Christian Pulisic (Right wingback): 5/10
After all the speculation about his future at Chelsea, Christian Pulisic made his very first start under Tuchel. Given that he is one of only two players who Tuchel had coached prior to taking the Chelsea job (Silva being the other), that is a pretty surprising stat.
I found Chelsea’s wingback positions very interesting, with Pulisic significantly higher than Ben Chilwell, playing almost as a right winger. Clearly Tuchel wanted the American to be the more attacking of the two wingbacks. He was one of the best players in the first half where he had Leeds left back Ezgjan Alioski on strings, but failed to make any impact on the game in the second half, resulting in a 66′ substitution.
N’Golo Kante (Central midfielder): 8.5/10
Another midfield masterclass from N’Golo Kante earns him the second highest rating. Kante’s performance had everything. On the defensive side, he won a game high 14 duels, made 11 ball recoveries, three tackles and four interceptions. On the offensive end, Kante was better than most will give him credit for. With a passing accuracy of 86 percent, Kante created three chances and completed a game high five dribbles. Remember, there’s still fans out there who would leave him out of their preferred starting line-ups.
Jorginho (Central midfielder): 6/10
Jorginho was good, but not great. I was worried about him coming up against the high-energy Leeds press, but he did well to ensure that the Blues were able to play through the press for the majority of the game. However, further forward, Jorginho barely made an impact. Defensively he was easy to bypass as well, getting dribbled past more times than any other Chelsea player (four).
Ben Chilwell (Left wingback): 6
I was very surprised to see Chilwell trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons. As outlined above, Chilwell was playing much deeper than Pulisic, potentially because of the threat of Raphinha. As a left back playing in the more defensive role, Chilwell’s main task was to keep the clean sheet intact. You cannot blame Chilwell for Chelsea’s poor offensive play, even if he did miss a good chance. Defensively, Chilwell made five interceptions, four tackles and won six duels. That’s more than enough of a contribution to warrant an above average rating.
Reece James (Right wingback): 6/10
Reece James replaced Pulisic in the 68′. Despite playing just 22 minutes, James made a positive impact on the game. He completed every single pass he attempted (nine), won both his contested duels, completed the only dribble he attempted and managed to make a crucial block, as well.