Premier League

Leeds 0-3 Chelsea: Player ratings as Blues dent Leeds' slim survival hopes

Krishan Davis
Lukaku got a deserved goal
Lukaku got a deserved goal / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages
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Chelsea simultaneously tightened their grip on a top four place and deepened ten-man Leeds' relegation woes with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Elland Road on Wednesday night.

The match was essentially decided in the first half, with Mason Mount's emphatic finish giving the visitors an early lead before Dan James was given a straight red card for a reckless, high challenge on Mateo Kovacic.

Chelsea silenced a raucous home crowd with just four minutes on the clock. Mount rounded off a fine passing move by running onto Reece James' cut-back and planting an unerring side-foot finish into the roof of the net.

Mount was involved again two minutes later, zipping a low ball across the box, but Romelu Lukaku was unable to get on the end of it. The England international then had another go himself, but his low effort was well blocked by Diego Llorente.

Following Chelsea's early dominance, Leeds eventually got something of a foothold and Llorente had a half-decent effort from range. However, the Whites' good work was undone when Dan James flew in high and studs up on Kovacic, with Anthony Taylor giving him his marching orders just 24 minutes in.

Having just had a wonderful lob ruled out for offside, Lukaku came within a whisker of doubling the lead with an angled header that flashed just wide.

The game was stopped shortly before half-time due to a medical emergency in the crowd. Thankfully the stricken fan was reported to be conscious and receiving treatment shortly afterwards.

Leeds' frustrations nearly boiled over again two minutes before the break, but Kalvin Phillips escaped with a booking for chopping down Christian Pulisic after the winger had dispossessed him.

Chelsea put the game to bed ten minutes into the second half as Pulisic finished expertly into the bottom corner from Mount's cute assist. The American almost had a four-minute brace but bent a strike the wrong side of the post after Rodrigo was dispossessed deep in his own territory.

For long periods the second half became shooting practice for Lukaku, and he eventually got his goal. The Belgian rolled his man in the left channel before cutting inside and smashing a drive narrowly wide. Then, three minutes after having a goal-bound effort blocked, the striker showed ridiculous composure after mis-controlling a Hakim Ziyech pass close in and unleashed a vicious strike into the top corner.

Robin Koch popped up in the Chelsea box late on but spurned Leeds' best chance of the game by heading wildly over.

There was still time for Mount to go close at the other end, but it finished 3-0. Here's how the players rated...


1. Leeds (4-2-4)

Daniel James, Anthony Taylor, Mateo Kovacic
Dan James is sent off / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Ilan Meslier (GK) - 3/10 - Not given much chance with either goal, but didn't make a huge attempt to save the shots. Maybe could have closed Lukaku down, too.

Robin Koch (RB) - 4/10 - Struggled out of position at right-back and was often penned back by Marcos Alonso. Missed a good chance for a consolation.

Diego Llorente (CB) - 5/10 - Important block on Mount's strike with Leeds on the ropes. The best of Leeds' defenders.

Liam Cooper (CB) - 4/10 - Tough battle against a confident Lukaku. Didn't pass particularly well.

Pascal Struijk (LB) - 4/10 - Another defender out of position. Given a difficult night by Reece James and Mount. Floored by Lukaku before he finished.

Lewis Bate (CM) - 3/10 - Facing the team he left in the summer. Toiled but had his work cut out after the red.

Kalvin Philips (CM) - 4/10 - Generally bypassed and his frustration told when he chopped down Pulisic miles off the ball. Influence didn't increase after half-time.

Raphinha (RW) - 4/10 - Nowhere near the influence required from the talisman. Forced off with what looked like an injury.

Dan James (ST) - 0/10 - Had already drawn the ire of the referee even before he was given his marching orders 24 minutes in for a horrible foul on Kovacic.

Rodrigo (ST) - 3/10 - Gave the ball away very deep in his own half and was fortunate to see Pulisic miss by an inch. Hardly involved.

Jack Harrison (LW) - N/A - Bullied by James and forced off injured early as a result of one of the Chelsea man's challenges.

SUB: Junior Firpo (37' for Harrison) - 5/10 - Battled but did little at either end.

SUB: Mateusz Klich (59' for Bate) - 5/10 - Didn't make a difference.

SUB: Joe Gelhardt (78' for Raphinha) - N/A


2. Chelsea (3-4-2-1)

FBL-ENG-PR-LEEDS-CHELSEA
James and Mount were outstanding for Chelsea / OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

Edouard Mendy (GK) - 6/10 - Barely had anything to do in truth but will be content with a clean sheet.

Trevoh Chalobah (CB) - 7/10 - Came into the team and defended astutely as usual, giving Leeds no joy in the wide areas. Countless fine challenges and got forward to support the attack.

Andreas Christensen (CB) - 6/10 - Important piece of last-ditch defending early in the second half on an otherwise quiet night. Hardly misplaced a pass.

Antonio Rudiger (CB) - 6/10 - A little chaotic early on but settled to produce another astute display, although wasn't tested too often.

Reece James (RWB) - 7/10 - Simple early assist for Mount. Imperious defensively and with his ball-carries, and put in some wicked crosses. Unplayable at times.

Jorginho (CM) - 7/10 - An excellent defensive midfield shift from the Italian. Got into double figures for recoveries and won the vast majority of his duels. Metronomic passing as usual.

Mateo Kovacic (CM) - N/A - Buzzed about before being the victim of James' horror tackle and was eventually forced off. Will be a doubt for the FA Cup final. Bizarrely given abuse by the Leeds fans after going off.

Marcos Alonso (LWB) - 6/10 - Effective at both ends, battling well at the back and flashing in some dangerous crosses.

Mason Mount (RF) - 8/10 - Superb finish to open the scoring just minutes in. Effervescent throughout, adding an audacious assist for Pulisic.

Christian Pulisic (LF) - 7/10 - Chopped down by Phillips. Had been fairly quiet but popped up with a fine finish into the bottom corner.

Romelu Lukaku (ST) - 8/10 - Good early hold-up play. Unlucky to see a lofted finish chalked off for offside and a header bounce just wide. Went close again later with a low shot. Finally got a deserved goal late on from close range.

SUB: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (30' for Kovacic) - 6/10 - A real physical presence in midfield and added some trademark runs.

SUB: Hakim Ziyech (78' for Pulisic) - 7/10 - Low assist for Lukaku - although his finish came a while after. Looked a threat.

SUB: Cesar Azpilicueta (78' for James) - N/A


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