Fulham’s poor run of form is further extended as they zone out in a 1-0 loss at Stamford Bridge to Chelsea – Cole Palmer emerges as the savior yet again
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Chelsea 1 v 0 Fulham: Three losses in five previous league games, such has been the summary of Fulham’s run as of late. This game was rather a bit more disappointing as the match was evenly contested between both sides but the hosts seemed to have more luck, blessed by the support in the home soil.
Having lost to Newcastle, Bournemouth, and Fulham along the way was certainly devastating for the Cottagers and the game against Chelsea was, for some, a means to catch a breather, but alas! It wasn’t meant to be.
Let us take a look at some statistics and highlights that defined the raw London derby.
Chelsea 1 v 0 Fulham
It was definitely not Chelsea’s best night but they still managed to walk out with three points again. They struggled in front of goal yet again just as they did in their 1-0 debacling loss to Middlesborough in the Carabao Cup semi-final.
Nonetheless, they found some intensity 15 minutes after the kickoff as Gallagher fired a shot over the crossbar and the Albanian Armando Broja’s header missed the near post moments later, courtesy of a cross from Enzo Fernandez.
The deadlock was broken in the dying minutes of the first half thanks to Cole Palmer dispatching his fifth penalty in the Premier League, as Raheem Sterling was forced into a tackle by Issa Diop inside the box. Nonetheless, 1-0 to Chelsea.
Fulham also had their moments in the game where they caught Chelsea’s defense napping. Antonee Robinson’s low cross was struck straight into Djordje Petrovic from Harry Wilson who stood at a tight angle.
As aforementioned, the game was evenly contested and both sides fought bravely to find the net first and equally worked hard to put out any chances at goal from the opposing side.
Chelsea were slightly more inefficient in front of goal with an xG of 2.08 and Fulham with 0.94 with a total of 17 and 14 shots respectively. To fuel Fulham’s frustration, they had 4 shots on target as opposed to Chelsea’s 3.
Referee Anthony Taylor also had a busy afternoon as he had to register a total of 6 bookings, with five of them coming from Chelsea which included the sole goal scorer and decider of the game Cole Palmer. Malo Gusto was sent off in the 39th minute but the decision was overturned thanks to VAR. However, Pochetino was humble in admitting that it was perhaps deserving of a red card.
“Of course, I understand. I respect his opinion,” Pochettino explained.
“It was a challenge, a difficult one for the referees and VAR. We’ve already suffered some sendings-off for actions like this.
“I’m not going to say anything, I accept and understand that it was maybe a red card. I don’t want to say too much because I’ve not seen all the angles. That is football though, sometimes it is for you and sometimes it isn’t.”
The Blues kept much of the ball at 55% possession and Fulham relied mainly on the shifting of gears during counterattacks with William and Harry Wilson flying down the wings.
‘We Believe in Palmer’
Following a hard-fought game, Chelsea’s manager Mauricio Pochetino had some heart-filled words to disseminate about Cole Palmer. He says the following about him:
“We believe in him and he has the quality to play. It is important for young guys to feel the support of the coaching staff, club, and team-mates.
“It is the first season they [Palmer and Levi Colwill] are playing consistently every week and this kind of up and down can happen. It is important to relay that confidence and belief.”