Three things we learned from Leeds - Chelsea
Leeds - Chelsea started off brightly but ended in a 0-0 draw at Elland Road, which the hosts will be happier about.
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Kai Havertz and Tyler Roberts went close, as both teams hit the crossbar in the first half but couldn’t break through.
Chelsea remain unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel in his first 12 games in charge, while Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds have won just one of their last six games.
Three things we learned
1. Pulisic does okay in hybrid role: This was a 6 out of 10 display. Nothing more. Nothing less. Pulisic, 22, started in the Premier League for the first time under Tuchel and played in a hybrid right wing-back role, not on the left, as Chelsea switched things up in and out of possession. He whipped in some good crosses early on but spent a lot of time defending. Tuchel was said to be shouting at Pulisic a lot during the game and he was clearly told to stay way out on the flank rather than drift inside. That doesn’t suit him and this 69 minute display showcased why he may not slot into Tuchel’s plans on a regular basis.
2. Bamford injury a blow: A whack on the hip ended Patrick Bamford’s game in the first half as he came off injured, and that was a blow for Leeds. He is key to the way they play and his absence highlighted that Rodrigo (who replaced him and was subbed off) can’t step in and have the same impact. Leeds will be hoping this was a small problem and Bamford will be back soon.
3. Lack of goals an issue for Chelsea: They have scored just 13 goals in Tuchel’s 12 games so far. And although they have only conceded twice so far under the German coach, Chelsea lack creativity in the final third. They have a lot of talented individuals in attack but Tuchel has yet to find the right combinations. That has to happen fast but without taking away their newfound defensive solidity. It is a fine balancing act and Tuchel has to find a way to get his more clinical players in more dangerous areas.
Man of the Match: Tyler Roberts - Went close on a few occasions and always looked dangerous out wide and up top.
Chelsea started well and Havertz had a big chance as Pulisic crossed but the German couldn’t bundle the ball home.
At the other end, Leeds had a goal disallowed as Bamford set up Tyler Roberts to tap home but the former was offside.
Chelsea then hit the crossbar in bizarre circumstances as Ayling’s clearance hit Llorente and looped over Meslier, but the ball hit the bar and fell into his arms.
Moments later Leeds hit the bar, as a lovely chip from Tyler Roberts looked destined to go in but Edouard Mendy got a faint touch on it to superbly tip the ball onto the bar.
Ben Chilwell curled a shot just wide as Patrick Bamford came off injured for Leeds.
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Havertz had a great chance but hit it straight at Meslier, while Leeds were a threat on the counter.
Raphinha was denied brilliantly by Mendy, while Pulisic had a tame effort saved by Meslier.
Substitute Reece James deflected Llorente’s shot over as Leeds pushed hard for the winner late on, but the game ended even.