Chelsea are bogged down in crisis. The Blues were disappointed against Fulham (2-1) Thursday night at Craven-Cottage in a late match of the seventh day of the Premier League, conceding a third loss in a row in all competitions. Handicapped by a hecatomb of injuries, they recorded the exit of Denis Zakaria, hit in the left leg, and the expulsion on the hour mark of Joao Felix, their winter recruit. Graham Potter’s men are in tenth place, ten lengths from the podium.
The Blues had a nightmarish night at Craven-Cottage, having not lost to their south-west London rivals since March 2006. This defeat at Fulham seems likely to spell the end of Chelsea’s ambitions this season and plunges his trainer into an even more awkward position.
Joao Félix, unforgettable premiere
AN HOUR AGO
Finish not level
They thought they had done the hardest part by equalizing as soon as they returned from the locker room. Kalidou Koulibaly took a free kick from Mason Mount which found the post (1-1, 48th) and gave hope to his team. Chelsea had had the chances in the first half, the majority obtained by Joao Felix, but had fished out in the finish.
The explanation can also be taken up in the other surface since the Blues gave in on the second attempt on target from the Cottagers. Which have largely benefited from the feverishness of Trevoh Chalobah. Guilty of a loss of ball which led to a strike from Bobby Reid on the crossbar (23rd), the English defender deflected Willian’s shot into his goals (1-0, 25th). The Brazilian did not celebrate his goal out of respect for his former club (2013-2020), but he did not hesitate to cause him a lot of damage in this very complicated period.
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Felix, a tantalizing hour and then expulsion…
Joao Felix was the other prominent player in the first half. Omnipresent, he brought danger to the cage of Bernd Leno, who worked in front of the Portuguese (40th) and disgusted Lewis Hall (3rd, 35th). Unfortunately, his first appearance in the blue jersey was cut short on the hour mark. Trapped by his enthusiasm and his desire to step up the game for his new team, he went to mow down Kenny Tete and received a red card direct which will certainly deprive him of a few meetings.
This is finally the worst news of the evening for Graham Potter. His infirmary already full, the English coach, who is struggling to find the solution in this air pocket which has been going on since November, noted the injury exit of Denis Zakaria. A hard blow as the player on loan from Juventus has been carrying the Blues in midfield lately.
Enterprising even at 10, his players yielded on a new individual error, this time by Kepa Arrizabalaga, whose off-time outing on a cross from Andreas Pereira opened the goal for Carlos Vinicius (2-1, 73rd ). The Brazilian has acted perfectly in the interim in the absence of Fulham’s trigger, Aleksandar Mitrovic, suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards.
With this fourth win in a row, the Cottagers begin to dream of Europe. They overtake Liverpool and knock on the door of the Top 5. A part of the classification which seems far, very far from Chelsea and the capacities of the moment. The Blues are eight points behind Tottenham (5th) and twice over Newcastle (3rd).
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