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Graham Potter: Chelsea “struggling” however should stick collectively amid “irritating” run | Soccer Information

Graham Potter known as on Chelsea to point out a united entrance after defeating away to native rivals Fulham heaped stress on his place and left the Blues on their worst run of league kind since 1996.

Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat at Craven Cottage, which included a crimson card on debut for Joao Felix and an harm to Denis Zakaria, means Potter’s aspect have taken simply six factors from their previous 9 Premier League video games. They sit tenth within the desk, 10 factors off fourth-placed Manchester United who’ve a recreation in hand.

“We’re struggling in the intervening time. We’re struggling, the followers are struggling. We really feel for them,” mentioned Potter. “It is necessary to stay collectively and attempt to get by means of this powerful interval.”

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Highlights from the Premier League match between Fulham and Chelsea

Chelsea crashed out of the third spherical of the FA Cup on Sunday with a 4-0 thrashing at Manchester Metropolis, who additionally ended their Carabao Cup hopes earlier than Christmas. With such an enormous hole to the highest 4, it appears the Champions League is their solely hope of success this season.

For Potter, Thursday was one other irritating night, with Felix’s encouraging debut reduce brief by his sending off, an harm checklist prolonged to 10 gamers, and defensive errors costing his aspect important factors.

Chelsea’s XI of absentees

  • Edouard Mendy (shoulder)
  • Reece James (knee)
  • Wesley Fofana (knee)
  • Ben Chilwell (hamstring)
  • N’Golo Kante (thigh)
  • Ruben Loftus-Cheek (ankle)
  • Denis Zakaria (unknown)
  • Raheem Sterling (hamstring)
  • Christian Pulisic (ankle)
  • Armando Broja (knee)
  • Joao Felix (suspension)

“It is actually irritating, extremely difficult,” mentioned Potter of the state of affairs. “I really feel for the supporters.

“We’re dissatisfied to lose tonight. I felt it was a comparatively even recreation within the first half, we had a few possibilities. However I believe the fundamentals we will perform a little bit higher, when it comes to our defending and soccer actions .

“We get again within the recreation and the crimson card is the place we’re at in the intervening time, when it comes to issues that may occur to us [do happen to us].

“To lose Joao for 3 matches is basically disappointing. Joao is a younger participant, a prime participant, you possibly can see his high quality and there wasn’t any malice [in the tackle] however the ref has a call to make. He’ll study from it.

“Greater than something implausible from the opponent, it was extra our primary actions the place we’ve to do higher.”

Which Premier League video games might Felix now miss?

  • January 15 – Chelsea v Crystal Palace, 2pm kick-off
  • January 21 – Liverpool v Chelsea, kick-off 12.30pm
  • February 3 – Chelsea vs Fulham, kick-off 8pm – reside on Sky Sports activities
  • Felix might return for West Ham vs Chelsea on February 11, kick-off 12.30pm

Talking to BT Sports activities, Potter mentioned about Felix’s crimson card: “It was a ahead’s deal with, there was no malice in it however I perceive why it was a crimson. It’s one other blow, the hits hold coming in the intervening time.

“He was actually good, you could possibly see his high quality within the recreation, so it’s doubly disappointing for us.”

With Felix suspended, the place do Chelsea’s objectives come from now?

Sky Sports activities’ Peter Smith at Craven Cottage:

After simply quarter-hour, Chelsea’s touring supporters have been singing Joao Felix’s title. He had tempted two Fulham gamers into yellow-card fouls, nutmegged Tim Ream to tee up Kai Havertz for an excellent probability and seen a number of good openings come his approach.

It was the sort of spark Chelsea and Graham Potter had desperately been looking for in assault. Earlier than Thursday they’d managed to attain simply thrice of their final seven matches. Felix seemed to be the reply to their issues. The participant to offer creativity, craft and actual high quality within the closing third.

Joao Felix on debut for Chelsea
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Felix had an encouraging Premier League debut earlier than his crimson card

However earlier than the hour mark – like so many issues for Potter and Chelsea proper now – it had gone badly incorrect. Felix’s lunge at Kenny Tete was hardly essentially the most vicious problem however together with his studs up and by connecting together with his opponent’s shin, there was solely going to be one final result.

Felix had appeared set to seize the headlines together with his first-half show – however it was his rash second within the second which would be the lasting reminiscence of his debut. He now misses three of his closing 20 Premier League video games of his mortgage spell. An costly foul, certainly.

However it additionally throws up the query of how Potter will get his assault firing once more for the matches with Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Fulham, which Felix will miss.

Kai Havertz struggled at Craven Cottage along with most of the Chelsea forward line
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Kai Havertz struggled at Craven Cottage together with many of the Chelsea ahead line

His choices are restricted. Havertz was as soon as once more wasteful at Craven Cottage, shedding his battle with Bernd Leno emphatically. Raheem Sterling remains to be recovering from harm. David Datro Fofana has solely simply arrived from Molde. And as for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he wasn’t even used off the bench with Chelsea in determined want of a purpose. That felt like a telling resolution from Potter, who sub-subbed the striker within the earlier Premier League recreation.

Chelsea are the bottom scorers within the prime half by a way, so how do they hearth their approach out of this dreadful run of kind? It is a main query which wants answering earlier than Sunday.

On the again: Chelsea crumble beneath the slightest of stress

Sky Sports activities’ Sam Blitz:

The frustration for under-fire supervisor Potter is that Thursday night time’s defeat at Fulham was totally Chelsea’s doing.

The Blues began brilliantly at Craven Cottage with Felix seeking to be the reply to Chelsea’s creativity points by popping up neatly within the midfield holes and carrying the ball ahead with aptitude.

Chelsea's defense crumbled even under the slightest of pressures
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Chelsea’s protection crumbled even beneath the slightest of pressures

Within the first 20 minutes, Chelsea had created eight respectable possibilities and restricted Fulham to scraps. Whereas the Blues weren’t in entrance, it seemed like there was progress in per week the place Potter had “trustworthy conversations” together with his squad.

Then all of it fell aside on the again. Trevoh Chalobah’s poor contact out of the again began a catalog of errors. That mistake led to Bobby Decordova-Reid hitting the bar however then got here the stress. Minutes later, Lewis Corridor was responsible for the same mistake and Willian put Fulham in entrance. All that arduous early working went down the drain and after trying so snug, Chelsea have been clinging on for half-time.

The identical may very well be mentioned for Felix’s crimson card. Chelsea had hauled themselves again into the sport after the break and have been on prime, seeking to full the comeback. Out of the blue, the one second of insanity led to the sport working away from Chelsea once more.

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Following his aspect’s 2-1 defeat to Fulham, Chelsea head coach Graham Potter says the lack of Joao Felix for 3 video games following a crimson card is ‘actually disappointing’

Potter should be inspired by his particular person means to arrange a crew able to performing, solely to see frustration in his younger, injury-ridden aspect disintegrate as quickly because the stress is cranked up.

With one other London derby with Crystal Palace awaiting the Blues on Sunday, the Chelsea supervisor is aware of {that a} good begin to calm the nerves is required, not only for his gamers however the followers too.

But when they lose that one…

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