'It was so hard. They run everywhere' - Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud left 'really impressed' by Leeds United
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The Whites' were well beaten at Stamford Bridge, as they failed to make the most of an impressive start in the capital striking the first blow through their in-form number nine.
Patrick Bamford - who was returning to his former club - scored his eighth of the season, pouncing on an inch-perfect pass from Kalvin Phillips after just four minutes to open the scoring as he rounded onrushing goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
United's resistance, though, was broken in the 27th minute as Giroud got on the end of a Reece James cross at the near-post to even the scoreline.
The French forward had caused problems for Leeds in the early stages, seeing team-mate Timo Werner block a headed effort on the line before hitting the bar.
He then flashed a shot low effort inches wide of the mark as he intercepted a stray pass from stopper Illan Meslier.
Leeds struggled to impose themselves on the game following the half-time interval and defender Kurt Zouma leapt highest to power a header past Meslier to put the hosts in control, despite Liam Cooper's complaints of a foul.
VAR cast its eye over the incident, which saw the Whites' skipper left in a heap on the floor at a corner, but judged the clash to have been a natural coming together and the effort stood.
Substitute Christian Pulisic then completed the scoring deep into injury-time with Leeds committing men forward searching for an elusive equaliser.
Despite the defeat to Frank Lampard's outfit, the visitors left a lasting impression on Giroud - who says it was one of the toughest workouts he has faced in recent months on his first top flight start of the campaign.
"We really wanted to win for [the fans] and carry on the good momentum," the 34-year-old said post-match.
"Honestly, we were not surprised to face this team [Leeds] because we knew their qualities. We conceded early and wanted to bounce back straight away.
"They [Leeds] were one of the best teams I have faced since a few months. Physically they run everywhere. It was so hard.
"It's a great feeling to win tonight and they drew against Man City and lost just to Liverpool. They really impress me. They are a good team.
"I feel good and confident. I play with serenity. I had the opportunity to score again today and help the team.
"I am happy for the squad and the staff. We work hard in training. We have faith in our game plan and get better and better. The confidence is here and we want to keep that."
Giroud bagged four times in midweek against Sevilla in the Champions League - which included a perfect hat-trick - but was put through his paces by the Leeds backline in West London.
Asked about his levelling goal and the continuation of his recent strong form, he added: "That's a good cross from Reece James and I try to stay onside.
"We work hard at training and take so much pleasure on the pitch. It's good when you can show it at the weekend. It's why we enjoy playing together."