Wesley Fofana heads Chelsea over Leeds, out of winless skid
Wesley Fofana’s second half goal made the center back Chelsea’s unlikely hero in a tense 1-0 win over Leeds United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The defender’s goal was just the second scored by Chelsea in its last six games and ends a five-match winless run. Chelsea still has only scored multiple goals once since mid-October (against Bournemouth).
WATCH CHELSEA vs LEEDS FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM – LINK
Leeds had just ended a 10-match league winless run with a 1-0 win over Southampton but was under fire for most of the match. Fortunately, Javi Gracia’s men saw Chelsea waste myriad chances right to the end, as Leeds keeper Illan Meslier thumped a header into the arms of Kepa Arrizabalaga deep in stoppage time.
Chelsea avoids falling into the bottom half with the win, leading 11th-place Aston Villa on goal differential. The Blues’ 34 points are five off seventh place and 11 outside the top four.
Leeds lose for the 13th time and sit 17th with 22 points. They could finish the weekend in the Premier League’s bottom three if Everton beats Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
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Chelsea vs Leeds player ratings: Stars of the Show
Wesley Fofana: A goal, 76-of-79 passes completed, and 5-of-5 in the air. Would’ve probably been here for the goal alone, but good to see him back. Still under 10 appearances this season.
Enzo Fernandez: He’s going to drag around his price tag for years but show pretty much any Chelsea appearance to someone with a neutral mind and they’ll pick him as a MOTM contender. Brilliant.
Ben Chilwell: Terrific service and effervescent buzzing down the left side.
Tyler Adams: Noting that Chelsea’s had trouble finishing, this game could’ve been 3-0 Chelsea at the break if not for the USMNT midfielder who, along with Maximilian Wober, was one of the few Leeds players to hear the opening whistle.
Chelsea hosts Dortmund on Tuesday, down 1-0 in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie. The Blues then visit Leicester City at 10am ET Saturday.
Leeds licks its wounds for a week before meeting — checks notes — oh no, it’s rampant Brighton at 10am ET Saturday.
Wesley Fofana goal video: Big back thumps home Ben Chilwell service
How to watch Chelsea vs Leeds live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET Saturday
TV Channel/Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & (young) star players
All eyes are on Kai Havertz who is the team’s leading scorer but the total is a meager five and only one has come since January 1. Two new Blues have been exceptional since debuting for the club: Enzo Fernandez and Benoit Badiashile. The latter was on the bench in the loss to Spurs and Graham Potter likely won’t make that move again.
Leeds is still without arguably its top performer this season, Rodrigo, but the next group of stars will be there as Maximilian Wober, Tyler Adams, and Marc Roca are available. One other 2022-23 season star, Pascal Struijk, is still waiting to be right following a concussion.
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Christian Pulisic (knee) Thiago Silva (knee), Edouard Mendy (shoulder), Cesar Azpilicueta (head), Armando Broja (knee), Reece James (hamstring), Mason Mount (abdominal), Cesar Azpilicueta (concussion).
Your Chelsea today! 🙌@ParimatchGlobal | #CheLee pic.twitter.com/wKpG5SmigY
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 4, 2023
Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Rodrigo (ankle), Stuart Dallas (thigh), Adam Forshaw (groin) | QUESTIONABLE: Luis Sinisterra (thigh), Liam Cooper (undisclosed), Pascal Struijk (concussion)
📋 Your Starting XI to face Chelsea… pic.twitter.com/l3wEHtW2xd
— Leeds United (@LUFC) March 4, 2023
Wesley Fofana heads Chelsea over Leeds, out of winless skid originally appeared on NBCSports.com