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Fulham 2-1 Chelsea : Joao Felix Sent Off On His Debut For Chelsea

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Goals from ex-Chelsea man Willian and Carlos Vinícius gave Fulham their first win over the Blues in 21 meetings to move into the Premier League’s top-six, in a match that saw Chelsea’s loanee debutant João Félix sent off for an X-rated challenge.

Even though Chelsea sat behind their West London rivals Fulham in the PL ahead of kick-off, and began play as the lowest scorers in the PL’s top half, it was the Blues who started on the front foot. Their first big chance fell in the way of academy graduate Lewis Hall, but his close-range effort at the far post was well saved by the legs of Bernd Leno. In contrast to later events, Félix enjoyed a particularly impressive start too, drawing Fulham into needless yellow card challenges and providing the Chelsea attack with a much-needed spark.

Fulham aren’t European contenders for nothing though, and their response was just as impressive, leading to the opening goal. Showing agility that defied his advanced years, Willian came back to haunt his old club, cutting inside the area and sending an effort into the bottom corner in the 25th-minute, courtesy of Trevoh Chalobah’s deflection.

Graham Potter’s side took full advantage of the break to come out firing after HT, with Kalidou Koulibaly bundling home an equaliser in the 48th minute, by tapping home a loose ball that had initially slammed off the post via Mason Mount’s free-kick. However, as Chelsea’s night looked set to improve, Félix’s fortunes took a turn for the worse in the 57th minute, when the forward’s dangerously high challenge on Kenny Tete resulted in a straight red card.

Boosted by a numerical advantage, Fulham made Chelsea pay with 73 minutes on the clock, when the suspended Aleksandar Mitrović’s attacking understudy, Vinícius, broke free of Chalobah at the back post to head in Andreas Pereira’s inch-perfect cross. The Cottagers held on to secure all three points and make it four-straight top-flight victories for the first time since 1966, leaving them sixth in the PL.
Chelsea, meanwhile, remain 10th and are 10 points adrift of the UEFA Champions League places.


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