Leeds United put in one of their best performances in recent memory to beat Chelsea in the Elland Road sunshine.
It might’ve been a totally different afternoon had Sterling managed to put away his chance within the first 40 seconds. He drifted inside from the left, opting to shoot on the third opportunity, curling the shot just wide from the edge of the box. Sterling made no mistake when a similar chance cropped up later in the half, but his goal was disallowed for offside.
The Whites pressed the visitors hard, fashioning a couple half-chances from winning the ball in the Chelsea half. It quickly turned feisty, with Adams targeting Conor Gallagher, and Koulibaly picking up an early yellow card after Aaronson turned him inside-out.
Leeds’ pressing paid off on 34 minutes when Brenden Aaronson followed the ball all the way back to Mendy between the sticks for Chelsea. He received the ball and tried to chop the ball out the way of Aaronson’s challenge, but he couldn’t stop Aaronson from sneaking a foot in and leaving Mendy stranded while the American tapped the ball into an empty net.
MENDY!— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 21, 2022
The Chelsea goalkeeper has had a shocker and Brenden Aaronson pounces to give Leeds United the lead! pic.twitter.com/BhFGost0gT
The home side doubled their lead just three minutes later, as Jack Harrison’s free-kick from the left corner of the box was met by Rodrigo, whose looping header gave Mendy no chance as the ball nestled in the bottom right corner of the net.
IT'S TWO!— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 21, 2022
What a header that is from Rodrigo! pic.twitter.com/otDpmqw5WU
Chelsea came out from the break on a mission to stun Leeds early on. Cucurella, Mount, Gallagher and Reece James had chances, with Meslier making huge saves against the latter two.
Leeds bided their time and were rewarded for their patience with a third goal. James’ ball in the box broke for Rodrigo who played it on to Harrison who went full stretch to prod the ball home at the near post, sending Elland Road into raptures once more.
Chelsea have huffed and puffed in the second half, but Leeds look to have delivered the killer blow— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) August 21, 2022
Jack Harrison pokes home from close range to surely seal the points for Jesse Marsch's side.#LUFC 3️⃣ ➖ 0️⃣ #CFC
The drama didn’t end there, as Kalidou Koulibaly earned himself a second yellow card when he fouled Joe Gelhardt to stop a late counter-attack, giving the referee no choice but to send him back to the dressing room early.
An incredible performance from Leeds, and truly one for the fans. The work rate of the Leeds players earned them the three points, and this will be a performance they will be looking to replicate going forward, but that is much easier said than done.
For now, the Leeds fans and players alike can enjoy a stellar performance and result to cap-off the week.