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Fulham 2-1 Chelsea: Match report, player ratings, expert analysis, fan reaction and more

Goals from Willian and Carlos Vinícius on either side of the half-time interval were enough for Marco Silva’s Fulham to secure a special three points on a night that sees the Cottagers climb into sixth in the Premier League table

Chelsea’s torrid 2022-23 Premier League season has taken another hit tonight as Marco Silva’s Fulham earned a huge 2-1 win at Craven Cottage in the SW6 derby while pushing themselves up to sixth in the table on the back of a four-match winning run.

It is just the second win in thirty-one attempts by the Cottagers when they clashed with the Blues during the Premier League era, but Silva’s men have begun to truly believe that could achieve something notable this season on a Thursday night that saw the home side gatecrash Chelsea January loan signing João Félix’s debut.

Félix nearly turned provider in his first outing for the club after less than two minutes when the Portuguese star was put into space down the right channel before calmly bypassing Tim Ream before his square ball found Kai Havertz in the area, only for the German to not dispatch his effort into the back of the net.

Fulham nearly grabbed an unexpected lead in the 24th minute when Bobby De Cordova-Reid crashed his effort off the bar from inside the area after Trevoh Chalobah cheaply turned possession over to Carlos Vinícius before Cordova-Reid was found in space.

Those alarm bells turned into a qualified 1-0 advantage for the home side when former Chelsea star Willian scored less than two minutes later when Chalobah’s headed clearance found the Brazilian on the left side of the area before dispatching a low drive that deflected off Chalobah and past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Cottagers took a justified one-goal lead into the half-time interval after both sides exchanged potential body blows in the wake of Willian’s opener, with neither side capable of changing the scoreline while Félix was heavily involved in the attacking third while looking eager to find a debut goal.

Potter’s Blues finally squared matters at one less than two minutes after play resumed when Mason Mount’s free-kick effort clattered off Bernd Leno’s near post before further deflecting off the German international, giving Kalidou Koulibaly with a loose ball to finish home despite Leno’s best efforts to keep it from crossing the line.

But the situation for Chelsea would go from bad to worse on the night, after what was an impressive first forty-five minutes for Félix on his Blues debut turned into a nightmare after the Portuguese star received a straight red and was given his marching orderers after he went in high with studs up into former AFC Ajax defender Kenny Tete.

Carlos Vinícius put Marco Silva’s men back in front while sending Craven Cottage into raptures when the Brazilian scored his first goal for the club after heading past Arrizabalaga when Andreas Pereira sent his cross to the far post for Vinícius to calmly head home at the near post.

The Brazilian target man would go down as the match-winner as Fulham earned their first win against Chelsea since 2006, solidifying their own credentials this season as a possible European dark horse while the Blues continue to stutter at every possible turn, with Potter’s position at the club taking yet another severe blow despite receiving backing from the club’s leadership.

Fulham Player Ratings

  • GK: Bernd Leno - 8
  • RB: Kenny Tete - 7
  • CB: Tosin Adarabioyo - 7
  • CB: Tim Ream - 7
  • LB: Antonee Robinson - 7
  • CM: João Palhinha - 7.5
  • CM: Harrison Reed - 6.5
  • CAM: Andreas Pereira - 7.5
  • RW: Bobby De Cordova-Reid - 6.5
  • LW: Willian - 8
  • CF: Carlos Vinícius - 7.5
  • Sub: Tom Cairney - 6
  • Sub: Harry Wilson - 6
  • Sub: Manor Solomon - 6
  • Sub: Dan James - N/A
  • Sub: Nathaniel Chalobah - N/A

Chelsea Player Ratings

  • GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga - 6
  • RCB: Trevoh Chalobah - 5.5
  • CB: Thiago Silva - 6.5
  • LCB: Kalidou Koulibaly - 7
  • RWB: César Azpilicueta - 6.5
  • CM: Denis Zakaria - 6.5
  • CM: Mateo Kovačić - 6
  • LWB: Lewis Hall - 7
  • RAM: Mason Mount - 6.5
  • LAM: João Félix - 6
  • CF: Kai Havertz - 6.5
  • Sub: Jorginho - 7
  • Sub: Marc Cucurella - 6
  • Sub: Conor Gallagher - 6
  • Sub: Hakim Ziyech - 6
  • Sub: Carney Chukwuemeka - 6

Key Performers

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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