Leeds United 3 Chelsea 0: Full-throttle Whites produce breathtaking Blues display to go second

Jesse Marsch's Leeds United side produced a breathtaking and full-throttle performance to easily brush aside historic rivals Chelsea through a 3-0 victory in Sunday's Premier League clash at Elland Road.
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Leeds went ahead in the 33rd minute after superb work from Brenden Aaronson who tapped home into an empty net after brilliant pressing on keeper Edouard Mendy led to the Chelsea stopper losing possession barely one yard out.

Jesse Marsch's Whites then doubled their lead just four minutes later as the thriving Rodrigo headed home his fourth goal of the season from a Jack Harrison free-kick.

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And Leeds capped a superb display and easily their best yet under Marsch when Harrison converted from close range following another rapid Whites break in the 69th minute.

DREAMLAND: Leeds United celebrate going 2-0 up against Chelsea through Rodrigo, centre, after the opening goal from Brenden Aaronson, left.
Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images.DREAMLAND: Leeds United celebrate going 2-0 up against Chelsea through Rodrigo, centre, after the opening goal from Brenden Aaronson, left.
Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images.
DREAMLAND: Leeds United celebrate going 2-0 up against Chelsea through Rodrigo, centre, after the opening goal from Brenden Aaronson, left. Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images.

Chelsea's afternoon then got even worse in the 85th minute when the already-booked Kalidou Koulibaly was sent off after hauling down substitute Joe Gelhardt which earned the Blues defender a second yellow.

The victory took unbeaten Leeds on to seven points out of a possible nine and up to second in the Premier League table ahead of Manchester City’s clash at Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon.

In front of a crowd of 36,372 at a sunny Elland Road, Chelsea almost went ahead after just 36 seconds as Raheem Sterling was played in down the left flank.

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The Blues forward then cut inside into the area and unleashed a curling drive which whistled past Illan Meslier's left-hand post.

United's first attempt arrived three minutes later but Dan James blazed an effort well over the bar from outside the box.

Moments later, the Whites worked an opening for Harrison who cut back in the area only to fire his attempt straight at Mendy.

As part of a breathless start, Ruben Loftus-Cheek made his way into the Whites area but saw his shot blocked and Leeds survived the corner.

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Loftus-Cheek then escaped any punishment after clattering Pascal Struijk in the face.

Back up the other end, a Harrison cross then forced a flying save from Mendy before Koulibaly was booked for the most blatant of shirt pulls on Aaronson to stop a Whites attack.

Chelsea then had the ball in the net in the 15th minute after Sterling had again been played in but the Blues forward was clearly offside and flagged accordingly after converting.

Leeds then went close six minutes later as a Tyler Adams pass deflected through to Rodrigo who unleashed a low attempt from the edge of the box which flew wide.

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But only a fine save from Illan Meslier kept the score goalless two minutes later after Mason Mount had been played through only for his attempted finish to be kept out after quick reactions from the French stopper who scrambled across his line to tip the ball wide.

At the other end, Diego Llorente sent a harmless looping header over the bar from a corner and more good work from the energetic Aaronson then created another opening for Rodrigo who fired straight at Mendy.

But Leeds went ahead in the 33rd minute after fantastic high press from Aaronson who rapidly closed down Blues keeper Mendy and tackled him barely one yard out.

After winning the ball, Aaronson was then left with the simple task of tapping the ball home into an empty net to send Elland Road wild.

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Chelsea then got lucky few moments later when the already-booked Koulibaly caught James with a late challenge but escaped a second yellow.

But Sterling was then booked for tripping Marc Roca on the edge of the Blues area and Leeds used the set piece to double their lead as Harrison sent in a fine delivery and Rodrigo produced a flying leap before flicking home a brilliant header into the far right corner.

Chelsea then had a fine chance to pull a goal back two minutes later as a pullback reached Marc Cucurella who could only flash a poor effort well wide.

And a superb first-half from Leeds then ended with Aaronson unleashing a long-range drive that Mendy saved although Mount would have been for Chelsea in the second minute of added time but for poor control allowing Meslier to smother.

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Chelsea began the second half on the front foot but Cucurella wasted another good opening when walloping a shot over the bar when Adams was down injured.

But back came Leeds and another effort from Rodrigo forced a corner. From a Blues counter, Harrison got back to block a Mount shot and Meslier then produced a brilliant save to put a close range attempt from Gallagher over the bar although three Blues players were offside.

But Leeds continued to cause problems going forward and Harrison's attempt to finish a flowing counter was diverted behind for a corner.

Chelsea then went close as a curling effort from a spinning Gallagher was deflected just wide and Whites boss Marsch made his first change on the hour mark as Adam Forshaw replaced Roca in centre midfield.

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Another fine stop from Meslier then denied Chelsea in the 65th minute as the Frenchman this time tipped a raking James effort just wide.

And just four minutes later the Whites bagged their third goal of the game as Harrison volleyed home from close range after Rodrigo had flicked on a cleared Dan James cross.

The Whites almost added a fourth just two minutes later as Cucurella scrambled a Harrison cross over although Chelsea were awarded a goal kick.

Summer signing Luis Sinisterra was then brought on for James with 20 minutes left and Chelsea were left frustrated again in the 82nd minute when Meslier produced another brilliant save although the Blues were once again offside.

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Leeds were cruising to a memorable victory and Aaronson, Harrison and Rodrigo were all given huge ovations as they were taken off in the 83rd minute for Mateusz Klich, Sam Greenwood and Joe Gelhardt.

And Chelsea's afternoon then got even worse in the 84th minute as Koulibaly hauled down Gelhardt and the Blues centre-back was sent off for the inevitable second booking given the nature of the challenge.

Leeds United: Meslier; Kristensen, Koch, Llorente, Struijk; Adams, Roca (Forshaw 60); James (Sinisterra 70), Harrison (Greenwood 83), Aaronson (Klich 83), Rodrigo (Gelhardt 83). Subs not used: Klaesson, Hjelde, Drameh, Summerville.

Chelsea: Mendy; James, Thiago Silva, Koulibaly; Loftus-Cheek, Gallagher (Pulisic 64), Jorginho (Ziyech 64), Cucurella; Mount (Chilwell 78), Sterling (Azpilicueta 87), Havertz. Subs not used: Kepa, Chilwell, Ampadu, Chalobah, Chukwuemeka, Hudson-Odoi.

Referee: Stuart Attwell.

Attendance: 36,372.