News Matches

Chelsea v Leeds United Match Report, 05/12/2020

3 - 1
O. Giroud (27)
K. Zouma (61)
C. Pulišić (90+3)
P. Bamford (4)
Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 3-1 Leeds United: Giroud and Zouma lead Blues to Premier League summit
22:01 GMT 05/12/2020
Giroud cropped
Chelsea battled back to claim a 3-1 win over Leeds United that takes them top of the Premier League.

Olivier Giroud's hot goalscoring form continued as Chelsea came from behind to claim a 3-1 win over Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday, sending the Blues top.

Former Chelsea player Patrick Bamford put Leeds ahead with their first shot of the game as Chelsea were punished on the counterattack.

Giroud, who scored all four of Chelsea's goals in a Champions League win over Sevilla during the week, equalised just before the half-hour with an instinctive close-range finish.

Chelsea went ahead when Kurt Zouma headed in from a corner and the hosts finished Leeds off in stoppage time thanks to Christian Pulisic.

Leeds went ahead in the fourth minute when Bamford got on the end of a superb pass from Kalvin Phillips and nipped past Edouard Mendy before guiding the ball into the vacant net.

It helped Bamford, who left Stamford Bridge in 2017 without making a first-team appearance, take his tally of Premier League away goals to seven – the joint-best alongside Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Leicester's Jamie Vardy.

Timo Werner should have done better when the ball dropped to him from a corner but he could only scuff a close-range finish and then somehow struck the crossbar when it seemed easier to score.

Chelsea got themselves back on level terms when a low cross from Reece James was met by Giroud, who directed the ball past Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier at his near post.

Frank Lampard was forced to make a change when Hakim Ziyech left the field clutching his hamstring and was replaced by Pulisic.

The intensity of the first half continued after the break, with a last-ditch block denying Raphinha for Leeds before Werner saw two efforts saved by Meslier.

Zouma climbed highest to meet a Mason Mount corner just after the hour and powerfully headed the ball past Meslier to put the home side ahead.

The Chelsea defender has four goals in 10 Premier League games this season, as many as he managed in his first 141 games in the competition

Pulisic put the gloss on the result in the third minute of added time when he tapped home from Werner's cross as Leeds were caught on the break.

What does it mean? Lampard gets one over on Bielsa

This was Lampard's first meeting with Marcelo Bielsa since the 2018-19 Championship season when he was in charge of Derby county, and a row between the two erupted over the 'spygate' affair.

Bielsa has won three of their five meetings but Lampard narrowed the gap with his second victory over his Leeds counterpart here.

Arguably of greater satisfaction for Lampard will the fact this victory sent Chelsea top of the Premier League table, although Tottenham and Liverpool will both climb back above them with victories on Sunday.

Evergreen Giroud on target again

For all of the hype around the attacking talents of Kai Havertz and Werner, it is the most experienced member of Chelsea's forward line who has impressed the most recent recently.

Giroud now has 13 goals in his last 13 starts in all competitions for Chelsea and became the first Chelsea player to score in six consecutive Premier League starts since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in October 2001.

Nervous Llorente poor in possession

Leeds were dealt a blow early on when defender Robin Koch limped out of the action clutching his knee and was replaced by Diego Llorente.

Bielsa's side lost their composure at the back, especially whenever Llorente was on the ball as he gave possession away 19 times - more than any other Leeds player.

Key Opta facts

- Chelsea have finished a day top of the Premier League table for the first time since September 2018.
- Chelsea have beaten Leeds in what is their first league encounter since May 2004, while it is their third consecutive victory against them in all competitions.
- Chelsea have won four of their last five Premier League games (D1) - indeed, no current Premier League side is on a longer unbeaten run than the Blues (nine – W5 D4).
- Christian Pulisic became the 13th different player to score for Chelsea in the Premier League this season – the Blues have had at least four more than any other side in the competition in 2020-21(excluding own goals).
- Leeds have conceded five goals from set pieces (excluding penalties) in the Premier League this season, only Leicester have conceded more from such situations (6).

What's next?

Chelsea host Russian side Krasnodar in their final Champions League group fixture on Tuesday, while Leeds welcome West Ham to Elland Road in the Premier League on Friday.