Chelsea strolled to Elland Road to take on its second relegation-struggling side in as many weeks. The Blues needed a win after dropping a plethora of points lately, but many feared the hostile environment and recent performances would see Thomas Tuchel’s team put on another sluggish display. The visitors came out firing as Mason Mount’s stunning goal put them up 1-0 within the opening five minutes. Chelsea controlled the game for the remainder of the half, especially following a Daniel James red card inside 20 minutes. Despite the dominance, Tuchel’s men had little to show for it with a slim 1-0 advantage heading into the break.
They didn’t need to wait long for an insurance goal though as Christian Pulisic doubled the Blues’ advantage in the opening 15 minutes of the second half. The second half tempo matched much of that of the first 45 minutes. Chelsea continued to comfortably control the contest with constant pressure, Leeds could only construct a couple of counter attacks. The back three had little to do on the night, this was especially the case after Romelu Lukaku slotted home the visitors’ third goal. Three points have the Blues sitting pretty in the top four race. They’re now able to sit back and potentially quality for the Champions League before they step foot on a pitch again. Regardless of the league race, it was a massive momentum boost ahead of the FA Cup final this weekend.
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Here is how each player fared in the all-important victory at Elland Road:
Edouard Mendy (Goalkeeper): 7.5/10
Edouard Mendy was hardly called upon, but when he was, he was ready to gather the ball with confidence. The question isn’t what rating the Senegalese keeper he deserves, it’s whether or not he finished the book he could’ve spent the game reading.
Trevoh Chalobah (Right centerback): 8.5/10
It was a confident return to action for Trevoh Chalobah, who will hopefully be out of the doghouse following his extended stay on the sideline. Chalobah provided some surefire cover at the back alongside two players who have been relatively out of form lately. Tuchel should surely take note of the outing he had against Leeds, especially given the big games remaining this season.
Andreas Christensen (Centerback): 7.5/10
This was one of the better performances Andreas Christensen has had of late—not that that’s a difficult feat to achieve. Christensen commanded the back line through the center, even managing to remain calm under one or two threatening counterattacks from the Leeds forwards. Perhaps the best part of the Dane’s game though was his distribution of it. Christensen passed the ball around the pitch with precision and pace, two qualities that have been missing in the team lately.
Antonio Rudiger (Left Centerback): 7.5/10
It was the typical performance that Chelsea fans are accustomed to seeing from Antonio Rudiger nowadays, minus the [Daniel James]housery. His battle with the aforementioned former Manchester United winger was supposed to be the match to watch in this game, but the Leeds forward’s red card quickly altered that narrative. Quiet night overall for the German.