EPL: Chelsea frustrated by Leeds draw


Chelsea missed an opportunity to cement their place within the Premier League`s high 4 as Leeds held them to a irritating 0-0 draw on Saturday. Thomas Tuchel`s aspect had loads of possibilities however couldn`t ship the knockout blow in a hard-fought conflict at Elland Road. The Blues stay in fourth place and fifth-placed West Ham are simply three factors behind them with two video games in hand because the race to qualify for the Champions League appears to be like set to go right down to the wire. “We created enough chances, enough shots, to score one or two goals,” Tuchel mentioned. “Unfortunately we didn’t rating, so we now have to dwell with a draw. At the identical time it was a tough pitch, very tough circumstances, very slippery, very bouncy. 
“We were not clinical enough on the counter-attacks, our precision or the last touch. “But we settle for all of the difficulties in an away recreation towards a staff that places a number of stress on you.” Tuchel is now unbeaten in 12 matches in all competitions since changing the sacked Frank Lampard in January. With clear sheets of their final 5 video games, Chelsea have conceded solely two targets in that interval. However, their goal-scoring points underneath Tuchel resurfaced as alternatives got here and went within the Yorkshire rain. They have but to attain greater than two targets in any match within the Tuchel period. Wednesday`s Champions League final 16 second leg towards Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge — with Chelsea holding a 1-0 lead — will probably be one other stern check of their renaissance underneath the previous Paris Saint-Germain boss. 
Tuchel made six adjustments from Monday`s win towards Everton as Christian Pulisic changed Timo Werner after experiences the United States winger was sad along with his lack of motion for the reason that German took cost. On Friday, Tuchel had urged Pulisic to grab his probability when it got here, saying of a participant he labored with at Borussia Dortmund: “He is in my plans. When the moment comes you have to be ready.” Leeds and Chelsea have been fierce rivals since their brutal FA Cup ultimate conflict in 1970, however the absence of followers as a result of coronavirus lockdown diluted the Blues` first league go to to Elland Road since 2003. The poor high quality of the Elland Road pitch was virtually paying homage to the battles on fields of mud that outlined Chelsea`s encounters with Leeds within the Seventies.
Stroke of luck
Pulisic wasn`t fazed by the rutted floor as he scampered down the appropriate and whipped over a low cross that Kai Havertz poked straight at Leeds keeper Illan Meslier. Leeds launched a penetrating counter instantly after Havertz`s miss and Patrick Bamford`s cross was turned in by Tyler Roberts, just for the offside flag to come back to Chelsea`s rescue. If that was a stroke of luck for Chelsea, Leeds benefitted from their very own luck moments later when Diego Llorente whacked a clearance towards team-mate Luke Ayling, with the ball looping onto the crossbar earlier than falling into the grateful Meslier`s arms. As ever with Leeds and their wide-open fashion, possibilities got here thick and quick and Roberts was inches away from opening the scoring when Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy tipped his roller onto the bar. 
Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell fired simply vast from the sting of the realm earlier than Mason Mount`s 25-yard drive was pushed out by Meslier. Granted area by the statuesque Leeds defence, Kai Havertz ought to have accomplished higher with a close-range blast that Meslier palmed over early within the second half. Mendy saved effectively when his former Rennes team-mate Raphinha had a sight of aim from Rodrigo`s knock down. Chilwell had a golden alternative to interrupt the impasse, however he scuffed vast with simply Meslier to beat after surging into the realm. Antonio Rudiger`s hopeful effort from 30 yards despatched Meslier sprawling to avoid wasting, whereas Callum Hudson-Odoi was denied by the keeper as Chelsea`s problem petered out.
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