Chelsea eases pressure on Potter with 1-0 win over Leeds
LONDON (AP) — Big-spending Chelsea pulled out a big win to ease some of the pressure on manager Graham Potter, beating Leeds 1-0 in the English Premier League on Saturday thanks to a rare goal by one of the club’s most expensive signings.
Wesley Fofana headed in from a corner in the 53rd minute for the young center backs’ first league goal in English soccer, giving Chelsea only a second win in its last 11 games in all competitions.
Chelsea’s dreadful recent form came despite a splurge in the January market that took its spending over the last two transfer windows to $630 million.
Fofana was one of players who joined over the past year — for a reported fee of 75 million pounds ($87 million) — and his goal has repaid a huge chunk of that price tag.
Potter has come under huge pressure but he celebrated the goal calmly in his dugout. It might yet save his job, especially if it gives Chelsea some confidence to recover from a 1-0 deficit to Borussia Dortmund in their round-of-16 matchup in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Scoring has been Chelsea’s big problem — Fofana’s goal was only its second in seven games — and the team struggled in attack again against Leeds, with Kai Havertz wasting a one-on-one chance and Joao Felix striking a shot against the crossbar later in the first half.
The unlikely figure of Fofana came to the rescue by heading in a left-wing corner from Ben Chilwell in front of chairman Todd Boehly, the American businessman who fronted the takeover of Chelsea last year.
The loss kept Leeds in relegation danger, with the team starting the match one point out of the bottom three.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
The Associated Press