Wesley Fofana’s header in the 53rd minute gave Chelsea a much-needed 1-0 win over Leeds United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
The result eases the pressure on under-fire manager Graham Potter as his side grabbed their first Premier League win since mid-January.
Chelsea dominate possession
The Blues were the better of the two sides dominating possession with their free-flowing passing, but the lack of a recognized striker was full-on display as the home side failed to put chances away.
Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier denied Kai Havertz with a terrific one-handed save in the 15th minute after the German was through on goal.
Seven minutes later, Joao Felix hit the post from outside the box with a thunderous effort from Raheem Sterling’s cutback as the hosts looked for the opening goal.
Ben Chilwell then dragged a first-time effort wide of goal after Havertz’s cross-field pass that had put the left wing-back clear on goal.
The visitors then grew into the game seeing more of the ball but didn’t manage to garner any clear-cut opportunities as both sides went to the break goalless.
The Blues finally seized the momentum after the resumption when Fofana got into the end of an out-swinging corner from Chilwell to head home from close range.
The hosts were let off the hook at the hour mark when Georginio Rutter’s goal-bound effort deflected off Kalidou Koulibaly into the hands of Kepa Arrizabalaga following Luke Ayling’s cross.
Potter’s side didn’t create any clear-cut chances to grab the insurance goal as nervous tension grew among the home faithful.
Leeds exert heavy pressure late on
Leeds, battling relegation this season, threw men forward in search of the equalizer, but Kepa denied the visitors twice in the game’s dying minutes. First, the Chelsea custodian got down well to save from Mateo Joseph and held firm to save from Meslier deep into stoppage time.
The result means the Londoners sit tenth in the Premier League standings, eleven points adrift of a Champions League berth, while Leeds are 17th, a point above safety.
Photo credit: IMAGO / Paul Marriott
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