In search of their second win of the season, Chelsea marched to Elland Road for a clash with Leeds United in the third game of the Premier League on Sunday afternoon (August 21).
Thomas Tuchel’s men were especially miserable against the whites, only to lose 0-3 away. Brendan Aaronson, Rodrigo Morenoand Jack Harrison found the back of the net to give Elland Road a memorable afternoon against their old rivals.
Chelsea started the game in good form, taking less than a minute to open up their first chance of the game. Raheem Sterling found himself in an attractive position inside the box but pulled his shot away from the target.
Four minutes later, the Pensioners knocked Leeds out with a quick counterattack. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the man behind the attack, had a chance to finish at the start but ended up letting the ball touch more and the chance became a reality.
In the 15th minute, Sterling turned his head to celebrate as he put the ball in the net with an inspired cut. To his disappointment, the final goal was ruled out for offside. Five minutes later, Leeds had their first chance in the game with Rodrigo scoring from a tight angle. To Elland Road’s disappointment, his efforts narrowly missed the mark.
After just half an hour, Leeds scored the first goal of the game, thanks to a crazy moment from Edouard Mendy and a great bit of prediction from Aaronson.
Four minutes later, Rodrigo doubled the home side’s advantage, as Harrison narrowly hit the free-kick with a header from close range. Chelsea’s new contract Marc Cucurella There was a chance to shorten the lead for the visitors in the 40th minute, but his left-back was unable to continue scoring.
Cucurella had another very good chance early in the second half but, again, his finish let him down, with his effort soaring over the bar considerably. West Londoners created a couple of good chances thanks to Conor Gallagher and Reece James 57 minutes and 65 minutes respectively. While Gallagher’s effort (via a Marc Roca shot) drifted across the post, James’ effort was thwarted by Illan Meslier.
Already a bit under the space, Leeds counterattacked back in the 69th minute, scoring their third goal of the night Harrison. The goal, a fairly simple touch from close range, sent the game far beyond the visitors.
In the 84th minute, things went from bad to worse for Tuchel’s side, as their newly acquired centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly see the second yellow in the match. Playing with 10 men for the final 10 minutes, the Blues were unable to produce anything substantial and they seemed to have accepted their fate.
Here are the five Chelsea stars who underperformed in the 3-0 loss to Leeds United on Sunday afternoon:
# 5 Jorginho
Chelsea central midfielder Jorginho was one of the most experienced players on the pitch on Sunday. Unfortunately, the Italian didn’t make good use of his experience, he struggled to come up with anything to write home about. He rarely takes risks on the pitch, his passes are rarely risky and he is often brushed aside by opponents.
Against Jesse Marsch’s side, Jorginho failed to make a key pass, lost 5/11 duels, ceded possession 5 times and dribbled 3 times. Understandably, he was substituted for Hakim Ziyech in the 64th minute.
#4 Kai Havertz
After loaning out Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea took a big gamble on attacking midfielders switching to strikers Kai Havertz. The German has the quality to make opponents pay, but he also has a rather irritable habit of often disappearing from matches, something we witnessed against Leeds.
Havertz rarely did anything of note against the Peacocks on Sunday, failing to score a shot on target throughout the game. His second-half performance was better in terms of his ability to engage in constructive play, but he failed to deliver the necessary goal threat.
In the match against Leeds, Havertz failed to take a shot, failed on both dribbles, lost eight touchdowns and three mid-air disputes, and ceded possession 13 times. He also fouled three times and was offside on a couple of occasions.
#3 Raheem Sterling
Former Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling has been impressive in pre-season games for Chelsea, but has yet to display the same level of confidence in competitive games. The Englishman had a chance to open the scoring in the first minute on Sunday, but ended up prolonging his effort. Aside from the off-target scoring effort, Sterling failed to take a shot on Sunday.
Sterling was also unsuccessful in three of his four dribbling attempts, losing four of his five duels and ceding possession nine times. He was also caught offside twice and booked for a rough foul on Roca in the 36th minute, allowing Leeds to take a free kick in a dangerous area. Harrison takes the free kick and finds Rodrigo inside the box, who headed home Leeds’ second from close range.
#2 Edouard Mendy
Widely hailed as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, Edouard Mendy endured an unusually stressful afternoon on Sunday. He lost control of his area, misplaced three long balls (eight times in total), lost a duel and made a mistake that led to Leeds United’s first-half opener.
For some reason, Mendy held the ball too long against Aaronson. He then tried to put him in, but the midfielder was quick to pick up the ball from his toe and finish from close range. Mendy couldn’t do much to save the remaining two goals, but his first-half mistake cost the Londoners confidence.
#1 Kalidou Koulibaly
Former Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly was one of the Blues’ standout players in last Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, scoring the first goal of the game. Against Leeds, he looked like a shadow of his stellar self, making blunders and second-guessing every move.
Right in the 9th minute, the Senegal player blatantly pulled Aaronson’s shirt after being beaten by this central defender. The referee showed the right yellow card for him.
In the 69th minute, he felt out of place with the rest of Chelsea’s backline playing Daniel James on the side. The Welshman found Rodrigo in the box, he mis-controlled, allowing Harrison to intercept and concede home.
Fifteen minutes later, Koulibaly deliberately pulled Joe Gelhardt down after the youngster hit him, prompting the referee to show a second yellow card.
Koulibaly also lost three matches on the ground, mishandled eight long balls and 16 passes, and ceded possession 16 times against Leeds United.