At a time when the Christmas package begins to take on more importance, Chelsea found a way against Leeds to record the cracks.
Saturday’s 3-2 win at Stamford Bridge was the culmination of a difficult week for Thomas Tuchel, who has seen his side beat West Ham and then deny top spot in Group G of the Champions League. by conceding a 3-3 equalizer on Wednesday. draw in Zenit St Petersburg.
They have conceded twice more here – that is eight times in a week – in another sloppy performance at the back, which further eroded the remarkable defensive record Tuchel has had. create your own success.
But the fact that Chelsea needed two penalties to beat Leeds ended the growing sense they were clinging to the leading pair.
“We were lucky, we needed this,” Tuchel said. “We’ve been unlucky in the last two games to concede goals very late so maybe this is what we need.”
In an intense situation that sometimes threatened to spill over, the Blues deserve credit for finding a way past spirited Leeds, who took the lead in play and thought they had won a point. with the equalizer in the 83rd minute.
But there’s plenty to worry about for Tuchel with a busy period ahead. In Tuchel’s first 33 Premier League games, Chelsea only conceded as many goals once. They now do so twice in a week – and it’s almost cost them dearly.
Missing N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic Once again in midfield, Chelsea struggled to force themselves into control, even when Jorginho re-match with partner Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the middle of the field.
Leeds was a threat at the break and although winger Dan James often tries to combine his lightning speed with an end product, Marcos Alonso did it for him with a clumsy 28-minute tackle in the box.
Raphinha converted the penalty and Chelsea looked very confused. Reece James Then Dan James collided with Dan James with a late tackle as the home crowd started to sound annoyed – but Leeds proved defensive mistakes were not the home side’s defense, to lose the ball cheaply to let Chelsea control the ball at the high edge.
Goalie Illan Meslier give a pass towards Stuart Dallas, who let the ball escape him as he lowered it, creating an opportunity for Alonso to dive in. Timo Werner Pick up the loose ball and give Alonso, who has crossed the post near the place Mason Mountain hit the ball with a sharp and controlled first shot.
The Blues finished the first half strong and had a new level of motivation after the restart but still had to take a penalty to take the lead just before the hour ended.
Raphinha fouled Antonio Rudiger in the box – a decision handed out by referee Chris Kavanagh during the VAR review – and Jorginho converted, leaving Meslier erroneous.
However, Chelsea were not able to finish the game. Joe Gelhardt, coming on as a substitute seconds earlier, had scored his first Leeds goal by going home Tyler Roberts‘The cross in the 83rd minute with his first touch of the game.
It was the product of Chelsea’s lack of control in central midfield. Kante’s absence is an obvious loss but what continues to be remarkable is how Tuchel persuaded Kovacic’s absence, now due to a positive Covid-19 test, with exasperation.
Loftus-Cheek is still a player with potential but he lacks the ability to take the initiative in games and manage tight situations when Chelsea need to be here.
As a result, the responsibility on Jorginho continues to be high, especially when he is faced with an ongoing hip problem.
“He’s incredibly important – Jorgi sacrificed himself for weeks,” Tuchel said. “I know that this moment will come where he will suffer because he played a Champions League campaign with us, Euro with Italy, all qualifying for the World Cup against Italy.
“It’s not just physical effort but it’s mentally demanding. He has no pre-season, starting the Super Cup. [in August] go straight. I know we’re going to come at a point in the season where he doesn’t feel quite right but Jorgi is completely out of the way where we miss Kova and N’Golo and he sacrificed himself.
“He does his best every day and spends hours with the physiology and medical department to get in the best shape he can. That’s a big bonus for him today because it’s not easy. scored two penalties in one game.”
Finally, Jorginho was there to make a decisive intervention. To underline everything desperate for the Blues, the Italian’s 94th-minute penalty was their most recent winning goal in a Premier League game since September 2009.
It comes later Mateusz Klich pack up Romelu Lukaku in the box, a positive contribution to the €115m summer signing from Inter Milan, but still one man was offered from a peripheral role as a substitute in the 87th minute.
Tuchel has hinted Lukaku needs time to fully recover from an ankle problem but the concern remains that rather than being the final piece in the puzzle of a title-winning team, the presence of The Belgian has changed the overall picture into something completely different.
That conundrum would not cause the same concern if Chelsea remained as solidly defensive as before. Tuchel will now give his players two days off. They have won here and still keep a good relationship with Liverpool and City, but need to reset the categories.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/blog-the-match/story/4544629/with-chelseas-midfield-problems-exposed-by-leedspressure-mounts-on-jorginho With Chelsea’s midfield problems exposed by Leeds, the pressure mounts on Jorginho