having an off day. Leeds stopped Chelsea playing. Scoring goals in both halves and stopping Chelsea from scoring – wise use of offside. Chelsea had more possession, more shots on goal. But Leeds converted their shots into goals. It was a complete performance: Leeds United 3: Chelsea FC 0.
The trouble with Chelsea is that in recent years Leeds United rarely beat them. In our last match with Chelsea last season we were comfortably beaten 3-0. The odds going into this match was certain loss. Marsch has delivered, in this defining moment, a different Leeds team from last season.
Marsch has chosen a largely unchanged first team, Bamford out with a knock and James replacing him, who was sent off playing them last season. The striker issue remains: James is not our second striker, Gelhardt is one season away from being that second striker, and the club have yet to find a suitable candidate before the transfer window closes.
After last week’s disappointing draw against Southampton Marsch needs to be sharper when he makes substitutions – he showed he can do it by turning round the first game of the season with his substitutes against Wolves.
Rodrigo is the form player from the first two matches with his three goals. It looks like he has finally found his mojo. Kristensen is the worst performing player – he is new and has yet to match the pace of the premier league.
One talking point before this match is Tuchel’s dangerous handshake with Conte from last week’s derby with Spurs, earning him a red card. Marsch publicly stated he should therefore be bannned from the touchline, but the Premier League have suspended the ban. Which makes for a difficult ‘hello’ between the two at the start of the match.
Chelsea have strengthened over the summer with Raheem Sterling and Connor Gallagher and Marc Cucurella with them.
The game is lively from the first minute with Sterling having a speculative short on goal – Dan James’ own first effort is less impressive. Chelsea start aggressively with an elbow to Struijk and offensively on goal, and crowding Leeds into their own half. Leeds struggle to get out of their own half, desperately trying to play out from the back. Sterling finds the net but is ruled off side.
Rodrigo is playing in front of James. Harrison and Aaronson are crossing the ball in to him. For Chelsea Mason Mount is our bogey player scoring in both matches last season has a shot on target well saved by Meslier.
Leeds’ tactic is to crowd out Chelsea when on the ball to force errors. Chelsea looking to play over Leeds’ midfield. Chelsea restrict Leeds to one corner and two shots on target in the first half hour.
A moment of madness by Mendy when the ball is played back to him as Leeds pressure Chelsea trying to play out from the back. Aaronson chases him down. Mendy tries to be cool with a flick which goes dreadfully wrong and Aaronson pickpockets the ball and scores the easiest goal he can imagine. Elland Road roars.
Chelsea are rattled, hacking down James. Then Sterling is yellow carded. Before Chelsea can regather Leeds have a corner. Marsch’s set piece works as Rodrigo slots in between two Chelsea defenders to head the ball home. Rodrigo does his crazy dance.
Chelsea respond by dominating possession to half time. Solid defending by Leeds restrict Chelsea. Corners are easily managed, Leeds pressuring Chelsea on the ball and chasing loose balls. Set pieces by Marsch get the goals for Leeds in the first half. Harrison and Aaronson have hit it off as friends always have a little meeting before corners and free kicks.
Strong start to second half by Chelsea forcing Leeds into their penalty box for the first 15 minutes. Leeds play offside trap well when Chelsea have chances but its only Chelsea having shots on goal.
James chases the ball to the touchline with James crossing into the box, Rodrigo gets a foot to it which pushes the ball to Harrison who scores the third goal whilst Chelsea are left watching. This is game over for Chelsea.
Chelsea look for a consolation goal. Struijk, playing at Left Back, not his usual position, makes a brave header to deny Chelsea. Short break for a head injury. Late pressure from Chelsea with a powerful strike on goal which hits their own player. It is that kind of afternoon for Chelsea.
Three substitutions. Standing ovation for Harrison, Rodrigo and Aaronson. Klich on to support midfield. Klich’s job seems to be kick the ball away to waste time. Gelhardht and Greenwood to add energy to the forwards.
Koulibaly drags down Gelhardt heading for goal earns himself a second yellow card. Chelsea down to ten men for the last five minutes. Leeds chase every ball to the last minute which Chelsea cannot handle.
It has been a tough match to watch at times as Chelsea controlled the game and created many chances. But Leeds harried Chelsea, ran further, and converted its opportunities. It is a challenge to decide who is man of the match. Harrison ran the ball to the touchline and crossed, Aaronson and Harrison delivered the set pieces. But it was Rodrigo as the captain who led from the front shooting at every opportunity.
Man of the match: Rodrigo