Wesley Fofana’s header from a Ben Chilwell corner secured a much-needed win for Chelsea, with the Blues defeating Leeds 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. The victory will give Chelsea manager Graham Potter some breathing space as he looks to turn the club’s season around. The Blues are currently in 10th place in the table and have some testing league matches ahead of them, but they will take confidence from their win over Leeds.
Leeds huffed and puffed but failed to create any clear-cut chances on the day. The match was not live on TV in the UK due to Uefa blackout rules. Chelsea’s starting lineup included Kepa, Fofana, Koulibaly, Badiashile, Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic, Enzo Fernandez, Chilwell, Sterling, Joao Felix, and Havertz. Leeds’ starting lineup included Meslier, Ayling, Firpo, Koch, Wober, Adams, McKennie, Aaronson, Harrison, Summerville, and Rutter.
Chelsea still have a lot of work to do to turn their season around and secure a top-four finish. However, today’s victory gives them a chance to put some sort of run together. Tottenham’s loss to Wolves today means that talk of a top-four finish is an outside possibility for the Blues.
Enzo Fernandez showed some of his doubters what he was all about today. Completing in excess of 70 passes through the course of the game, the midfielder’s work rate was impressive. It will take time for him to settle into this Chelsea team but he certainly made his mark today.
Todd Boehly, who has spent upwards of £460m on the squad since taking over the club, was at Stamford Bridge to see things first hand. After his side managed to hold onto their slender victory, he seemed happy with the end result.
The Blues did just enough to win this one, but they could have been punished for their defensive lapses on another day against another team. Leeds’ manager Javi Gracia will have to work some miracles to keep his side up this season.
The final whistle was met with a huge cheer at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea managed to get over the line with all three points. Gallagher showed some great passion and willingness to get around the pitch since coming on as a substitute. He is showing a hunger that is lacking in so many players in blue.
Leeds started to press towards the end of the game, realizing that time was running out. However, their final ball was lacking and they failed to trouble Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea goal.
Overall, it was a strange atmosphere at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea fans seemed nervous despite their team leading. A Leeds goal would have completely changed the mood in the stadium. However, Chelsea managed to hold on for the win and will now turn their attention to the Champions League before facing some tough league matches.
Leeds will need to improve their end product if they hope to stay up this season. They are getting themselves into some great positions but are failing to make the most of them. The next goal will be critical for them if they hope to turn their fortunes around.