Leeds United remain in the Premier League relegation zone with two games to go after losing to Chelsea, who are closing in on sealing a Champions League spot.
Mason Mount scored the game’s opening goal with a lovely first-time effort from outside the box from Reece James’ cut-back at the end of a nice passing move.
United had Daniel James sent off for a dangerous high tackle on Mateo Kovacic, who had to be replaced. They later became the first team to ever receive 100 yellow or red cards in a Premier League season.
Christian Pulisic slotted Mount’s pass into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
Romelu Lukaku – who earlier had a goal disallowed – scored the third goal that the Blues’ dominance deserved as he took his time to hold off three defenders and smash home.
Leeds offered very little and their hopes of staying up are out of their hands. They are behind 17th-placed Burnley on goal difference but the Clarets have a game in hand.
Chelsea only need to beat one of Leicester or Watford – or hope Tottenham do not win all three remaining games – to clinch a place in next season’s Champions League. But for now their focus turns to Saturday’s FA Cup final against Liverpool.
Is the end nigh for Leeds?
Leeds replacing their legendary boss Marcelo Bielsa with Jesse Marsch in February has brought no real upturn in fortunes.
Ill-discipline cost them again with James shown a fully-deserved red card for a bad foul on Kovacic – who was booed by home fans as he limped off to be replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek. That was their third red of the season (on top of a record 97 yellows) and their second in four days following Luke Ayling’s dismissal in their defeat by Arsenal.
Leeds now need to get something from games with Brighton and Brentford – without Ayling or James – and hope Burnley or Everton slip up above them.
They may be without Jack Harrison too, whose first-half knock added to the injury woes which have plagued their season.
Leeds have conceded 37 goals in their home league games this season, their second worst ever record in a top-flight campaign.
They could perhaps deal with those struggles better if they were scoring more goals – but they only had five shots at Elland Road, none on target.
Job almost done for Chelsea
Chelsea, who have been comfortable in third place for most of the season, looked to be cruising towards the Champions League places but a run of three games without a win might have seen a tiny bit of doubt creep in.
They could be guaranteed a top-four place by the time they go to Wembley on Saturday if Spurs do not beat Arsenal on Thursday.
Thomas Tuchel’s side were deserved winners and could have scored more, with Lukaku having six shots alone.
The Belgian continued his revival with his third goal in two Premier League games. He had only netted four in his first 22.
In Mount – involved in the first two goals – Chelsea have a star. With 11 goals and 10 assists he is only the fifth (and youngest) Chelsea player to reach double figures in both in a Premier League season, after Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard.