Brenden Aaronson scores first Leeds goal: American cooks Chelsea with pressing, forces Mendy mistake

Brenden Aaronson is a key part of the American influx at Leeds United. The young Philadelphia product stormed to fame in its first few weeks in the English top flight and helped the club to their best start in the Premier League.

The 21-year-old thought he had scored his first Premier League goal of the opening weekend against Wolves, a 74th-minute winner, but it was officially ruled an own goal by Rayan Ait-Nouri. It was two more weeks but Aaronson finally scored his first official Premier League goal to open the scoring against Chelsea as Leeds recorded a memorable 3-0 win over their rivals at Elland Road, with Rodrigo and Jack Harrison both out also met.

He was influential throughout the game, causing problems for the Chelsea defense and causing problems with his incessant pressing and tireless dribbling.

Aaronson is one of three Americans to arrive in Leeds in recent months. Manager Jesse Marsch helped Leeds avoid relegation last season, taking on Marcelo Bielsa and guiding the team to Premier League safety. Marsch brought Aaronson to Elland Road this summer, alongside fellow USMNT teammate Tyler Adams, who also arrived in the most recent transfer window.

MORE: Who is Brenden Aaronson? Everything you need to know about the new American winger at Leeds

Aaronson scores first Premier League goal against Chelsea

The man they call ‘Medford Messi’ was a threat during the first half of Leeds’ game against Chelsea on August 21.

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His pressing troubled the Blues throughout the game and paid off in the 33rd minute when Aaronson chased a ball back to Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. That put Mendy under pressure and instead of simply clearing the ball, the Senegalese international tried to dance his way out of trouble.

It was a fatal mistake as Aaronson reached into his pocket and was presented with a completely empty net. On the doorstep with no one to challenge, Aaronson’s efforts rallied 0.95 expected number of goals. He couldn’t miss.

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Aaronson leads Leeds press and causes Chelsea seizures

While the Marsch-crafted Leeds press led straight to Aaronson’s goal, it wasn’t the only time the Blues scratched their heads.

Throughout the first half against Chelsea, Leeds pressed the Blues with energy and relentlessness, causing a number of awkward moments for Chelsea’s defence.

Aaronson was at the center of many of those moments, particularly highlighted by one that saw new Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly scratching his head. Aaronson received a long pass from Robin Koch down the right flank and turned inside, turning Koulibaly and sending the Senegalese international scrambling off the pitch.

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Koulibaly tried to recover but Aaronson had already passed him. It left Koulibaly with no choice but to foul Aaronson, which he did by grabbing a handful of the American’s jersey. Koulibaly came into his own, leaving a trailing arm around Aaronson’s neck and leaving referee Stuart Attwell with no choice but to book the Chelsea man. The Blues defender was later sent off for a second bookable offense with five minutes remaining.

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Aaronson’s performance had the stats geeks salivating as he not only passed the eye test but also racked up attack counts.

Joining the NBC Soccer show after the game in the United States, Aaronson told the crew of Rebecca Lowe, Tim Howard and Robbie Mustoe that Leeds went into the game with the mentality: ‘We’re going to press them, we’re going to be us will not stay behind and they fear we will go after them.

USMNT fans, media react to Aaronson’s goal against Leeds

Aaronson’s goal sent US fans and the media into a frenzy and set social media aflame with his relentless performance.

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