Fofana Stops Chelsea Rot With Towering Header To Sink Leeds  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 1 Leeds United 0

Wesley Fofana Wesley Fofana earned Chelsea a crucial 1-0 victory over Leeds to ease the pressure on under-fire head coach Graham Potter.

Chelsea were winless in their previous six matches and way off the top-four pace after a humiliating 2-0 defeat at rivals Tottenham last Sunday - but deservedly stopped the rot at Stamford Bridge.

Kai Havertz was denied by a superb Ilian Meslier save and Joao Felix struck the crossbar in the first half before Fofana netted with a towering header shortly into the second period to score the club's first goal since February 14.

Leeds struggled to cause Chelsea any major problems in defence with Potter's big test still to come on Tuesday as they aim to overturn a one-goal deficit in their Champions League last-16 tie at home to Dortmund.

Player ratings:

Chelsea: Kepa (7), Badiashile (7), Fernandez (7), Kovacic (7), Felix (7), Loftus-Cheek (7), Sterling (7), Chilwell (7), Koulibaly (7), Havertz (7), Fofana (8).

Subs: Gallagher (6), Zakaria (6), Chukwuemeka (6), Madueke (n/a), Chalobah (n/a)

Leeds: Meslier (7), Ayling (6), Firpo (6), Koch (6), Aaronson (6), Summerville (7), Harrison (6), Adams (6), Rutter (6), McKennie (6), Wober (6).

Subs: Fernandez (6), Gnonto (6), Greenwood (n/a)

Player of the Match: Wesley Fofana

How Chelsea edged past Leeds

Chelsea dominated from the start in a 3-4-3 formation, looking determined to put their torrid run behind them. Havertz should have put them ahead in the 15th minute when he was played in behind by Raheem Sterling, but Meslier produced a superb save to keep out the striker's dinked effort.

Just seven minutes later, Leeds had the goalframe to thank as Sterling again created a good chance, this time pulling the ball back for Felix to slam an effort from the edge of the box against the crossbar.

Ben Chilwell caused problems in behind Luke Ayling throughout the first half, volleying wide from a lovely Havertz pass when instead he had time to control and then pick his spot.

Finally Chelsea ended their goal drought at the beginning of the second period. Chilwell's out-swinging corner was met by Fofana and planted past Meslier.

Leeds responded well to the setback seeing Georginio Rutter's shot deflected which made it easy for Kepa Arrizabalaga to gather. The visitors had plenty more territory after the hour mark, particularly once Potter had subbed wingers Sterling and Felix to strengthen midfield.

Chelsea survived some nervy moments late on with Leeds goalkeeper Meslier heading a last-gasp chance straight at a grateful Kepa.

What's next?

Chelsea host Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday at 8pm. The Blues lost the first leg 1-0 in Germany.

Graham Potter's side then return to Premier League action with a trip to Leicester next Saturday at 3pm.

Up next for Leeds is a Premier League home game against Brighton next Saturday at 3pm before a trip to Wolves on March 18, also at 3pm.

Click Here For Official Team Sheet


Chelsea Kepa, W. Fofana, Koulibaly, Badiashile, Loftus-Cheek (Madueke 84), Enzo (Chalobah 84), Kovacic (c) (Chukwuemeka 75), Chilwell, Joao Felix (Gallagher 68), Havertz, Sterling (Zakaria 68)
Subs Not Used Bettinelli, Mudryk, Ziyech, Aubameyang
Booked W. Fofana, Gallagher
Goals W. Fofana 53

Leeds United Meslier, Firpo, Wober, Koch, Ayling, McKennie, Adams, Harrison (Greenwood 80), Aaronson (Fernandez 68), Summerville, Rutter (Gnonto 68)
Subs Not Used Robles, Struijk, Kristensen, Roca, Gyabi, Gray

Attendance 39,905

Referee Michael Oliver

VAR Darren England