Chelsea celebrate return of fans with a deserved win

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Chelsea 3-1 Leeds United

Chelsea celebrated the return of supporters to Stamford Bridge with an entertaining and deserved 3-1 comeback win over Leeds United which sends them top of the Premier League table.

For the first time since March, Chelsea fans were in the stands on Saturday night following the easing of coronavirus restrictions – although the 2,000 supporters were almost immediately silenced by their former striker Patrick Bamford and his impressive opener just four minutes in.

Olivier Giroud – making his first Premier League start of the season after scoring four at Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday – pulled the Blues level on 27 minutes, though, turning home Reece James’ brilliant cross, before Kurt Zouma’s header completed the turnaround.

Leeds pushed for a late equaliser but Timo Werner broke away down the right and teed up Christian Pulisic to tuck in the third, three minutes into stoppage time, sparking wild celebrations in the stands and in the Chelsea dugout.

It was a sweet victory for Blues boss Frank Lampard over his Leeds counterpart Marcelo Bielsa, following their Spygate spat two seasons ago, and it was also a win to savour for the fans in attendance, with the home side moving above Tottenham and Liverpool – who play Arsenal and Wolves, respectively, on Sunday – while Leeds drop to 13th.

Player ratings

Chelsea: Mendy (7), James (8), Silva (7), Zouma (7), Chilwell (7), Kante (7), Mount (7), Havertz (6), Werner (7), Ziyech (6), Giroud (8).

Subs used: Pulisic (7), Kovacic (6), Abraham (6)

Leeds: Meslier (7), Ayling (7), Koch (n/a), Cooper (7), Dallas (7), Phillips (8), Klich (7), Raphinha (8), Alioski (7), Harrison (6), Bamford (7).

Subs used: Llorente (6), Poveda (6), Rodrigo (6)

Man of the match: Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)