Fulham piled misery on Chelsea with a 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage Thursday night. It was only the club’s second ever Premier League win against their west London rivals. Former Blue Willian and summer signing Carlos Vinicius scored the goals for the home side.
Fulham entered the match on a high. While they stubbled into the World Cup break, the Cottagers had won all four of their games since returning to action last month. Defense is certainly an area of improvement in recent weeks. In fact, Fulham had not allowed a goal from open play since November. The only goal scored on the west London club since the break was a glorious free kick strike from James Ward-Prowse.
Chelsea, on the other hand, desperately needed a result on Thursday. The Blues entered the derby three points behind Fulham in the standings. Graham Potter’s men are enduring their worst start a Premier League campaign in seven seasons. Chelsea had even lost six of their last nine total matches.
Winger scores against old team again
Willian started the scoring in the 25th minute of the match. The former Blue cut inside on his right foot and put in a shot towards goal. Defender Trevoh Chalobah attempted to block the shot, but ended up deflecting the ball passed Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the net. Willian opted not to celebrate against his former club.
Chelsea bounced back and leveled the scoreline less than two minutes into the second half. Kalidou Koulibaly pounced on a Mason Mount shot that struck the post from a free kick. The center back hit the ball straight at Bernd Leno, but the goalkeeper was inside his net.
Felix sent off in Chelsea debut at Fulham
Joao Felix’s Chelsea debut didn’t last very long. The loan player was sent off in the 58th minute for an awful challenge. A straight red card for dangerous play will mean that the forward will now also face a suspension. To make matters worse, Denis Zakaria had to be substituted just before the incident due to a lower body injury. The midfielder is now the 10th senior Chelsea player to be sidelined.
Fulham took advantage of the extra man and went back ahead 15 minutes after the sending off. Midfielder Andreas Pereira sent a fantastic cross into the box and Carlos Vinicius headed the shot passed a diving Kepa. It was the striker’s first goal for the team. The Chelsea keeper was in no man’s land and couldn’t get anywhere near the ball.
Kai Havertz had a decent chance to share the points between the two sides in added time, but the German couldn’t convert from a good opportunity. Nevertheless, Fulham collected the three points to reach sixth in the standings. Chelsea now have just seven victories in 18 Premier League matches this season.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Action Plus
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