Chelsea gift-wrapped three points and three goals to the home side at Elland Road today, in a performance that will be overshadowed by the scoreline but is a testament to just how massively games can change in only one moment.
As expected, Leeds came out with an absolute madcap press and running about as if their hair was on fire, but Chelsea should’ve taken the lead inside the first minute, when Sterling worked an excellent chance but put his finish on the wrong side of the post. Chances from Loftus-Cheek and Mount followed, while Sterling had another excellent chance that he did finish but saw rightly called back for offside.
And then it all changed just past the half-hour mark, as Mendy had an unthink and gifted the ball to Aaronson, who tapped in from a yard. Leeds, in their only two minutes of true ascendancy, quickly scored a second from a set piece, which can happen.
Chelsea regrouped at half, with a formation shift, but continued the theme by wasting three chances in quick succession soon after the restart, Cucurella, Mount, and Gallagher getting in on the act.
And then Leeds scored a third with their first shot in the half, because that’s how such games go.
Chelsea’s misery was completed when Koulibaly collected his second yellow late on.
- One change from last weekend, Gallagher replacing the injured Kanté, to exactly match the people’s choice from the community voting.
- Half-time formation shift to 4-3-3, with James and Cucurella as full backs, Loftus-Cheek in the middle alongside Jorginho and Gallagher pushing up.
- Pulisic and Ziyech on just past the hour-mark as Chelsea give up playing any midfield whatsoever. Chilwell for Mount later on, playing as a winger? Azpi on for Sterling after K2’s red to add some semblance of shape back into the team, not that it matter.
- Next up: Leicester City at home on Saturday