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Mendy's error changed dynamic for Chelsea in Leeds United defeat - Ikpeba

9:21 AM WAT 23/08/2022
Chelsea’s head coach Thomas Tuchel (L) congratulates Chelsea's goalkeeper Edouard Mendy
The former Super Eagles star suggested the blunder committed by the Senegal international swung the game in favour of the Peacocks at Elland Road

Nigeria legend Victor Ikpeba has blamed Chelsea's collapse in their 3-0 Premier League defeat against Leeds United to the howler committed by goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Despite the Blues starting strongly in the fixture at Elland Road, the 30-year-old Senegal custodian gave the ball away to the charging Leeds forward Brenden Aaronson, who walked the ball into the net for the opener.

Leeds then went on to score two more goals courtesy of Rodrigo Moreno and Jack Harrison to hand Chelsea their first defeat of the season.

According to the 49-year-old Ikpeba, who played 31 international matches and scored seven goals for the Super Eagles, Mendy, who joined Chelsea from Rennes in September 2020, should have cleared the ball because he had so much time to do so.

"But I think Mendy's error changed the dynamics of the game. That's the Premier League. The moment Leeds had that upper hand," Ikpeba told SuperSport's Monday Night Football as quoted by allnigeriasoccer.com.

"Look at Mendy. I don't know what's wrong with Mendy. He had so much time to clear his lines. I don't understand what he was doing. This is a team [Chelsea] without a striker.

"They had more ball possessions, they dominated play but Leeds defended very well. They [Leeds] played the pressing game from the beginning of the match.

"But even at that, Chelsea had their moments and I don't think this was the first time that Mendy will be making this kind of error. He's made errors in the past but what a gift for Leeds' first goal."

However, Ikpeba said Chelsea should have taken control of the game in the early stages since they had started the stronger of the two sides.

"They [Chelsea] started brightly. Sterling could have scored from this situation [reference to an action as shown on the monitor], the squad came out, they played very well," added Ikpeba.

"They had their moments to punish Leeds. In football, if you don't take your chances, you'll be punished."

On Monday, Chelsea midfielder Jorginho came out to defend Mendy, insisting it was time they moved on.

"It’s not nice to see, especially a teammate. Everyone has been there. He [Mendy] is strong and has a strong mentality. It’s time to move on," Jorginho said.

Chelsea and Mendy will hope to bounce back to winning ways when they host Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.