Chelsea 3-1 Leeds United: Giroud powers Blues to top of the Premier League table
Photo: Mike Hewitt

Chelsea are the new Premier League leaders after recovering from an early deficit to defeat Leeds United 3-1 at Stamford Bridge. 

A fourth minute goal by Patrick Bamford gave the Whites an early advantage before Olivier Giroud equalized in the 27th minute, Kurt Zouma put the Blues in front on 62 minutes and Christian Pulisic added a third in second half stoppage time.

Story of the match

Chelsea had the first chance of the match inside of two minutes as Hakim Ziyech latched onto Thiago Silva's ball over the top, took one touch and fired at Ilian Meslier, who saved with his legs. The resulting corner saw Giroud fire just wide.

Two minutes later, Leeds were in front as Kalvin Phillips found the ball at his feet after a clearance and and an inch-perfect pass by Jack Harrison to Bamford, who rounded Edouard Mendy and fired into an empty net to put the hosts ahead 1-0.

The Blues piled on more pressure as Giroud's flick found Timo Werner, who duffed his initial chance from a yard out and sent his second opportunity from four yards away clanging off of the crossbar. The Frenchman then dragged his shot wide after a poor pass by Meslier.

In the 25th minute, Bamford had a chance to double Leeds' lead after Raphinha rolled the ball to him along the penalty area, but Mendy saved comfortably. Two minutes later, Chelsea were level as Giroud converted Reece James' near-post cross.

Mason Mount's corner found the head of Ben Chilwell, the Leeds goalkeeper beating Giroud to the ball. He was clearly the target man as James drilled it low and across goal, but the Chelsea number 18 failed to get a touch on it.

Chilwell tested Meslier in the 48th minute as the Whites keeper made a comfortable save. James' cross then found Kai Havertz, but he applied too much power and lashed it over the Leeds crossbar. At the other end, Raphinha skied over on his second chance after seeing his initial opportunity blocked.

More chances came Chelsea's way, Werner twice being denied by Meslier before the Blues were in front as Mount's corner found Zouma and he fought past the Leeds defense to power his header past the Whites goalkeeper to make it 2-1.

Chilwell picked out Werner, who had a chance to wrap up all three points, but Meslier did well to deny the German. Mount again was provider as he fed an unmarked Giroud, who fired over. 

Six minutes from time, Mateusz Klich sent a lovely reverse pass to Rodrigo, who cut it back for Bamford, but his effort didn't trouble Mendy and in the third minute of extra time, Chelsea sealed all three points as Pulisic bundled past Meslier to send the Blues to the summit.

Man of the match: Olivier Giroud

You could argue it was Mount for his fine build-up play, delivering several excellent crosses, but the Frenchman was involved in every major scoring chance for Chelsea, including the goal that leveled the match and he was a presence throughout before being subbed off in the 79th minute.

Takeaways

Chelsea controlled the middle of the park

Mount and N'Golo Kante were the creators in the midfield, consistently setting up the Blues front men for quality chances through the whole of the match. While Leeds were reliant on Bamford for most of their opportunities, the midfielders, along with James, spread it out to make the Blues dangerous all over the field.

Bamford makes impact against former side

Despite the defeat, Bamford, who spent five years in London, again showed why he's tied with Jamie Vardy and Mohamed Salah for the Golden Boot after his eighth goal of the season. Incredibly, seven have come away from home, but no matter where he's scoring them, the Whites will be happy to see their number nine continue to produce.

VAVEL Logo