Chelsea held 0-0 by Leeds, 10 EPL games unbeaten with Tuchel


LEEDS, England — Chelsea extended its unbeaten start under Thomas Tuchel to 10 Premier League games with a 0-0 draw at Leeds on Saturday.

While Chelsea remained in the fourth Champions League qualification spot, West Ham is only three points behind with two games in hand.

Leeds, which is in 11th place in its first season back in the top division after 16 years, made Chelsea work for its point.

Both sides struck the crossbar in a frenetic first half and both goalkeepers were forced into decisive saves.

It was also another clean sheet for Tuchel’s team, which has conceded only two goals since he replaced Frank Lampard in late January and is unbeaten in 12 matches in all competitions.

With both sides intent on a razor-sharp press, it made for a frantic opening 20 minutes at Elland Road.

Chelsea was almost gifted a comical opening goal when Luke Ayling’s clearance rebounded off teammate Diego Llorente and came back off the goal frame in the 10th minute.

Tyler Roberts then combined with Patrick Bamford following a swift Leeds counterattack. A neat chip from Roberts was tipped on to the crossbar by Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Leeds was dealt a blow 10 minutes before halftime when Bamford limped off and was replaced by Rodrigo.

The pace of the game remained unrelenting in the second half.

Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier saved well from Christian Pulisic. Ayling did enough to deny Kai Havertz a clean header and N’Golo Kante made a mess of his effort inside the area.

But Leeds held firm and went close to taking the lead but Mendy flung out a hand to keep out Raphinha’s shot on the turn.

Chelsea left back Ben Chilwell failed to keep his shot on target after charging into the area, and at the other end Pulisic blocked Raphinha’s effort.

Tuchel sent on Reece James and Timo Werner for Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech with 20 minutes left before Meslier turned away Antonio Rudiger’s long-range effort.

Each time Chelsea tried to shift into a higher gear, Leeds responded. Llorente’s goal-bound shot was deflected off target by James and the defender’s header was saved following another corner.

Substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi’s angled drive, after nifty footwork in the area, was the last effort on target and comfortably gathered by Meslier.

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