Chelsea entered the game with just one win in the last 11 games and pressure piling on Graham Potter to deliver the results. There have been a flurry of reports over Potter’s future. The former Brighton man needs to deliver results or he will face the axe.
Potter rang three changes and set up his side in a 3-4-3 formation. Chelsea started with the right intensity and tempo, pushing forward. Chelsea came close to scoring in the first half but once again the lack of killer touch to let them down.
Wesley Fofana scored from a corner to end Chelsea’s goal drought as the Blues scored their first goal in 397 minutes of football. Chelsea finally managed to secure their first win since the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in January as Potter managed to keep his doubters silent for now after a round display from the team.
Kepa Arrizabalaga had very little to do in the first half, though he had to remain alert as Leeds were able to create a couple of openings in the Chelsea defence. The Spaniard largely remained untroubled but nonetheless was solid when he had to intervene. Kepa made a last minute save from a Leeds Corner as Illan Meslier’s header was straight into Kepa’s hands.
Wesley Fofana, playing on the left side of the back three, looked composed and was useful at both ends of the pitch. Fofana put Chelsea in front, scoring a towering header. The Frenchman was defensively sound and did not allow Leeds’ Jack Harrison to create any goalscoring chances or get into dangerous positions.
Benoit Badiashile was probably the more active centre back, as he played high up the pitch and combined with Chilwell. Badiashile was brilliant playing in the back three, looking courageous and making important interventions.
Kalidou Koulibaly, playing in the centre of the defence was robust and dominant, winning balls and making important blocks. He did make an error which could’ve cost the Blues but Kepa was alert and made amends. The Senegalese made a crucial block, stopping Georginio Rutter’s effort from close range.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek played as a right wing back and looked anonymous for the most part of the game. He was not able to support Sterling in the way Chilwell was supporting Felix on the left side. The Englishman wasn’t actively involved but had a few moments in the second half where he pushed in the attack. Loftus-Cheek was taken off for Trevoh Chalobah.
Ben Chilwell, playing in the left wing back role, was determined going forward, swinging in crosses. The Englishman also got into scoring positions and had a shot dragged wide. Chilwell registered an assist as his corner was put in the back of the net by Fofana. Chilwell was constantly looking to get forward as he orchestrated the role of a full back brilliantly.
Enzo Fernandez looked dynamic, precise and omnipresent as he was an integral part of running the show in the Chelsea midfield. It was another superb display for the Argentine as he continues to grow and make a mark since signing for Chelsea in January. To add some pace on the flanks, Fernandez came off for Noni Madueke.
Mateo Kovacic looked in his element, driving the ball forward from pressured situations and being available for receiving a pass. He and Fernandez worked well in sync in the middle of the park. Kovacic was taken off in the second half as Carney Chukwuemeka came on.
Joao Felix was brilliant in the first half, being right at the centre of things. The Portuguese came close to scoring with his effort hitting the underside of the bar. Felix was impressive as he constantly tried to get up the pitch and drive the ball forward, sometimes succeeding and sometimes seeing his path blocked. He was taken off for Denis Zakaria.
Kai Havertz had a golden chance to score in the 15th minute, he was almost one on one with Illan Meslier but the Frenchman stopped Havertz and did not allow him to score. The German was decent, getting into the spaces but he still looked underwhelming in front of the goal.
Raheem Sterling was electric on the right, getting forward in dangerous positions and cutting the ball back and causing a lot of problems for Junior Firpo. The former Manchester City winger was proving to be a nightmare for Firpo as he was marauding forward from the right flank and creating chances and constantly looking dangerous. He came off for Conor Gallagher in the second half.
Gallagher came on for Sterling and looked decent on the right.
Zakaria came on for Felix, perhaps to add more solidity to the midfield.
Chukwuemeka had half a chance to score as he twisted and turned in the Leeds box but his shot was blocked.
Madueke had a few moments on the ball but he couldn’t produce anything magical.
Chalobah replaced Loftus-Cheek in the right wing back role.
Who was Chelsea’s best performer against Leeds?