Jeff Stelling thrilled with 'terrific' Illan Meslier in Leeds United 1-0 defeat at Chelsea
Illan Meslier was branded “terrific” for Leeds United by Jeff Stelling after he made an excellent one-handed save against Chelsea forward Kai Havertz at Stamford Bridge.
Early in the game on Saturday (4 March) the German was sent through on goal and looked to lift the ball past the onrushing French keeper, only to be denied by a single outstretched hand.
In a game which ultimately was settled by a single goal from Wesley Fofana after the break, the Whites man was a big part of the reason why the score was still goalless at the interval amid a long scoring-drought for the Blues, and Stelling was hugely impressed.
He said live on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday (4 March, 3.46pm): “Chelsea with one goal in six games in all competitions and none today despite their best efforts.
“But their best efforts have not been good enough. Meslier making one terrific save.”
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It ultimately didn’t help record any points and that will be a concern for Javi Gracia, especially after Southampton beat Leicester later on Saturday to leave all of the bottom three level on 21 points, just one behind Leeds United.
With the situation shaping up to be extremely tight in the relegation battle though, Meslier’s save may have worked wonders in terms of goal-difference.
Graham Potter’s side were low on confidence and goal-shy, and even in this game which they won their finishing was wayward as a result.
Had Havertz put them ahead early on it could have lifted the expensively-assembled squad and seem them score the hatful that they’ve been missing.
Since points are clearly going to come at a premium that is probably the next best thing, although it cannot distract from the fact that the Whites need to record some more better results, and fast.
This was definitely an opportunity against a Chelsea side at a low ebb, and it will be a great frustration that United’s own scoring issues led to another blank in the capital.
Somehow, Southampton have won either side of their defeat at Elland Road on 25 February, so without points on the board the Whites will remain in contention to replace them in the drop zone.