A win was all that mattered.
Chelsea took on Fulham in the local derby at Fulham for GW 19 of the Premier League season. Fulham unbeaten in their last 5 had more points than Chelsea in 5 games going into this game and pressure was on Frank and Chelsea to bounce back and deliver as we sat 10 points from the top. The team selection was a head scratcher from Lampard as Mendy started in goal with Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma, and Chilwell in defence. Jorginho, Kovacic, and Mount made up the midfield with Pulisic, Giroud, and Ziyech making the front 3. No Hudson-Odoi, Werner, Havertz, Tammy, Gilmour, Zouma etc and Lampard really had several fans asking why. Anyways that was the lineup and it was time to back the team.
The game started with Fulham on the front foot as they came out pressing and tracking down every Chelsea pass. Our play in the final 3rd was sloppy and we weren’t being able to string passes together. Midway through the half though Chelsea began to impose authority and we got close with a couple of chances. Mount hit the post while Areola was drawn into some really good saves. Fulham held on though and came back after that good period of play. Half time approached with Fulham playing better but a red card in the final minutes to Robinson as he slid through Azpilicueta meant that Chelsea had got a lifeline.
It was all Chelsea in the 2nd half as Fulham sat back and defended anything that came into the box. Chelsea had plenty of the ball but Fulham were comfortable in defending any chances created by Chelsea. We went close a couple of times again but to no avail. Tammy came on for Jorginho as Chelsea switched to two at the top but Fulham continued to hold on. Werner, and Hudson-Odoi then came on for Giroud, and Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi added a bit of good form that helped Chelsea open up Fulham. The goal came in the 78th minute as Hudson-Odoi switched play to the left and a cross into the box was palmed into the path of Mount who volleyed it into the net. Slightly fortuitous but all that mattered was the goal. Following that Fulham also opened up as they chased the game Chelsea had a few more chances with Werner having the best chance on the counter but his shot went wide of the goal as he struggles to find the net. Chelsea saw out a late onslaught of crosses into the box and we got 3 points in the end.
Chelsea Team Review
Mendy got his 11th clean sheet of the season and didn’t have much to do during the game as the shots on target were pretty straightforward. There were some dodgy communication problems with Azpilicueta, and Rudiger but other than that it was smooth sailing for him.
The backline was one that several people expected but the inclusion of Rudiger was a head scratcher. Anyway’s it was a clean sheet for the defence and while there were some struggles during the game the defenders got through it. I would say that it might be time to shift Azpilicueta to centre back and bring in Livramento because the pace is seriously lacking. Rudiger had some sloppy passes but it was decent game from him.
Jorginho didn’t have the best of games as the pace in the midfield caught him out. The passing was a bit sloppy and he was the first sub in the 2nd half as we chased a winner. Kovacic got better as the game opened up as he could use his good dribbling attribute but Havertz would have been better. Mount was man of the match, as he from minute 1 pressed Fulham and created chances. Mount created 7 chances during the game the most by any Chelsea players in a single game for 5 years. The goal was also well taken and he did manage to hit the post as well. A performance by Mount that could spark something positive.
Pulisic had a decent game, although with Fulham sitting back there was very little space to operate. In the 2nd half as Fulham chased the game he did find more joy and he did come close to scoring but was late to a very good Ziyech cross. Ziyech did well and probably should have had an assist while a couple of his shots were saved as well. The creativity is their for everyone to see. Giroud didn’t have the greatest of games but his linkup play was decent in the game. Werner came on and he looked lively but he missed yet another good chance to get a goal. Lampard did have his arm around him in at full time and that is what the fans should be doing as well. Werner is so good he just needs to find that confidence again, and it will come remember the German is a signing for many seasons not just a quick fix. Tammy did well when he came on and made an impact and his energy helped Chelsea create spaces. Hudson-Odoi had the best impact of the subs as he continues his good form and the youngster played some great passes in his 20 minute cameo. Surely has to start against Leicester.
Lampard managed to rest several of the squad with the starting XI that he selected for this game and it worked. Chelsea got the win and now he has several fit and rested players to select against Leicester. At the moment all that matters is getting 3 points in each game and the way in which we win will improve eventually.
Chelsea move up to 7th in the table with the win 3 points from 4th for now. It wasn’t the most glorious of games but Fulham had been in great form and had been frustrating several teams in recent weeks so to leave the Cottage with 3 points is a positive. Next up is Leicester away and that is a big one! COME ON CHELSEA!!!