Leeds United vs. Chelsea: Final score 1-5, hosts start strong, then crumble

Laurence Griffiths

Leeds were excellent in the second half, but a combination of poor goalkeeping and a late desperation push forward caused them to let in five goals.

Leeds United held Chelsea early, nicked a goal before the end of the first half, and then promptly threw away all of their hard work. It didn't take long for their lead to disappear, and Chelsea ran out comfortable 5-1 winners at Elland Road on Wednesday night.

Luciano Becchio netted the opener for Leeds at the end of a very well-executed counter-attack, gifted to them when David Luiz lost possession in the attacking third. His attempted chip into the box hit a Leeds defender and allowed them to start up the pitch. With Luiz out of position, no one tracked Becchio's run into the box at the end of the counter, and he poked in a cross by Jerome Thomas.

The Blues got back into the match right away in the second half, with Juan Mata scoring from just outside the box. His long-range shot wasn't terribly powerful, but Jamie Ashdown reacted late and let the ball go under his body and into the back of the net when he should have saved. Leeds kept things competitive until the 65th minute when Branislav Ivanovic nodded in a corner at the near post. That opened up the floodgates.

Victor Moses scored an impressive curled shot to the near post from 25 yards to make it 3-0, shortly after Ivanovic's goal. With Leeds desperately attacking to try to claw from two down, space opened up for Chelsea to score twice more. Eden Hazard netted Chelsea's fourth goal, assisted by David Luiz, and Fernando Torres capped off the scoring by poking in a pass by Hazard, after Ashdown saved a Frank Lampard shot.

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