Olivier Giroud admitted he was ‘really impressed’ by Leeds following Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over Marcelo Bielsa’s side on Saturday evening.
The visitors were well beaten in the end after failing to make the most of their impressive start in west London.
Blues old boy Patrick Bamford opened the scoring after just four minutes at Stamford Bridge.
However, United’s resistance was broken in the 27th minute as the in-form Giroud swept home.
Leeds struggled to impose their will in the second period, with Kurt Zouma powering home a header. Sub Christian Pulisic then completed the scoring deep into injury-time.
Despite the defeat to Frank Lampard’s outfit, the visitors left a lasting impression on France star Giroud.
“We really wanted to win for [the fans] and carry on the good momentum,” the 34-year-old told Sky Sports.
“Honestly, we were not surprised to face this team [Leeds] because we knew their qualities. We conceded early and wanted to bounce back straight away.
“They [Leeds] were one of the best teams I have faced since a few months. Physically they run everywhere. It was so hard.
“It’s a great feeling to win tonight and they drew against Man City and lost just to Liverpool. They really impress me. They are a good team.
“I’m feeling good and confident. I play with serenity. I had the opportunity to score again today and help the team.
“I’m happy for the squad and the staff. We work hard in training. We have faith in our game plan and get better and better. The confidence is here and we want to keep that.”
Asked about his equaliser, he added: “That’s a good cross from Reece James and I try to stay onside.
“We work hard at training and take so much pleasure on the pitch. It’s good when you can show it at the weekend. It’s why we enjoy playing together.”
Bielsa pinpoints major Leeds problem
Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa said that Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante proved crucial in helping the Blues seal victory at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking to Match of the Day (via BBC Sport), Bielsa added that set-pieces were key. Indeed, Zouma’s goal – which put Chelsea in front – came from a corner.
“We failed to neutralise them from set-pieces and at the end it was important,” the manager said.
“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.” Read more…