Chelsea had to rely on a stoppage-time penalty from Jorginho to finally overcome Leeds United in a dramatic 3-2 victory in the Premier League on Saturday.
Goals from Mason Mount and two penalties from the Italian cancelled out Raphinha’s opener and Joe Gelhardt’s late strike in a topsy turvy affair at Stamford Bridge.
Having lost top spot in the Premier League last week after losing 3-2 at West Ham, before also losing first place in their Champions League group following a 3-3 draw at Zenit, another setback was the last thing Thomas Tuchel’s men needed.
The Blues almost had that setback as they threw away a lead for the third time in a week when substitute Gelhardt struck in the 83rd minute, but a foolish challenge by Mateusz Klich on Antonio Rudiger gave Jorginho the chance to win it in the 94th minute from the spot, and he made no mistake.
2 – Antonio Rüdiger is only the second Chelsea player to win two penalties in a single Premier League match, after Yuri Zhirkov against Aston Villa in March 2010. Cunning.
The hosts started brightly, determined to make amends for a sloppy week prior, but it was the visitors who took the lead when they were awarded a penalty in the 26th minute after Marcos Alonso brought down Dan James in the box.
Raphinha stepped up to outfox Mendy and put Leeds ahead with a penalty that would have made Jorginho proud had it not been against his team.
Alonso atoned for his indiscretion four minutes before half-time as he won the ball from Stuart Dallas and whipped a low cross into the near post, where Mount was waiting to equalise.
Just before the hour mark, Jorginho had a chance to replicate Raphinha after a VAR check deemed the Leeds goalscorer to have fouled Rudiger in the penalty area, and the Italian sent Illan Meslier the wrong way with a trademark effort from the spot.
Gelhardt thought he had snatched a point for his team when he turned home a Tyler Roberts cross with seven minutes to go, but Jorginho’s second spot-kick of the day late on won it for the Blues.
What does it mean? Blues back to winning ways
After a defeat last week and the blow of drawing late in the Champions League in midweek, Chelsea looked particularly relieved to eventually find the win here, especially after title rivals Manchester City’s victory against Wolves earlier in the day.
Tuchel will still not be pleased at how sloppy his team were when ahead, but Chelsea looked impressive when hunting the lead, managing five attempts at goal in the five minutes between Mount’s strike and the half-time whistle.
Chelsea have now won their last five home league games against Leeds – the first time they have ever managed such a run against their historic rivals.
Mount impressive again
Mount has been in excellent form of late, both scoring and assisting a goal in three of his previous four Premier League starts before today.
He only managed a goal on this occasion but could easily have had an assist as well, such was his creativity, providing five crosses in another all-action display, the most of any Blues player.
Mount also has the most league goals (10) and assists (six) of any Chelsea player under Tuchel.
More London blues for Leeds
It was an unlucky afternoon at Stamford Bridge for Marcelo Bielsa’s men, who had their chances and were within minutes of what would have been a well-earned draw.
The Whites have now won just two of their last 33 away matches in London in all competitions (D7 L24) and have lost three of their last four games when scoring first in the capital: also against Chelsea last December and against Tottenham in November (winning 2-1 in the other vs Fulham).
There’s more Premier League action on the horizon as Chelsea host Everton on Thursday while Leeds travel to Manchester City on Tuesday.