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Chelsea 1-0 Leeds United: Wesley Fofana header halts Blues losing run

Chelsea went into the Premier League game against Leeds United on Saturday desperately needing to end their recent wretched run.

Blues manager Graham Potter was under pressure to win the game. There were rumours that this match could make or break his tenure at the club.

New Leeds boss Javi Gracia won his first Premier League game against Southampton, sparking hopes that his team could climb away from the relegation zone.

Chelsea reverted to a back three and started brightly, piling pressure on the visitors at Stamford Bridge. They put the pressure on for around 20 minutes.

Ben Chilwell was finding all sorts of space behind Leeds, and his cross missed Kai Havertz by inches. Wesley Fofana met his corner at the near post, but the Frenchman couldn’t keep his header down.

Joao Felix hit the crossbar, and Illan Meslier denied Kai Havertz in a 1v1 situation. The German was the last Chelsea player to score at the Bridge since he scored the winner against Crystal Palace on January 15.

Chilwell also missed a good chance to open the scoring as he volleyed wide from a Havertz pass.

After the bright early performance, the Blues went into lacklustre mode. They slowed down and allowed Leeds back into the game, but the visitors could not capitalise.

Leeds went into the dressing room at half-time without a shot on target. For Chelsea, it was a recurring theme of playing well in patches and failing to take chances.

The lone goal came eight minutes into the second half. Chilwell’s corner found Fofana who thumped it in to send Stamford Bridge wild. It was their first goal in 397 minutes of football.

Chelsea chose to see out the one-goal lead instead of doubling it. As they invited pressure, Leeds accepted the invitation.

Georginio Rutter met Luke Ayling’s cross, but Kalidou Koulibaly blocked the shot heading for the bottom corner.

Crysencio Summerville was getting into the game and causing Chelsea problems, but Leeds never fashioned a clear-cut chance.

Meslier had a half chance when he came forward for a corner late in the game However, he headed straight into the gloves of his opposite number. The referee blew the whistle soon after.

It was only Chelsea’s second win of 2023. Chelsea remain in tenth place and their hopes of Champions League qualification look remote.

The Blues welcome Borussia Dortmund to Stamford Bridge in midweek. BVB have a 1-0 advantage from the first leg and are on a ten-game unbeaten run. The Bundesliga team will fancy their chances.

Leeds are just above the relegation zone, leading 18th-placed Everton by one point. They welcome in-form Brighton & Hove Albion to Elland Road next week.

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