Leeds striker Patrick Bamford says Chelsea are ‘probably the best team we’ve played this year’ in the wake of the Whites’ 3-1 loss at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
The in-form striker has enjoyed a superb campaign so far, scoring eight Premier League goals.
And in those 11 games, he’s pitted himself against some of the top-flight’s best teams.
Leeds took on champions Liverpool at Anfield on the opening weekend, Bamford scoring in an entertaining 4-3 loss. They then played out a 1-1 draw with Manchester City in their second home game.
Fourth-placed Leicester thumped them 4-1 at Elland Road. And then they lost 3-1 at Chelsea last Saturday.
Bamford’s early strike gave Marcelo Bielsa’s men the lead at Stamford Bridge. But the Blues roared back with goals from Olivier Giroud, Kurt Zouma and Christian Pulisic.
Chelsea’s performance in that game left the Leeds No.9 hugely impressed.
Bamford told The Athletic’s Ornstein & Chapman Podcast: “We nit-pick everything really. Our physical stats weren’t bad but Chelsea really outperformed what they’ve done the rest of the season, in terms of physically.
“Then obviously we know about Chelsea how good they are. I think that’s probably the best team we’ve played this year.”
Bielsa backs up Bamford opinion
Leeds boss Bielsa also admitted Chelsea were hard to handle. In particular, World Cup winner N’Golo Kante.
The Whites boss said: “We failed to neutralise them from set-pieces and at the end it was important.
“It was difficult for us to stop them playing out from the back with their centre-backs and N’Golo Kante.
“The difficulty for us was we didn’t manage to take the ball off them in their own half.”
The bookies don’t quite agree with Bamford in terms of where the title will go.
Liverpool remain slight favourites at 7/4, just ahead of 2/1 Manchester City.
But Chelsea are respected. They’re 5/1 alongside Premier League leaders Tottenham.
Leeds, currently 14th, now have three home games in their next four matches.
The host West Ham this Friday and then welcome Newcastle next Wednesday.
Then follows a mouthwatering trip to Manchester United before another home match against Burnley.