LEEDS, England (AP) — A bad error by goalkeeper Edouard Mendy prompted a collapse by Chelsea in a 3-0 loss at Leeds on Sunday featuring a first Premier League goal by American winger Brenden Aaronson.
The late sending-off of center back Kalidou Koulibaly completed a miserable afternoon at a lively Elland Road for Chelsea, which fell to a first loss of the season.
It was Aaronson who applied pressure on Mendy after the Senegal international received a back pass in the 33rd minute. Mendy took a slightly heavy touch and tried to go around Aaronson, who dispossessed him and walked the ball into the net to make it 1-0.
“The message was going into this game, we’re going to press them, we’re not going to stay back and fear them, we are going to go after them,” said Aaronson, who joined Leeds from Austrian team Salzburg. “That sums up that goal and sums up this team’s performance today.”
Spain striker Rodrigo glanced home a header from Jack Harrison’s free kick in the 37th minute and the roles were reversed for the third goal in the 69th, when Rodrigo arrived in the area to meet a cross with a mis-hit shot that was turned in from close range by Harrison.
Koulibaly, one of Chelsea’s offseason signings, received his second yellow card in the 84th for pulling back the jersey of substitute Joe Gelhardt.
Chelsea’s poor performance contrasted sharply with its impressive display in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham last weekend and highlighted a number of weaknesses in its squad.
Notably in attack, where manager Thomas Tuchel looks to be short after letting go Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner and only bringing in Raheem Sterling from Manchester City. Sterling had a goal disallowed in the first half and also missed a great early chance.
Chelsea also has a shortage of center backs — the suspension of Koulibaly won’t help — as well as issues in midfield, with N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic injured.
Leeds has opened with two wins and a draw in American coach Jesse Marsch’s first full season in charge.
“I love it here, I love our fans,” Marsch said. “You have to enjoy it, this business is not easy.”
Rodrigo has four goals, making him the top scorer in the league.