Fulham vs. Chelsea – Football Match Report – January 12, 2023

Fulham piled extra distress on struggling Chelsea with a 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage in Thursday’s west London derby, which additionally noticed new mortgage signing Joao Felix despatched off on his Blues debut.

Former Chelsea midfielder Willian had given Fulham a twenty fifth-minute lead in opposition to his former membership earlier than Kalidou Koulibaly scrambled dwelling an equalizer two minutes into the second half.

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But Felix, who was having fun with a powerful debut following his mortgage transfer from Atletico Madrid, minimize brief Chelsea’s comeback when his excessive sort out on Kenny Tete simply earlier than the hour mark noticed the Portugal ahead proven a purple card.

Fulham took benefit of their numerical benefit as Carlos Vinicius, in for the suspended Aleksandar Mitrovic, made essentially the most of poor Chelsea defending to go dwelling the winner within the 73rd minute.

The purpose was sufficient to present Fulham their fourth win in a row within the high flight for the primary time since 1966 and takes Marco Silva’s spectacular aspect above Liverpool and into the highest six, though having performed two extra video games. They are additionally now six factors above a Chelsea group that is still languishing down in tenth spot.

And the stress is bound to solely enhance on Chelsea boss Graham Potter after a 3rd straight defeat in all competitions, to depart them with only one win of their final 9 Premier League outings.

There was extra distress for Potter, too, apart from the outcome. Not solely will he now lose Felix for 3 video games to suspension however he additionally noticed midfielder Denis Zakaria undergo a second-half harm so as to add to Chelsea’s mounting record of absentees.

“We began effectively, we had a very good probability early however then errors result in their purpose, we responded effectively after which the purple card adjustments the sport and makes it harder for us,” Potter advised BT Sport.

“We might do higher with the purpose and that is what price us.”

Potter had no complaints concerning the purple card, describing Felix’s problem on Tete as a “ahead’s sort out”.

Fulham supervisor Silva was glad along with his group’s resilience.

“Delighted with the outcome, happy with the primary half. The second half wasn’t at our greatest degree,” he mentioned.

“The good factor we are able to take as a bunch, even within the second half we did not carry out at our greatest and we’re in a position to win a soccer match in opposition to a high aspect even when they’re on a nasty run.”

– Olley: Joao Felix purple card simply the newest setback for Chelsea

In distinction, the night time had all began so brightly for Chelsea and Felix.

Despite solely finishing his mortgage transfer to Stamford Bridge simply over 24 hours earlier, Felix instantly confirmed Chelsea followers what he has to supply to a struggling assault.

Within two minutes, he created a golden alternative, breezing previous Tim Ream down the suitable to chop into the field and pick Kai Havertz, whose low shot was blocked earlier than Lewis Hall didn’t take advantage of an excellent clearer probability off the rebound.

Playing off of Havertz up entrance and linking up effectively with the Germany ahead, the one factor lacking from Felix’s first 45 minutes was a purpose.

Three instances he had efforts within the first half however failed to seek out the web. The better of these openings got here 5 minutes earlier than the interval when, from Havertz’s layoff, his shot produced a superb response save down low by Bernd Leno within the Fulham purpose.

It was a former Chelsea attacker, although, who did discover the goal as Chelsea’s defending was discovered wanting. Only two minutes after escaping when an errant header from Trevoh Chalobah gifted an opportunity to Bobby De Cordova-Reid, whose effort clattered the crossbar, Chelsea fell behind.

Chalobah was once more on the coronary heart of some unconvincing defending, as his tried headed clearance solely helped a deep cross onto Willian on the again put up. The Brazilian veteran was then allowed to chop in on his favored proper foot earlier than unleashing a low shot that deflected off Chalobah and off the far put up to present Fulham the lead.

Staring at a fifth loss of their final seven Premier League outings, Chelsea, and Potter, desperately wanted a response within the second half.

With a contact of fortune, they obtained simply what they wanted simply after the restart.

Mason Mount was the architect with a intelligent free-kick from huge on the left that caught out Leno at his close to put up, bouncing off the woodwork and falling for Koulibaly, who scrambled the ball over the road regardless of the Fulham goalkeeper’s determined try to maintain it at bay

But simply as shortly as Chelsea started turning issues round, all of it went improper for Potter as soon as extra.

Moments after shedding Zakaria to harm, Felix might haven’t any complaints after he slid in excessive and studs-up onto the knee of Tete to present referee David Coote little alternative however to provide a purple card.

Fifteen minutes later Chelsea paid the value. Andreas Pereira, for a pinpoint cross, and Vinicius, for a towering again-put up header, each deserve plaudits, however there was a lot to criticize as soon as extra within the guests’ defending and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga getting caught in no-man’s land.

Chelsea had little reply and can now have to attend till Sunday’s dwelling conflict with Crystal Palace to attempt to arrest their slide.

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