Chelsea’s turnaround to form came just three days before the FA Cup final. Yes, they were helped by James’ red card, but they were far the stronger of the two teams, as Mount’s goal after only four minutes demonstrated.
When Leeds were reduced to 10 men, it seemed certain that they would expand their lead, and they did so immediately after the restart when Pulisic fired low past Meslier.
“We played very well from the first minute,” Tuchel said. “I was happy with the level of focus and determination. You need to be disciplined because Leeds never stop running.”
Story of the match
Mount’s opener definitely dampened the pre-match buzz inside Elland Road, with the suspense evident as the games ticked away. Leeds could, and perhaps should, have been more than one goal down at halftime, but James’s horrific tackle swung the game.
He undoubtedly got the ball, but the Welshman was also high, reckless, and risky in doing so, and despite protests from home fans, the replays provided little support for James.
So, when Pulisic scored past Meslier 10 minutes after the restart, whatever hope Leeds had of salvaging at least a point from such a dire situation vanished. There was effort in response, but not a single shot on target, highlighting another of Leeds’ major issues.
Leeds provided very little, and their chances of remaining in the top flight are out of their hands. They trail 17th-placed Burnley on goal differential and are two points behind Everton, despite having played one more game.
Chelsea can clinch a place in next season’s Champions League by beating either Leicester or Watford, or by hoping Tottenham does not win all three remaining games. But for the time being, their attention is focused on Saturday’s FA Cup final versus Liverpool.
Jesse Marsch feels the case of deja vu
On Sunday, Leeds conceded twice in the first 10 minutes against Arsenal and had Luke Ayling sent off in a 2-1 defeat.
“I’m gutted. We give up an early goal and go down a man again – deja vu,” Marsch, the Leeds United manager told BBC Sport.
“We don’t get a chance to stay in the game and see if we can test ourselves and come away with more. We lose another player.
“Two tackles in the last two games that were a little bit crossing the line and hurting the team. I’m not going to blame or finger point any of our players. They’ve given everything they can. We have to stay within boundaries in not jeopardising ourselves.”
Leeds also became the first team to ever receive 100 yellow or red cards in a Premier League season.