Tuchel insists Chelsea were ‘clearly the better side’ despite humbling 3-0 defeat at Leeds

Chelsea were punished for a poor display as Thomas Tuchel’s side slipped to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat away to Leeds today.

The Blues’ summer signing Raheem Sterling started brightly and the England international shot just wide from 12 yards out after brilliantly jinking his way through the Leeds defence.


Although Chelsea looked the more dangerous of the two sides, Jesse Marsch’s Leeds brought bundles of energy to a game that was played at a frenetic pace. On 15 minutes Sterling this time found the bottom corner after once again dancing through the home defence, but the 27-year-old would be denied by the linesman’s flag.

On 20 minutes Leeds had their first shot in anger when in-form striker Rodrigo fired a low effort across Eduoard Mendy’s post from a difficult angle. Just a couple of minutes later though and Chelsea once again found themselves in-behind the Leeds defence, this time Mason Mount forcing Illan Meslier into a fine full-length stop.

Then, in the 33rd minute, Leeds would take the lead in comical circumstances after a truly horrific error from Mendy in the Chelsea goal. The Senegalese goalkeeper is a world-class shot stopper but can often look clumsy on the ball and after he dallied in possession just a couple of yards from his goal, Brenden Aaronson duly won the ball and fired it into an empty net from all of a yard out.

A couple of minutes later and the roof nearly came off Elland Road when Leeds made it two. The impressive Jack Harrison whipped in a wicked free-kick for Rodrigo to connect to with an excellent flicked header from eight yards out.

Leeds’ work rate continued to stifle Chelsea’s play as we entered the second half, with Thomas Tuchel’s side also struggling with the quality of their decision-making in the final third.

In the 68th minute, a nightmare day for Chelsea got even worse and Leeds went into dreamland when Harrison poked home from close range to seal another excellent counterattack from Marsch’s men.

There would still be time to add to Chelsea’s wounds in the 85th minute when experienced centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly rounded off a sloppy individual display by deservedly picking up a red card for two bookable offences.

Despite Leeds seemingly outworking his side, Chelsea boss Tuchel was adamant that the Blues were the better team and also revealed details of disruption to the club’s preparation.

“Everything that can go wrong, did go wrong. It started yesterday. We had no plane to arrive so we came on the bus,” Tuchel told BBC Sport.

”The players could fly but for the coaching staff it was a long ride on the bus. It continued today. We lost the game in the first 20 minutes, where we were clearly better and had huge chances. A lot of touches in the box but we miss the target and do not take what we deserve. We then stopped doing what we were doing good and it was even for 15 minutes and in those we gave two presents.

“We were clearly the better team. They do what they do. I don’t see that a set-piece and own goal [Mendy’s mistake] are due to the style. They are mistakes.

“If we give goals away like this that are totally unnecessary and when we are totally in charge we cannot win football matches. We tried second-half and I am disappointed we lost that half as well. They made the maximum of their half-chances and we did not.”

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