Chelsea 3-1 Leeds United
- Goals: Olivier Giroud (£6.7m), Kurt Zouma (£5.6m), Christian Pulisic (£8.2m) | Patrick Bamford (£6.1m)
- Assists: Reece James (£5.2m), Mason Mount (£6.8m), Timo Werner (£9.5m) | Kalvin Phillips (£4.9m)
- Bonus: Mount x3, Bamford, Phillips x2
Chelsea came from behind to see off Leeds with a performance of pace and verve played out in front of 2,000 loud and happy fans.
Patrick Bamford‘s (£6.1m) eighth goal of the season, seven of which have come on the road, gave the visitors an early lead.
But once Olivier Giroud (£6.7m) had equalised, the hosts took control, dominated the second half and ended up out-shooting their opponents 23 to eight.
The Bamford goal, from an exquisite Kalvin Phillips (£4.9m) through-ball, scuppered Chelsea’s chances of a third straight clean sheet.
It also meant a mixed night for those with a Blues defender in their Fantasy Premier League (FPL) line-up.
Top of that particular shop is Ben Chilwell (£6.2m and 36%), who treated all those owners to a first blank since Gameweek 5 and only his second in eight games as a Chelsea player.
Leeds’ wingers, and in particular the industrious Raphinha (£5.4m), kept both Chelsea full-backs relatively quiet on the night, although Reece James (£5.2m) did provide the cross for Giroud’s leveller – one of two big chances he created.
Stopping the aerial threat of Kurt Zouma (£5.6m) is not so easy, however, and he powered home a header, from a Mason Mount (£6.8m) corner, to put the home side in the lead after the break.
It was the centre-half’s fourth goal of the season – double the total of any other defender – and confirmed once again the Blues’ prowess from dead ball situations.
Frank Lampard’s side has now scored seven goals from corners this campaign, which is four more than any other team.
That set-piece threat should increase the Fantasy allure of Mount, who took eight corners against Leeds, six of which were successful.
The England international has actually delivered more corners than any other Premier League player over the last six Gameweeks.
But his 4.6% ownership figure means managers are clearly not buying him into thus far, even though a goal and four assists this season have helped him to more points (43) than anyone else in Chelsea’s vaunted midfield.
Maybe familiarity has bred contempt, but the fact that the 16.5%-owned Hakim Ziyech (£8.3m) lasted just 29 minutes on Saturday might boost Mount’s popularity should Fantasy bosses want a straight swap.
Lampard gave an immediate verdict on Ziyech’s injury post-match:
It is a hamstring injury which we will find out the severity of in the next couple of days. It is obviously a disappointment going into this busy period.
Regardless of the upcoming Christmas madness, rushing anyone back from a hamstring problem is decidedly ill-advised.
Not that Lampard is lacking options in midfield anyway.
Christian Pulisic (£8.2m) came off the bench for his first extended run-out in the league since Gameweek 6 and he was his usual fast, direct and threatening self, which bodes well for his 1.8% ownership.
Lampard was certainly happy with his sub’s impact:
I was really pleased for Christian today because it has been a difficult period with the injury for him. For him to play the period of the game he played with the intensity of the game, and to get his goal, because he has the incredible gift of arriving in the box centrally as a wide man, I was delighted and he is only going to get stronger.
TIMO TIME OR WERNER WORRIES
The American’s introduction had an impact on Timo Werner (£9.5m) – and not all of it positive.
The striker, who had been interchanging with Giroud in a central role, was shunted out to the right flank by Pulisic’s introduction, although it didn’t stop him from having a busy night.
He set up the substitute’s late clincher and worked the excellent Leeds keeper Illan Meslier (£4.6m) on a number of occasions, most notably when contriving to fluff a chance from a yard out following a Giroud header.
On another day, Werner could have brought in a huge haul for his 23.4% ownership, which is a familiar refrain so far this season.
He’s produced just one double-digit performance so far (a 16-pointer in Gameweek 5) and that has tried the patience of many managers.
But only five forwards have more than his 55 points in FPL and he leads the way among strikers for penalty area touches (62).
Chelsea’s schedule is not the easiest – they’ll travel to Everton and Wolves next and will face Arsenal and Manchester City before the FA Cup third round.
That might not encourage much new investment in their key assets, although selling on the likes of Werner looks risky.
Leeds coach Marcelo Bielsa was blunt about his team’s loss:
The result was fair and the difference was fair. Although we didn’t create many chances, the difficulty in the game was not neutralising them when they were playing out from the back.
Chelsea must take much of the credit for keeping the visitors quiet – Leeds averaged 15 attempts a match prior to Saturday, but were kept to just over half of that total at Stamford Bridge.
That didn’t stop Bamford scoring yet again, and he remains the team’s most popular FPL asset, at 35.2%, by a huge margin.
Leeds came into the game looking for a third straight clean sheet, but an early knee injury to Robin Koch (£4.5m) proved disruptive.
However, Bielsa’s decision to play full-back Stuart Dallas (£4.6m) in midfield could tempt investment ahead of a generally good set of fixtures. If the coach continues to use him in that role, that is.
West Ham and Newcastle at home are next for Leeds, while their two toughest games before the FA Cup – Manchester United and Spurs – will both be away, which should keep Bamford owners happy for now.
Chelsea XI (4-2-3-1): Mendy; Chilwell, T Silva, Zouma, R James; Mount, Kanté, Havertz (Kovacic 67); Werner, Giroud (Abraham 79), Ziyech (Pulisic 30).
Leeds United XI (4-1-4-1): Meslier; Alioski (Rodrigo 69), Cooper, Koch (Llorente 9), Ayling; Phillips; Harrison (Poveda 57), Dallas, Klich, Raphinha; Bamford.
Lessons learned from FPL Gameweek 11
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