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EPL: Chelsea defeats Leeds to secure a top-four finish.

EPL: Chelsea defeats Leeds to secure a top-four finish.

Chelsea is on the brink of Champions League qualification after defeating Leeds United to seal their top four finish.

With a 3-0 win over 10-man Leeds, they now just need one point from their final two games to finish in the top four. It should never have come to this, with the hangover from their Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid last month throwing them into a tailspin towards the conclusion of the season.

But Thomas Tuchel can breathe easier today, and this win, only their second in the previous six games, might be just what the doctor ordered ahead of their Wembley confrontation with Liverpool.

While they cannot expect Jurgen Klopp’s quadruple-chasing team to give anything resembling the feeble opposition provided by Jesse Marsch’s dismal side, the confidence of a strong performance might be telling.

Reece James was on fire, destroying Leeds with his powerful runs down the wing. Mason Mount put in a threatening performance.

And Romelu Lukaku added another goal to leave Tuchel with a selection problem at the weekend.

With a delightfully completed goal of his own, Christian Pulisic may have forced himself into a starting spot against Liverpool.

It was a fantastic night for many in blue – and for Tuchel, success will come as a relief after their frightening recent collapse threatened to pull them into a three-way contest for Europe’s top table.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was so enraged by his team’s failure to defend a two-goal lead against Wolves over the weekend that he cancelled the players’ day off on Sunday.

It’s hardly the perfect setting for their Wembley meeting and a final chance to spruce up a campaign that has been allowed to deteriorate.

But that anguish will be replaced by optimism, and who knows what effect it will have against a Liverpool club that has larger objectives than the FA Cup?

Any chance of victory in that game will be dependent on the axis of James and Mount down the right.

Leeds had no response to Chelsea’s link-up play, which produced the first goal after only four minutes.

Chelsea players were lined up after Leeds pushed the ball from left to right inside their own half to James outside the Leeds area.

He raised his head and cut the ball back to Mount on the wing, who curled a shot high into the top corner. The scenario was set for Chelsea to end the game early.

As Leeds recklessly raced into challenges, the biggest risk looked to be how many of their players would escape uninjured, with Dan James sent off after 24 minutes for a nasty challenge on Mateo Kovacic.

Soon after, the Croatia midfielder walked off the field with an ankle injury that Tuchel believed would keep him out on Saturday.

Chelsea were excellent in imposing calm control in the second half amongst the mayhem of Leeds’ tackling.

Pulisic’s score on 55 minutes was a prime illustration of this, with James, Jorginho, and Mount all contributing to the build-up. Mount’s flick was ultimately collected by Pulisic just outside the box, and he curled a low shot past Illan Meslier.

Tuchel might unwind. There would be no repeat of the Wolves’ surrender – and he took advantage of the chance to pull James and Pulisic out of the firing line.

Chelsea, though, had time to expand their lead.

Lukaku had toiled tirelessly all night, but his finishing had failed him. Nonetheless, his desire to add to his two goals against Wolves was great.

Chelsea rushed forward in quest of more when Mount won the ball on the halfway line in the 83rd minute.

Substitute Hakim Ziyech found Lukaku in the area, and despite appearing to waste the opportunity, the striker held his cool to smash through a congested box.

Tuchel will find it difficult to keep him out of his starting lineup against Liverpool after scoring three goals in his previous two outings. But, after a difficult few weeks, that is a wonderful relief.

Gistlux Nelson

David is an Entertainment, Sport blogger and a Graphics designer. He is on a mission to help everyday entertainment news, Gossips, Sports and Legit online making tips.

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