Chelsea: Badiashile was “superb” vs Leeds
Chelsea finally lifted an iron weight off their chests after clinching victory in the Premier League, defeating relegation-threatened Leeds United 1-0 at Stamford Bridge to belatedly kickstart an ascension up the table.
Having clinched victory just two times from the previous 15 matches across all competitions, Graham Potter’s Blues saw off the Whites to keep hold of tenth place in the division after Aston Villa defeated Crystal Palace.
The result does now close the gap on fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur to 11 points, with the west London outfit also holding a game in hand on their city rivals, but a string of consistency will be paramount if Chelsea are to salvage something from their wayward season.
Having failed to capitalise on a resounding and unrelenting offensive surge in the opening phase of the encounter, Stamford Bridge did not receive the roar of approval it so dearly craved, and when the respective outfits took to the tunnel at the interval, parity intact and the deadlock unbroken, the home faithful would be forgiven for a sense of trepidation that the familiar recent script was to be followed once more.
However, £75m summer signing Wesley Fofana met Ben Chilwell’s cross early after the break to secure a coveted victory, and Potter will hope to use the win as a platform to build upon, seeking success over the latter period of the term.
While the French defender was “inspiring his side” with his goal, according to Terry Flewers, it was his positional peer and countryman Benoit Badiashile who deserves the plaudits after another first-rate performance at the back.
Was Badiashile “superb” vs Leeds?
Signed from AS Monaco for £35m in January, Badiashile has been impressive during the opening phase of his career in England, recording a commendable average league rating of 7.33 – as per Sofascore – over his first six matches in the Premier League.
And against the Peacocks, the 21-year-old once again exhibited his skill set and ball-playing aptitude, assured and composed in snuffing out danger and effectively contributing from the back.
Will Badiashile succeed at Chelsea?
Sofascore recorded his rating on the afternoon at 7.2, with writer Gabe Henderson hailing him as “superb” for his efforts in claiming a fourth clean sheet from his six top-flight appearances.
Having made a tackle and two interceptions, the colossus’ defensive aptitude was on full show, while his 87% pass completion rate was yet a further demonstration of the prowess with his passing that sets him in a particular bracket of sublime modern defenders with an eye for the elegant.
Also making 79 touches, Badiashile was very much in the thick of the action from start to finish, completing 75% of his attempted long balls and winning two of his five total duels.
Chelsea’s acquisition seems to be more of a coup by the match week, and with further superlative showings such as the performance against Leeds, Potter might just rest easy knowing he has such a formidable and consistent force in front of the net.
The Englishman – who has been the subject of intense speculation regarding his future amid the club’s recent woes – will also be fully aware that the displays of both Fofana and Badiashile, in particular, could have helped save his skin by easing the pressure on his position, with the 47-year-old spared the axe for another day.