Leeds United's perfect demonstration of Jesse Marsch football blitzes Chelsea 3-0

To beat the modern-day Chelsea 3-0 can never be anything other than a big result, particularly for a club which historically despises the flash Londoners as much as Leeds United do.

But the way they dismantled Thomas Tuchel's side based on intense, pressing football was a huge victory for coach Jesse Marsch and his approach too.

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The way Leeds went about their game against one of the best sides in Europe could probably make a decent instructional DVD in how the American wants the game to be played.

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CHEERLEADER: Jesse Marsch urges Leeds United onCHEERLEADER: Jesse Marsch urges Leeds United on
CHEERLEADER: Jesse Marsch urges Leeds United on

Leeds are still a work in progress but, helped by shrewd signings already attuned to Marsch's thinking, the progress is pleasingly rapid. Having thrown away a 2-0 lead at Southampton eight days earlier, they showed they had learnt from that too.

The first goal was a direct result of Brenden Aaronson's pressing, the second reward for the work coach Mark Jackson has been doing on set pieces, the third a counter-attack which saw Jack Harrison's bright mind pounce on a loose ball.

It took until three of his best performers on the day - Harrison, Aaronson and Rodrigo - had been substituted, but the Leeds fans broke into a chorus of "Jesse, Jesse Marsch!" He had more than earnt it.

Moments before the third, Tuchel had replaced his central midfielders with two wingers and switched formation to 4-1-everyone-else-attack. After it, he withdrew forwards Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling, for full-backs. It spoke volumes, just not loudly enough to be heard above the partying Elland Road crowd.

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GOAL: Brenden Aaronson opens the scoring for Leeds UnitedGOAL: Brenden Aaronson opens the scoring for Leeds United
GOAL: Brenden Aaronson opens the scoring for Leeds United

Right from the start there was a chaotic feel to the game, and that is the way the White like it.

Especially at Elland Road, they like to make the experience of being an opponent something like playing in a whirlwind. Five substitutes, the multiball system and most of all the cacophony in the stands must make it hard to think, never mind catch your breath when the hosts are in full flow.

On Sunday they were, pressing like their lives depended on it, with Marsch cheerleading every in-your-face tackle.

Unless or until they buy a new striker - the market is "Notoriously challenging" chief executive Angus Kinnear noted in his programme - there is a sensible argument to say Leeds are too heavily dependent on the fragile fitness of Patrick Bamford but without him, they have something different.

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Rodrigo was nominally Leeds's centre-forward but he often played more as a "false nine" - dropping deep to look for the ball. When he did Dan James, the man who came in for Bamford, came in off the right and filled the gap. The two flitted about incessantly.

At times Chelsea's forward line was no less confusing. Sterling and Kai Havertz played as split strikers with Mount in the hole.

It left Rasmus Kristensen in particular with a dilemma, particularly as he also had wing-back Marc Cucurella to think about.

Sterling had his moments - shooting wide inside 45 seconds and having a goal correctly chalked off for offside when he got behind and inside Robin Koch after 15 minutes - but Leeds were brave. Koch signed under Marcelo Bielsa and therefore it goes without saying he is versatile, so he seemed to have little trouble coming over to the touchline when needed whilst Kristensen bombed on.

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When Koch was dragged out of position in the 22nd minute it was to unsuccessfully contest a header with Havertz. Mount forced a low save from Illan Meslier.

If their bravery was an important factor for Leeds, their pressing was even more crucial. There is no question of the fans not being on board, roaring their approval when Marc Roca charged a Ruben Loftus-Cheek shot like he had scored, not conceded a corner.

Right from the off, though, Leeds were making mischief at the other end. James, popping up at centre-forward, shot over after four minutes, Harrison fired at Edouard Mendy in the fifth.

Chelsea's first-half spell came to an end when Leeds won the ball high up the pitch in the 20th minute, only for Rodrigo to drag his shot wide. Diego Llorente headed an Aaronson corner onto the roof of the net.

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What Marsch and the Elland Road fans love about Aaronson is that he is no languid stylist of a No 10, more whirling dervish. He played Rodrigo through to shoot at Mendy under pressure, then scored a goal through sheer hard work.

Thiago Silva's backpass gave Mendy plenty of thinking time - too much, it turns out, and he used it dithering as Aaronson bore down on him, tackling him barely a yard out of goal and tapping in. When Mendy took his place in front of The Kop for the start of the second half, he was greeted with ironic cheers.

The goal was no fluke, and inside four minutes, Leeds had proved as much with a second.

Rodrigo may be a silky Brazilian-born Spaniard who prefers to play at No 10 but recently when pushed further forward, he has been doing a pretty good Lee Chapman impression. For the second weekend in succession he headed in a high cross, this one from a Harrison free-kick after Sterling caught Roca from behind.

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Leeds took their medicine a bit at the start of the second half and brought on Adam Forshaw from some extra midfield energy with half an hour to play.

Still, only Reece James, in the 65th minute, really worked Meslier.

Luis Sinisterra was preparing to come on and give Leeds more threat on the counter-attack when they scored their third thay way.

With 20 minutes to go, James got to the byline and crossed. Aaronson could not stretch to it, Rodrigo touched it across and Harrison volleyed the loose ball in. Chaos theory had triumphed again.

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It might even have been four but two minutes later Rodrigo put Harrison's cross over under pressure from Cucurella.

Leeds fans could scarcely have imagined it getting better, but it did.

Already on a booking for almost ripping Aaronson's shirt off inside the first tend minutes, Kalidou Koulibaly pulled down the freshly-introduced Joe Gelhardt and was made to trudge off to the waves of thousands of grinning home fans.

If any Leeds player or supporter had doubts about Marsch's methods, they may just have disappeared.

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Leeds United: Meslier; Kristensen, Koch, Llorente, Struijk; Roca (Forshaw 84), Adams; James (Sinisterra 71), Aaronson (Klich 82), Harrison (Greenwood 82); Rodrigo (Gelhardt 82).

Unused substitutes: Summerville, Klaesson, Hjelde, Drameh.

Chelsea: Mendy; James, Koulibaly, Thiago; Loftus-Cheek, Gallagher (Pulisic 63), Jorginho (Ziyech 63), Cucurella; Mount (Chilwell 78); Havertz, Sterling (Azpilicueta 87).

Unused substitutes: Arrizabalaga, Chalobah, Hudson-Odoi, Chukwuemeka, Ampadu.

Referee: S Attwell (Nuneaton).