LONDON – Chelsea moved to the top of the Premier League as they came from behind to beat Leeds United 3-1 at home on Saturday, set on their way by a fifth goal in four days from Olivier Giroud.
Giroud, 34, marked his first league start of the season – reward for his four goals in Chelsea’s thrashing of Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday – by stretching to turn in a whipped cross by Reece James in the 27th minute.
That cancelled out a fourth-minute opener for Leeds by Patrick Bamford, once on the Blues’ books but who never made a first-team appearance. He latched on to a long ball by Kalvin Phillips and rounded goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to score.
Chelsea created most of the chances and went ahead in the 61st minute when Zouma jumped higher than everyone to power a Mason Mount corner down and into net.
Christian Pulisic sealed the win in added time when he turned in a cross by Timo Werner.
The win pushed Chelsea up to top spot in the table with 22 points, leap-frogging Tottenham and Liverpool who both have 21 and are playing on Sunday. Leeds are in 12th position.
The game marked the return of fans to Stamford Bridge for the first time since March, before the first coronavirus lockdown, giving 2,000 supporters the chance to watch several Chelsea players in the flesh for the first time after the club’s summer spending spree.