Olivier Giroud continued his terrific scoring form as Chelsea beat Leeds United to go top of the Premier League - and then hailed Marcelo Bielsa’s side as ‘one of the best’ he has faced in recent times.
Giroud was rewarded four his four-goal haul in the Champions League win over Sevilla in midweek with his first Premier League start of the season.
Patrick Bamford opened the scoring for the visitors but Giroud equalised with a trademark near-post finish.
Kurt Zouma then put the Blues ahead before Christian Pulisic added some late gloss to the scoreline, but Giroud was under no illusions about just how hard-earned the three points had been.
“Honestly, we were not surprised to face this team because we knew their qualities,” Giroud told Sky Sports.
"We conceded early and wanted to bounce back straight away. They were one of the best teams I have faced since a few months. Physically they run everywhere. It was so hard.
“It’s a great feeling to win tonight because they drew against Man City and lost just to Liverpool. They really impress me. They are a good team.”
Giroud might have had more than his one goal, not least because of a remarkable goal-line clearance in the first half - by one of his own teammates.
The Frenchman’s glancing header seemed destined to find the far corner, but Timo Werner appeared unsure as to whether the ball was drifting wide and tried to poke home himself, only to miscue and then direct onto the crossbar.
“At half time I asked and it was maybe the post or inside but it's okay,” Giroud added. “I would have been very happy if Timo had scored. He made a great assist at the end.
"We work hard at training and take so much pleasure on the pitch. It's a good when you can show it at the weekend. It's why we enjoy together playing football."
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