DANNY MURPHY: Why Chelsea’s win over Leeds proves they can compete with Liverpool and Man City


DANNY MURPHY: It’s a three horse race! Chelsea win over Leeds proves they CAN compete with Liverpool and Man City … but I still have Guardiola’s men as favorites

  • Jorginho scored a 94th-minute penalty to seal Chelsea’s win over Leeds
  • Liverpool and Man City also won, and there isn’t much to divide the teams
  • The Blues struggled to find a midfielder but are in the race
  • The pleasure will be not knowing what will happen for this three-team race.

The most significant result on Saturday was Chelsea’s late victory over Leeds.

We all expect Liverpool and Manchester City to compete for the title, so the big question is whether Chelsea can stick with them.

Racking up the points and staying in the game through a tough time is a real mark of championship contenders, which makes me think we could have a real three-horse race this season.

Chelsea snuck their way to victory over Leeds on Saturday thanks to Jorginho’s dying penalty

The Blues are in the title race with Manchester City, who remain slight favorites to win

The Blues are in the title race with Manchester City, who remain slight favorites to win

The advantage for Liverpool and City is that they were able to choose a stable three-way midfielder, which is such an important area.

Liverpool have this mix of art and physique with Thiago-Fabinho-Henderson, while Pep Guardiola used Bernardo-Rodri-Gundogan with Kevin De Bruyne’s first reserve. Not bad!

On the other hand, Chelsea suffered from the absence of N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic, who are key to Thomas Tuchel’s game. When these two return performance will improve – so staying in the hunt to this day is impressive.

We have rightly praised Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea for incredible football this season, but Saturday shows that the best teams find different ways to win in order to be successful.

Mohamed Salah also scored a penalty to seal Liverpool's victory, as rivals kept pace

Mohamed Salah also scored a penalty to seal Liverpool’s victory, as rivals kept pace

There was clear symmetry in all of the narrow-winning Big Three, and in penalties as well. This shows how close the competition is between them.

I would always make slight favorites for City, then Liverpool and Chelsea as an underdog. But in truth, they’re all so packed with quality that part of the fun over the next few months is not knowing what’s going to happen.

Chelsea face Liverpool on January 4 which already looks huge, and we don’t know whether Mo Salah or Sadio Mane will have to miss the game due to the Africa Cup of Nations summons.

Thomas Tuchel impressed with his ability to handle a constantly rotating midfielder

Thomas Tuchel impressed with his ability to handle a constantly rotating midfielder

I understand there will be a penalty debate with Chelsea getting two, City getting a controversial and Liverpool getting one and not being penalized the other end.

It feels like the big clubs are making the tough decisions, but all I would say is that City, Liverpool and Chelsea are playing the right way – they’re trying to attack and put the ball in and around the opponent’s penalty area. It is therefore natural that they have the most penalties, whether they are targeted or more subjective.

As with buying lottery tickets, you cannot win a penalty without the ball in the opponent’s penalty area.


Six penalties were scored yesterday, the most in a Premier League matchday in 10 years. Four of them handed controversial victories to big clubs …

Man City: Wolves’ Joao Moutinho was on trial for handling the ball in the box. VAR appeared to suggest it to his armpit, but Jon Moss stuck with his decision and Raheem Sterling was right in giving City three points.

Liverpool: Villa’s Tyrone Mings knocked down Mohamed Salah in the box and the Egyptian got up and scored from 12 yards to win the game for Liverpool.

Chelsea: Three penalties were awarded at Stamford Bridge and the third saw Jorginho win for Thomas Tuchel’s men with practically the last kick of the game.

United man: Cristiano Ronaldo was knocked down by Max Aarons in the six-yard penalty area, it looked soft but the decision was made. The Portuguese were right on the spot and United held their ground to win 1-0.

21 – Jorginho has scored twice on the spot for Chelsea. He has now scored 21 of his 24 shots on goal for Chelsea (excluding penalties).

88 – Of all the players with at least eight PL goals, Jorginho scored the highest proportion from penalties (88 percent – 15/17). Here’s where he put them in all the competitions.


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