Leeds United v Chelsea Premier League Saturday 13th March 2021

This was another home game and a test for Leeds United against a Chelsea side who were unbeaten in 11 games under Tuchel.

Leeds kicked off in 11th and Chelsea kicked off in 4th and it was white against blue.  It was also an 100th Leeds United appearance for Patrick Bamford.

So who would win this battle? Would Leeds take a big step towards survival or would Chelsea be the 3rd team in a few weeks to do the double over Leeds?

It was played at Elland Road.

After 7 minutes, Pulisic got down the outside of Alioski and pulled back across low for Havertz.  He got across the near post well, but Ayling did excellently to put him off and Havertz could only shoot straight at Meslier.

Disallowed Leeds goal

A minute later the ball was played forward from the right wing to Bamford who was in behind the Chelsea defence , before he squared it to Roberts to tap home, but Roberts was only just offside.

A couple of minutes later, Chelsea worked it well and there was intricate link-up play between Pulisic, Havertz and Kantr but Kante was tackled in the box.  Ayling smacked it clear but only hit Llorente at close range which blocked the ball inadvertently back over Meslier’s head and onto the bar, very nearly an own goal by Leeds.

On the quarter hour mark, Roberts was on the edge of the box and was seemingly well marshalled but he bent the ball onto the underside of the bar with a right footed shot, Mendy got a slight touch on it.

After 20 minutes, Alioski’s deep cross on the left was headed out by Rudiger ahead of Bamford.

Two minutes later, Harrison crossed a stunning ball across the box towards Bamford in the 6 yard box and again Rudiger put his head where it hurt and cleared it.

Just before the half hour mark, Kante strode forward and had a right footed shot from outside the box which was aiming for the top corner, he won a corner off Struijk’s deflection but the corner was poor and came to nothing.

Just after the half hour mark, Kante turned inside from the right and found Chilwell who bent a left footed shot  just past the post off a Leeds man but the corner came to nothing.

Then three minutes left, a blow for Leeds and possibly England with Gareth Southgate announcing his England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers at the end of this month as Patrick Bamford came off injured.

After 39 minutes, Mount strode forward into the middle and tested Meslier who palmed his right footed shot away from 25 yards.

The last attempt of the first half came in first half stoppage time as Ziyech lifted a lovely ball to attack in the box.  Havertz and Pulisic were on it quickly but Havertz shot straight at Meslier.

Halftime score:  Leeds United 0-0 Chelsea

It was a very entertaining and open first half, Leeds hit the bar at both ends (one inadvertently) and Chelsea had more of the play generally, Leeds would probably take a draw.  How would the 2nd half go?

After 48 minutes the ball was played into Havertz on the edge of the box, where Phillips had him under control, but Havertz lost Phillips and shot straight at Meslier for a corner, which came to nothing.

After 53 minutes Jorginho found Chilwell on the left who smacked the ball into the 6 yard box, but no-one gambled for it and it went past the post to safety. Then Havertz didn’t make good contact with Ziyech’s inswinger from deep on the right before Havertz fed Kante in the box with threaded pass, but came to nothing.

Two minutes later a massive save by Mendy in the Chelsea goal who showed wonderful agility to readjust himself in mid-air. Harrison’s cross was headed back by Rodrigo to Raphinha who turned Azpilicueta and went down the middle, Mendy was already going the wrong way but he stuck out a big left hand to deny him.

Just before the hour mark, Mount found Pulisic on the right side of the box, where he shifted the ball wide and shot straight at Meslier.

Just after the hour, a Leeds corner was cleared to the edge of the box where Alioski’s poor shot on the rebound was blocked.

After 66 minutes, good defending by Pulisic as Costa got past Chilwell and pulled it back into the middle and after a Chelsea deflection it reached Raphinha who was denied by the block from Pulisic.

After 72 minutes, Rudiger strode forward and shot from distance with his right foot from distance which Meslier was at full stretch to keep out.

With 13 minutes to go, the ball was pulled back to Llorente who shot from 20 yards , it took a big deflection off James which sent it  curling away but wide of the post for a corner, the first delivery from the corner was touched by Ayling onto James at the near side and behind for another corner which was headed straight at Mendy by Rodrigo.

After 84 minutes, Chilwell crossed from the left corner but under pressure from Costa could only find Meslier at  the near post..

With three minutes remaining, Meslier stopped a long range effort from Hudson-Odoi which was low and straight at him.

In the first minute of second half stoppage time, quality defending from Christensen as Raphinha was away down the left, but Christensen not only blocked the cross but the ball came off Raphinha last.

In the 3rd and final minute of stoppage time, one last attack for Chelsea as Hudson-Odoi had the ball on the edge of the box and men in the middle, but he attempted a through ball in behind for James and overhit it.

Fulltime score: Leeds United 0-0 Chelsea

So the scoreline may say 0-0 but it wasn’t your average 0-0 as both teams had chances and both teams missed.

Leeds fans will hope Bamford’s injury not too serious.

It means Leeds stayed 11th on 36 points but after one other result on Saturday they dropped a place to 12th, Chelsea remain 4th on 51 points.

Highlights of this game are at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ihq9qLU8RZ4

Next up for Leeds is another trip to the capital (oh oh not again) against relegation-threatened Fulham on Friday 19th March with a 8pm kickoff.

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