Kai Havertz
Kai Havertz had two of Chelsea’s best chances

Thomas Tuchel’s unbeaten run stretched to 12 games as Chelsea were held in a gripping encounter at Leeds.

Despite lacking fans to add edge, both sides were unlucky not to score as they both hit the woodwork and tested their respective keepers.

Leeds almost went behind when Luke Ayling’s clearance hit team-mate Diego Llorente and looped over keeper Illan Meslier to hit the bar before Eduoard Mendy tipped Tyler Roberts’ chip onto the same part of his goal.

Mendy also saved well from Raphinha’s effort to deny Leeds, who avoided a third straight defeat.

Kai Havertz wasted two good chances for the visitors as his Premier League goal drought continued, but he impressed overall in an advanced role.

While Tuchel will be disappointed his side did not claim victory to move about third-placed Leicester, his side were given a stern test.

And his run of 10 Premier League games unbeaten since the start of a new managers’ reign is second only to Nottingham Forest’s Frank Clark and Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri.

Leeds, who have only won one of their last six games, were dealt a blow in the first half when they lost top scorer Patrick Bamford, on his 100th appearance for the club, to injury in front of the watching England boss Gareth Southgate.

Chelsea weather Leeds storm to earn point

Without fans, Tuchel might have expected a gentle introduction to the traditional Leeds-Chelsea rivalry, which stretches back to the 1970s.

But the German seemed unsettled by Leeds’ director of football Victor Orta, who was a vocal presence throughout the game.

The two had a heated debate over fair play even though Chelsea kicked the ball out once they realised Bamford was injured.

Despite those distractions, the visiting side still created the best chances in a robust first half as the returning Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech combined well behind Kai Havertz, who played in a false-nine role.

The £71m signing, who has had a tough start to life at Chelsea, showed some confident touches and went close to opening the scoring in either half.

His chance after half-time was most wasteful, when he had time and space in the box, but his right-footed shot was tipped over.

Mount, who pulled the strings on the left, also set up a chance for Pulisic, who fired at Meslier, and tested the Leeds keeper from range. Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante were also wasteful from the left.

The fact a first-half mix-up in the Leeds defence was the closest Chelsea came to scoring would have been disappointing for the visitors as victory would have strengthened their grip on a top four-place and put them a point behind second-placed Manchester United.

But with Mendy on form against a Leeds side who continually posed questions, it means Tuchel’s side have only conceded two goals since he replaced Frank Lampard in January.

Leeds impress but Bamford injury causes worries

This was another example of how Leeds can entertain and frustrate in equal measure.

Roared on by Orta from the directors’ box and from Bielsa in the technical area, they had the Chelsea players huffing and puffing from the start.

Although Llorente almost scored what would have been a comical own goal, they recovered quickly with Bamford and Roberts linking up well to engineer a chip that brought out the best in Chelsea keeper Mendy.

He was also inspired in saving Raphinha’s close-range effort as he was moving the other way when he got a hand to it, and substitute Reece James did well to stop a late Llorente shot.

Had that gone in, Leeds would have been well-placed to say they deserved victory.

But a point against an in-form Chelsea team will also be of comfort on a wet and windy day which did no favours for their quick passing game on a sticky pitch.

The biggest worry, however, would have been watching Bamford go off during the first half. The striker came off worse in a challenge with Antionio Rudiger and left the field clutching his hip after trying to struggle on.

In mid-table and 10 points above the drop zone, Leeds are in no danger of relegation but their hopes of reaching the top 10 will be hampered without main striker Bamford.

More to follow.

Player of the match

MeslierIllan Meslier

Leeds United

  1. Squad number1Player nameMeslier

  2. Squad number11Player nameRoberts

  3. Squad number14Player nameLlorente

  4. Squad number18Player nameRaphinha

  5. Squad number21Player nameStruijk

  6. Squad number2Player nameAyling

  7. Squad number15Player nameDallas

  8. Squad number23Player namePhillips

  9. Squad number17Player nameHélder Costa

  10. Squad number10Player nameAlioski

  11. Squad number22Player nameHarrison

  12. Squad number20Player nameRodrigo

  13. Squad number9Player nameBamford

  14. Squad number43Player nameKlich

Chelsea

  1. Squad number16Player nameMendy

  2. Squad number7Player nameKanté

  3. Squad number2Player nameRüdiger

  4. Squad number10Player namePulisic

  5. Squad number4Player nameChristensen

  6. Squad number28Player nameAzpilicueta

  7. Squad number29Player nameHavertz

  8. Squad number21Player nameChilwell

  9. Squad number11Player nameWerner

  10. Squad number22Player nameZiyech

  11. Squad number19Player nameMount

  12. Squad number24Player nameJames

  13. Squad number20Player nameHudson-Odoi

  14. Squad number5Player nameJorginho

Line-ups

Leeds

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Meslier
  • 2Ayling
  • 14Llorente
  • 21Struijk
  • 10AlioskiBooked at 71mins
  • 23Phillips
  • 18Raphinha
  • 15Dallas
  • 11RobertsBooked at 23mins
  • 22HarrisonSubstituted forHélder Costaat 64′minutes
  • 9BamfordSubstituted forRodrigoat 35′minutesBooked at 75minsSubstituted forKlichat 79′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Koch
  • 7Poveda-Ocampo
  • 13Casilla
  • 17Hélder Costa
  • 20Rodrigo
  • 28Berardi
  • 43Klich
  • 46Shackleton
  • 47Jenkins

Chelsea

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 16Mendy
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 4Christensen
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 21Chilwell
  • 7Kanté
  • 5Jorginho
  • 10PulisicSubstituted forJamesat 68′minutes
  • 22ZiyechSubstituted forWernerat 69′minutes
  • 19MountSubstituted forHudson-Odoiat 79′minutes
  • 29Havertz

Substitutes

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 3Alonso
  • 11Werner
  • 15Zouma
  • 17Kovacic
  • 18Giroud
  • 20Hudson-Odoi
  • 24James
  • 33Emerson

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