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Match Report: Fulham 2 Chelsea 1 | Information | Official Web site

Ten-man Chelsea fell to a primary defeat in opposition to Fulham since 2006 on a irritating evening at Craven Cottage.

The Blues have been the higher staff for a lot of the competition, and seemed extra harmful within the attacking third than in latest away fixtures. Debutant Joao Felix performed an enormous half in that, skilful and artistic from the primary whistle, however his evening led to disappointment when he was despatched off shortly earlier than the hour for a excessive sort out.

By that time Kalidou Koulibaly’s close-range end had drawn us degree straight after the interval, Willian having given the hosts the benefit in opposition to his former membership halfway by means of the primary half.

The ten males fell behind to Carlos Vinicius’ header, although, and whereas we battled exhausting a second equalizer proved past us.

The choice

Joao Felix went straight into the Chelsea beginning XI after his paperwork was accomplished earlier at present. The Portuguese’s inclusion was one among 4 adjustments to private Graham Potter made. He additionally altered our form, switching to a three-man central protection with wing-backs.

Thiago Silva returned between Trevoh Chalobah and Koulibaly, with Cesar Azpilicueta and Lewis Corridor at wing-back.

Denis Zakaria joined Mateo Kovacic in central midfield, and Mason Mount and Joao Felix performed off Havertz in a sometimes fluid frontline.

Joao Felix off to a flier

It took Joao Felix scarcely a minute to indicate his class. A optimistic contact infield took him previous Tim Ream, and he then picked out Havertz with a transparent sight of objective. His effort was blocked, and although he was nonetheless in a position to tee up Corridor, the left wing-back’s effort was too near Leno, who saved along with his ft.

Joao Felix then daintily flicked the ball over his namesake Joao Palhinha in the midst of the park. Such was the worry he instilled in our hosts two of their gamers, Antonee Robinson and Andreas Pereira, have been booked for fouls on him earlier than the quarter-hour mark.

Joao Felix dragged his first shot in anger huge of the close to put up after a free-kick he had received was finally labored to him. He was additionally off-target with a volley, however the flag was up anyway.

Nonetheless, the spark he had injected into our staff was apparent, and helped get the most effective out of Mount and Havertz, too.

Previous buddy returns to hang-out us

Other than a Vinicius shot huge, Fulham had created little of observe by the halfway level of an action-packed first half.

However they signaled their intent when Bobby Decordova-Reid smashed a shot in opposition to the crossbar after Chalobah misjudged a header within the wind.

Alas, the repossession was non permanent. Fulham stole possession by our nook flag and the ensuing cross was glanced clear solely so far as Willian, who minimize inside his good mate Azpilicueta and went for objective. A wholesome deflection off Chalobah took it previous Kepa and into the web, by way of the right-hand put up.

Joao Felix shot exhausting and straight at Leno in response. The keeper then wanted good reactions and a powerful proper hand to palm Corridor’s deflected volley behind.

With 5 minutes to go till the break, we created two extra possibilities. Azpilicueta’s shot was deflected over after extra good work from Joao Felix and Havertz, after which that duo mixed. Havertz outmuscled Tosin Adarabioyo and laid it off to our new attacker, who did not waste time earlier than getting his shot away, parried to security by Leno.

Reserved equalizer

Going ahead we had seemed vibrant and doubtless deserved a objective for our efforts. Although one did not arrive earlier than half-time, we did not have to attend lengthy to seek out the web within the second interval, lower than two minutes actually.

That stated, it did not hit the web! Corridor received a free-kick huge on the left which Mount whipped goalwards. It thudded into the put up, hit the diving Leno and fell to Koulibaly, who instinctively prodded goalwards. Although Leno bought arms to it, he was nonetheless behind the road from the preliminary Mount effort. Aim-line expertise confirmed the objective. 1-1.

The momentum proved short-lived as, within the house of a few minutes earlier than the hour mark, our night took a serious flip for the more severe.

Turning factors

First, in beginning a counter-attack, Zakaria pulled up in critical ache and needed to changed by Jorginho. Then, Joao Felix’s promising debut got here to an abrupt halt when he was proven a straight purple card for a harmful sort out on Kenny Tete close to the midway line.

We responded nicely to the setback. Havertz and Mount, alone in assault now, mixed, permitting the German to glide between Fulham’s centre-back pairing. Because the angle narrowed, he tried to dink the ball over Leno, who stayed tall and saved along with his face.

Our form had appeared strong sufficient, however one teasing huge cross from Pereira discovered a gap in our backline and induced hesitancy from Kepa, who got here however did not declare. Vinicius was left to move into an empty web.

With 10 minutes left, Potter made a quadruple substitution, and we reverted to a again 4. Hakim Ziyech now supported Havertz, Cucurella was at left-back and Conor Gallagher and Carney Chukwuemeka have been tasked with including power and high quality to the center of the park. It nearly paid on the spot dividends however Chukwuemeka’s go was a fraction behind Havertz.

The clock ticked down with Fulham holding on. In six minutes of time added on, the ultimate likelihood fell Havertz’s means. Koulibaly’s lengthy go launched him behind and he took his shot early, assembly it cleanly. His compatriot Leno was equal to it, although, so the west London bragging rights have been Fulham’s for the primary time in 21 video games.

What’s subsequent?

The Blues have one other London derby this Sunday. We welcome Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge with kick-off at 2pm.

chelsea (3-4-2-1): Kepa; Chalobah (Chukwuemeka 79), Thiago Silva, Koulibaly; Azpilicueta (c), Zakaria (Jorginho 56), Kovacic (Gallagher 79), Corridor (Cucurella 79); Felix, Mount (Ziyech 80); Havertz.
Unused subs Bettinelli, Badiashile, Aubameyang, D.Fofana.
Rating Koulibaly 47
Despatched off João Felix 58
Booked Chalobah 36, Corridor 62, Mount 76

Fulham (4-2-3-1): Leno; Head, Adarabioyo, Ream (c), Robinson; Reed (Cairney 68), Palhinha; Decordova-Reid (Wilson 68), Pereira (James 90+3), Willian (Solomon 83); Vinicius (Chalobah 90+4).
Unused subs Rodak, Diop, Kurzawa, Harris.
Scorers Willian 25, Vinicius 73
Booked Robinson 9, Pereira 14, Leno 90+6

Referee David Coote

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