Chelsea 3-2 Leeds United - recap: Marcelo Bielsa reaction to late Stamford Bridge defeat

Leeds United travel to face Chelsea in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge this afternoon amid injuries in Marcelo Bielsa's squad.

By Joe Urquhart
Saturday, 11th December 2021, 8:21 pm

Chelsea sit third in the top flight ahead of kick-off - two points off first place - while the Whites are in 16th and six points above the relegation zone...

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Leeds United take on Chelsea in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.

Chelsea vs Leeds United - LIVE BLOG

Last updated: Saturday, 11 December, 2021, 14:56

  • Leeds travel to face Chelsea in the Premier League
  • Whites face Blues at Stamford Bridge
  • Bielsa’s side are 15th, Tuchel’s outfit are third
  • Kick-off takes place at 3pm
  • ---------------------------------------------------
  • FT: Chelsea 3-2 Leeds United

Welcome to Stamford Bridge for this afternoon’s Premier League clash between Chelsea and Leeds United.

We’ll have live updates right here throughout the afternoon.

Early Chelsea team news

Chelsea have been boosted by the return of midfielder Jorginho but are missing four players for the visit of Leeds United.

Thomas Tuchel has several players missing in West London though he will welcome back Jorginho to his squad for the game against Marcelo Bielsa’s outfit.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was a late absentee in Russia though the midfielder is now available once again.

Key man N’Golo Kante (thigh) remains out alongside Trevoh Chalobah (hamstring) while long-term absentee Ben Chilwell (knee) remains missing.

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is set to return in net despite Kepa Arrizabalaga’s impressive performance in midweek.

Mateo Kovacic is isolating after returning a positive Covid-19 test earlier this week.

Early Leeds United team news

Leeds themselves have four players missing through injury alongside Robin Koch.

England international Kalvin Phillips is set to be out for an extended period along with club captain Liam Cooper with the pair picking up hamstring injuries.

Patrick Bamford is also missing due to a hamstring problem while Rodrigo has a heel issue.

Koch is set to return to training following recent illness having battled a pelvic and hip problem since August.

Leeds United predicted line-up

YEP XI (4-1-4-1): Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Struijk, Firpo; Forshaw; Dallas; Raphinha, James; Klich; Roberts.

What Marcelo Bielsa has said

“I always think that adversity is a stimulant to create or resolve situations,” said United’s head coach, of his side’s injury issues.

“I understand that there’s a certain pessimism because the upcoming games are difficult. Instead of bringing back players, we are creating new absentees.

“But when we play against big teams, I think that there’s an added strength. It comes from when the supposed weak one has the opportunity to win against a team which, before playing them, is better.

“Football has that thing which is so attractive. It allows for the hopes, for the fantasy that contradicts the logical reason.

“So my position is one of optimism and fortitude. And it’s not a position that’s just individual. It’s the conclusions that I make by evaluating the mood of the team.

“I understand that in adversity, one of the responses could be fatalism. But there’s another option.

“That is the optimism, the hope, and the fight. I never say we are going to win.

“I always say that we are going to do our utmost to deserve to win.”

What Thomas Tuchel has said

“It will not stop until you’re in the shower,” Tuchel smiled, when asked about what he expects from facing Leeds on Saturday afternoon.

“We need to be ready for that from the first to the last minute. I expected intensity, runs, man-marking in the opponent’s half, a very unique approach to football and to play against.

“It reminds me a bit of Atalanta [in Italy], very unique. We need to be strong individually and we need to have very strong connections of two or three players, this is how we can impose our quality and this is what you need to do against Leeds.”

Thomas Tuchel’s programme notes

“We face a Leeds team full of intensity, a lot of running and man-marking,” Tuchel wrote in today’s programme.

“They are a very physically fit team and this is what waits for us at Stamford Bridge today, so we have to be prepared for this challenge if we want to get the result we need.”

Cesar Azpilicueta’s captain’s programme notes

“Chelsea against Leeds has always been a big game and it is one we know our supporters look forward to because of the history between these clubs,” writes Azpilicueta.

“We also know that they are a good team, well coached, who will come here with a plan, but we are prepared for that challenge and we look forward to a good match and a great atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge.”

Leeds inspect the pitch

Ayling, Klich, Roberts, Forshaw, Joffy, Cresswell, Shackleton, Jenkins, Summerville all out onto the pitch for Leeds ahead of kick-off.

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