Updated: Dec 29, 2021
As cold as ice: Jorginho converts two spot kicks as Chelsea power past Leeds at Stamford Bridge.
Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).
After picking up just one win in their last four games, Chelsea looked to regain form against an injury-riddled Leeds side at Stamford Bridge.
Although the game perhaps looked to contain less fire than the 1970 FA Cup final, there was still certainly a lot on the line for both teams. The Blues lost their last Premier League encounter last week at the London Stadium and looked to set the record straight on home soil.
Ahead of the game, Thomas Tuchel made seven changes to the team that played out a 3-3 draw in Saint Petersburg on Wednesday. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jorginho – who both returned from minor injuries – were two of the seven that were shuffled into the pack.
Thomas Tuchel demanded a reaction from his side, which is exactly what he got in the early stages as the Blues started brightly, The players fed off the attending supporters who were in full voice from the opening whistle.
In the opening 15 minutes, there was a flurry of attempts from the hosts with Mason Mount’s the only one to hit the target.
Despite Chelsea’s dominance, Leeds held their own and showed the champions of Europe exactly what they’re capable of. Raphinha forced a great save from Édouard Mendy, who had his former Rennes teammate at full stretch.
On the 27th minute, the Whites took a shock lead as Marcos Alonso brought down the electric Dan James inside the penalty area. Raphinha converted from 12 yards, with Bielsa’s side ahead.
Chelsea were in control of the ball but were still yet to test the Leeds goalkeeper. The Blues lacked a cutting edge and looked second best in the game.
With that being said, Tuchel’s side eventually found their feet with Mason Mount converting an equaliser just minutes before the half-time whistle. Kai Havertz also had a couple of chances to find another goal but failed to find the back of the net.
After a promising first half, Bielsa’s Leeds began the second half well with Jack Harrison testing Mendy in the opening five minutes. The Blues however responded with efforts of their own, as Timo Werner’s header was saved by Meslier.
Just 10 minutes into the second half, defender Antonio Rüdiger was brought down inside the penalty area. Referee Chris Kavanagh was eventually directed to the monitor before pointing to the spot.
Coolly done, Jorginho converted the penalty with Chelsea ahead.
Leeds responded as Mateusz Klich and Tyler Roberts fired shots towards goal – with the latter of the two landing on target. Even though Chelsea were ahead, the three points were not in the bag with the visitors still very much in the game.
Just 81 seconds after entering the field, 19-year-old Joe Gelhardt finished from close range as Leeds were prepared to upset the odds again.
The Whites hang on the point by defending well. They reached the final few minutes of stoppage time before Rüdiger was fouled inside the penalty area again with Chris Kavanagh pointing straight to the penalty spot.
Once again, Jorginho converted to fire Chelsea ahead again with Stamford Bridge erupting.
After the whistle:
It wasn’t pretty, but Thomas Tuchel’s did just about enough to pick up all three points in what proved to be a tricky contest. The Blues were fortunate to pick up the result, especially given that two out of three of their goals were penalties.
A concern for the German will be Chelsea’s defence, which shipped in goals yet again. The Blues have now conceded eight goals in their previous three games, which completely contradicts their earlier form.
Regardless, putting the performance aside, the Blues picked up three valuable points which allows them to keep up with both Manchester City and Liverpool – who also won by narrow margins.
Next up for Chelsea is a home game against Everton on Thursday which sees a reunion with former manager Rafa Benitez.
Leeds on the other hand face a tough assignment as they travel to Manchester on Tuesday to take on City at the Etihad.
Chelsea 3-2 Leeds United.
- Raphinha (28’ pen).
- Mount (42’).
- Jorginho (58’ pen, 90+4’ pen).
- Gelhardt (83’).
BBC Sports Player of the match:
Joe Gelhardt (Leeds United).
Chelsea (3-4-3): Mendy; Azpilicueta © (74’), Silva, Rüdiger; James, Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Alonso (87’); Mount, Havertz, Werner (74’).
- Subs: Christensen (74’), Hudson-Odoi (74’), Lukaku (87’).
Leeds United (4-3-1-2): Meslier; Dallas, Ayling ©, Llorente, Firpo; Shackleton (57’), Forshaw, Roberts; Harrison; Raphinha (82’), James (87’).
- Subs: Klich (59’), Gelhardt (82’), Cresswell (87’).
Chelsea (58%) vs Leeds United (42%).
Chelsea (16) vs Leeds United (12).
Shots on target:
Chelsea (6) vs Leeds United (5).
Chelsea (5) vs Leeds United (2).
Chelsea (9) vs Leeds United (15).
- (credit | BBC Sport).
- (credit | Sky Sports Football).