Player ratings as Whites dismantle Thomas Tuchel’s men
Football

Player ratings as Whites dismantle Thomas Tuchel’s men


Leeds enjoyed arguably their finest day infront of the Elland Road faithful since returning to the Premier League as they produced an emphatic 3-0 victory over a hapless Chelsea.

Only 35 seconds had ticked over on the clock when a chance went begging for Thomas Tuchel’s men. Raheem Sterling was slipped through by Conor Gallagher but, after skipping past the sliding challenge of Marc Roca, the England international could only steer his finish wide of the post.

The former Manchester City man had the ball in the net shortly after, although the linesman was quick to raise his flag and curb the Chelsea celebrations. At the other end, Rodrigo flashed a dangerous effort across the face of Edouard Mendy’s goal.

Mason Mount then drew a fine diving stop from Illan Meslier after he worked the ball onto his left foot on the edge of the area before neat interplay with Kai Havertz from a long ball.

However, it was the home stride who drew first blood as Edouard Mendy was left with his head in his hands. Brenden Aaronson chased what appeared a fruitless cause in closing down the Chelsea goalkeeper, although both he and Leeds were rewarded when Mendy got the ball stuck in his feet. The American robbed him of possession before knocking the ball into an empty net.

Chelsea were still licking their wounds when Jesse Marsch’s side doubled their advantage four minutes later. Jack Harrison delivered a wicked free-kick from the left, with Rodrigo stealing a march across the front post before glancing his header into the far bottom corner.

Marc Cucurella had a chance to reduce the deficit shortly after the restart after being teed up by Mount on the edge of the penalty area, but the Spaniard ballooned his effort over the crossbar.

A tactical tweak from Tuchel at half-time seen Reece James liberated down the right-hand side, and the Chelsea full-back turned provider for Gallagher from just inside the penalty area. The 22-year-old swivelled and released a left-footed effort, but it deflected inches wide of Illan Meslier’s far post.

However, it was Leeds who had the final say on the afternoon as they added to Tuchel’s woes. Dan James delivered from the left and when Rodrigo failed to generate good contact on his finish, the ball fell invitingly to Jack Harrison who stabbed home on the stretch.

Chelsea’s afternoon was encapsulated six minutes from time when summer signing Kalidou Koulibaly was shown his marching orders for a second bookable offence after hauling down Joe Gelhardt.

Brenden Aaronson, Edouard Mendy

Aaronson robs Mendy of possession / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

GK: Illan Meslier – 7/10 – Made a smart diving save to deny Mount in the first half before thwarting Gallagher from close-range after the interval, albeit the Chelsea midfielder was flagged offside. Excellent display.

RB: Rasmus Kristensen – 6/10 – Diligent in his defensive duties, squeezing up to Cucurella when required to help Leeds retain pressure high up the pitch.

CB: Robin Koch – 6/10 – Faced a difficult task against the rotating cast of Chelsea attackers, but his positional sense was faultless.

CB: Diego Llorente – 6/10 – Never afraid to stick his body infront of any Chelsea efforts, helping provide the backbone to Leeds’ defensive efforts higher up the pitch.

LB: Pascal Struijk – 6/10 – Used his aerial prowess to good effect as a full-back, marshalling the physical presence of Loftus-Cheek commendably in the opening 45 minutes.

CM: Marc Roca – 7/10 – His aggression in being able to supplement Leeds’ attacking quartet off the ball allowed him to stifle several counter-attacks.

CM: Tyler Adams – 7/10 – Formed a really formidable axis with Roca, moving in unison to allow Marsch’s side to sustain their high press.

AM: Brenden Aaronson – 8/10 – Proved excellent at skipping inside Chelsea defenders, drawing an early booking for Koulibaly after leaving the defender in his wake. Equally as effective without the ball, showing impressive endeavour to rob Mendy of possession and open the scoring for Leeds.

AM: Jack Harrison – 8/10 – Pinpoint free-kick towards Rodrigo to stretch Leeds’ lead. A constant threat with his dribbling and supreme close control, capping off his display with a goal.

ST: Dan James – 6/10 – His speed across the ground was crucial to the pressure Leeds exerted when they lost the ball, while his darting runs into the space allowed his side to move the ball forward quickly.

ST: Rodrigo – 7/10 – A pure energetic presence in attack, constantly seeking to attack the space while offering energy without the ball. His header from Harrison’s free-kick was laced with precision to double Leeds’ advantage.

SUB: Adam Forshaw (61′ for Roca) – 6/10 – Helped inject some control to Leeds’ performance in the second half.

SUB: Luis Sinisterra (78′ for James) – N/A

SUB: Sam Greenwood (83′ for Harrison) – N/A

SUB: Mateusz Klich (83′ for Aaronson) – N/A

SUB: Joe Gelhardt (83′ for Rodrigo) – N/A

Manager: Jesse Marsch – 8/10 – His style of play mirrors that of the energy generated by the Elland Road crowd, while Brenden Aaronson appears a very shrewd addition.

Kai Havertz

Chelsea react after going 2-0 down inside the first half / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

GK: Edouard Mendy – 3/10 – A howler of the highest order to gift Leeds their opener, dwelling on the ball to allow Aaronson to rob him of possession.

RCB: Reece James – 6/10 – Wasted playing in such a conservative role on the right-hand side of defence. Improved when he had license to motor forward in the second half.

CB: Thiago Silva – 5/10 – Allowed Rodrigo to drift onto his blindside once too often. Lacked conviction in his defensive duels which is very uncharacteristic.

LCB: Kalidou Koulibaly – 2/10 – Booked early in the contest for hauling back Brenden Aaronson and never looked quite as assured as he did against Tottenham seven days ago. Played James onside for Leeds’ third goal before being given his marching orders for bizarrely hauling down Gelhardt.

RWB: Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 3/10 – Passed up a glorious shooting opportunity inside the opening five minutes. Moved infield to play alongside Jorginho after a disastrous first half for the Blues.

CM: Jorginho – 4/10 – Chelsea could have done with a midfielder capable of dropping to alleviate pressure, but the Italian often struggles in these situations.

CM: Conor Gallagher – 3/10 – Looked an awkward fit in a midfield two, struggling to gain control of the ball amid Leeds’ relentless pressure. Pushed into a more advanced role after the restart.

LWB: Marc Cucurella – 5/10 – Always looked to penetrate with his passing, but his forays into the final third were limited.

RAM: Mason Mount – 6/10 – Showed a couple of promising moments, but he is at his best when he has a more physical focal point to play into.

LAM: Raheem Sterling – 6/10 – Constantly looked to exploit the space down the right-hand side of Leeds’ defence, threatening early with a goal that was flagged offside.

ST: Kai Havertz – 3/10 – Played on the fringes of the game, struggling to impose his physical frame against Leeds’ defensive line. Fortunate not to be withdrawn for either Pulisic or Ziyech.

SUB: Christian Pulisic (63′ for Gallagher) – 5/10 – Offered energy to the Blues’ attack but it was in vain after Leeds’ third goal of the afternoon.

SUB: Hakim Ziyech (63′ for Jorginho) – 5/10 – Looked to unleash at goal as often as he could, but the spark had dissipated from Chelsea’s second half display by the time he was introduced.

SUB: Ben Chilwell (78′ for Mount) – N/A

SUB: Cesar Azpilicueta (87′ for Sterling) – N/A

Manager: Thomas Tuchel – 5/10 – His side had their moments early in the game, but he needs to find a way to reconfigure his toothless attack. An alarmingly soft underbelly is also developing.



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