We take a closer look at the statistical analysis and main talking points from last night’s Premier League victory away at Leeds United…
The Blues took another step closer to a top-three finish with a commanding performance at Elland Road, kick-started by an early Mason Mount opener and a red card for the hosts’ Dan James that left Leeds with an almighty uphill task.
Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku added further goals after the interval to give the scoreline a deservedly shinier gloss, with the three points taking us eight clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, who must beat Arsenal tonight or else Thomas Tuchel’s side will be guaranteed an end-of-season position in the top four.
The win also handed Chelsea a first league double against Leeds since 1988/89 and leaves the Whites rooted in the relegation zone with just two games remaining.
Mount was undoubtedly the most effective creative force on the field, registering more shots on target than any other player in the game while claiming both a goal and an assist.
Those numbers took him into double figures for league goals involvements this term (11 goals, 10 assists), only the fifth Chelsea player (as well as the youngest) to reach that landmark in a season and the only Englishman to do it in the Premier League this campaign.
His punchy passing, relentless counter-pressing and boundless energy were infectious for the visitors. Not only did he prove instrumental in the build-up to his own opening goal, finished beautifully into the top corner, but he also produced an outrageous flick for Pulisic to make it 2-0 early in the second half.
For the third, it was the 23-year-old who hassled and harried to win possession in the Leeds half before Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Hakim Ziyech combined to tee up Lukaku.
In tandem with Mount down the inside-right channel, Reece James enjoyed a productive evening in terms of fashioning opportunities and causing problems. The England international made five key passes and competed five successful dribbles, more than any other player on the field, while in the first half his three chances created were as many as everybody else combined.
Meanwhile, only Andreas Christensen bettered his 95 per cent pass completion with 81 completed passes, most of which came in attacking areas of the pitch, including his tee-up for Mount’s opener.
With Leeds starting out in a system mirroring the Blues, James also had to be wary of Rodrigo’s forward threat at left wing-back and the defender’s two tackles, two interceptions and one clearance was proof that defensive duties were similarly taken care of.
Leading the line
Lukaku’s second successive Premier League start ultimately saw him score a third goal in those two matches, further staking his claim for a place in Saturday’s FA Cup team. The Belgian had to be persistent to get on the scoresheet in Yorkshire, taking five shots before his sixth hit the target for the first time and beat Illan Meslier to round off our scoring.
Alongside two chances created, six touches in the opposition box and four aerial duels won, this was another strong centre-forward display, with our number nine both leading the line and linking play with team-mates to allow runners in behind.
His goal summed up the night’s work with patience and perseverance required before the ball finally rippled the back of the net, taking him up to 15 Chelsea goals for the season.
With much of the 28-year-old’s goalscoring this season having come in flurries, Blues fans will be hoping he’s saved a few more for the Cup final against Liverpool this weekend.