After a run of just one win in their past 15 games, there was a sense that three points were a must for Potter, despite insisting he retained the support of the club’s owners before the game.
The Blues made a blistering start and could have been 3-0 up inside 30 minutes.
Kai Havertz was one-on-one with Leeds keeper Illan Meslier, while Joao Felix smashed a shot from distance against the crossbar before Ben Chilwell prodded wide from an excellent position.
After that there was a growing sense of deja vu around Stamford Bridge as Chelsea faded while Leeds grew into the game, with Jack Harrison sending a free-kick over the bar before the break.
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But Fofana ended Chelsea’s run of 396 minutes without a goal when he rose to head home from a corner early in the second half.
Leeds upped the pressure in the closing stages as the hosts dropped deep to try and hold on for a precious win, making for a nervous finale to the game for the home fans, but they held on to secure their second win this year.
Chelsea remain 10th despite the win while Leeds are 17th and one point above the relegation zone.