LEEDS, England (AP) — Hampered by another first-half red card, Leeds lost 3-0 at home to Chelsea on Wednesday to remain rooted in the Premier League's relegation zone heading into the final week of the season.
Already trailing from Mason Mount's fourth-minute goal, Leeds was reduced to 10 men in the 24th when winger Dan James received a straight red card for a wild lunge on Mateo Kovacic.
The reckless challenge had echoes of the one produced by teammate Luke Ayling against Arsenal on Sunday that also saw the defender get set off.
Leeds' American coach, Jesse Marsch, couldn't hide his frustration on the sidelines and Chelsea made his team pay, with Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku adding second-half goals at Elland Road.
Leeds is in third-to-last place, behind Burnley on goal difference having played one game more. Leeds has two games remaining — against Brighton and Brentford — in its bid to avoid a return to the Championship.
Another worry for Marsch was the sight of both of his wingers, Jack Harrison and Raphinha, going off with injuries.
Meanwhile, Kovacic tried but was unable to play on after being hurt by James' foul and came off six minutes later after the red card. The midfielder looks to be a doubt for the FA Cup final against Liverpool on Saturday.
Chelsea consolidated third place, moving four points clear of fourth-place Arsenal, which plays Tottenham — the fifth-place team — on Thursday. Tottenham is eight points behind Chelsea, which is close to securing a Champions League qualification place.
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The Associated Press