Christian Pulisic ensures Chelsea victory over Leeds as Blues go top of Premier League

Chelsea continued their fine run of form with a 3-1 victory over Leeds United at Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard’s team fell behind to a fourth-minute goal from Patrick Bamford but bounced back to equalise through Olivier Giroud after 27 minutes. Kurt Zouma gave his side the lead just after the hour and Christian Pulisic sealed a thrilling, fast paced match in stoppage time.

Marcelo Bielsa’s team contributed greatly to the entertainment but were eventually overrun by an unrelenting Chelsea side. These two clubs have a famous, bitter rivalry and the managers have history from Lampard’s time in charge of Derby County but this was a compelling game fought in the best tradition. It was a highly enjoyable watch for the 2,000 Chelsea fans allowed into the ground.

The home side made their intentions clear from the start. They poured forward and put Bielsa’s team under pressure. Thiago Silva picked out Hakim Ziyech on the edge of the box and the Moroccan forced Illan Meslier into an early save. Giroud went close from the corner.

Such a commitment to attack has its downside. Leeds had been pinned back when Kalvin Phillips picked up possession out wide just inside his own half. He looked up and saw Kurt Zouma was too high with Bamford lurking on the centre back’s shoulder. The pass from Phillips was delectable; tantalisingly close to Zouma but with enough curl to run into the path of Bamford. The 27-year-old, who spent the majority of his five-year contract at Stamford Bridge out on loan, rounded Edouard Mendy and rolled the ball into the net to score a satisfying goal against his former club.

The game had the feel of a shootout. Chelsea’s response was to charge upfield. The visiting side’s defence suffered an early blow when Robin Koch limped off after eight minutes. Diego Llorente replaced him but there was chaos in the area moments later when Timo Werner somehow blocked Giroud’s headed flick on the line and then prodded the ball against the bar.

Leeds were always dangerous. Bamford found room in the box and shot high. Jack Harrison hit the post but the flag was up for offside.

Chelsea might have been open at the back but they were closing in on an equaliser at the other end. It was created by a bit of magic from Ziyech. The former Ajax midfielder mesmerised three defenders with a little shimmy, buying time for Reece James to overlap. Ziyech fed the full back, whose cross was met at the near post by Giroud and clipped into the net.