Fulham elevated the stress on Chelsea boss Graham Potter with a shock 2-1 victory that noticed Blues ahead Joao Felix despatched off on his debut earlier than a decisive blunder from Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Potter’s troubled facet crashed to a seventh defeat of their final 10 video games in all competitions after one other spluttering show.
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Chelsea fell behind to a objective from their former winger Willian within the first half at Craven Cottage on Thursday.
Kalidou Koulibaly equalised after the break however Felix was dismissed for a reckless studs-up lunge on Kenny Tete.
Fulham had been gifted their late winner by Chelsea keeper Kepa, who made a hash of coping with a cross that Carlos Vinicius transformed to depart Potter dealing with renewed discuss of the sack simply 4 months after he changed the axed Thomas Tuchel.
Potter this week labelled managing Chelsea as “the toughest job in soccer” after a turbulent interval that’s severely testing proprietor Todd Boehly’s hope that the previous Brighton boss is the appropriate man for the duty of main the brand new period at Stamford Bridge Chelsea are languishing in tenth place — 10 factors adrift of the highest 4 — after their wretched run prolonged to at least one win of their final 9 league video games.
They have managed simply 4 targets of their final eight video games in all competitions and Potter desperately wants a victory towards Crystal Palace on Sunday to purchase himself not less than a bit respiration house.
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Hampered by a debilitating harm record that features N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic, Raheem Sterling, Ben Chilwell and Reece James, Potter admitted this week that Chelsea have been “struggling”.
The 47-year-old held a gathering with senior gamers Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic on Tuesday in an try and calm the disaster.
But Chelsea followers’ endurance is already sporting skinny and shedding to sixth positioned neighbours Fulham was one other bitter blow to his hopes of avoiding the sack.
It was consistent with Potter’s misfortune that Felix’s promising debut ended prematurely after his mortgage transfer from Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old, who price Chelsea a reported $17m mortgage price, was one among 4 adjustments from the 4-0 FA Cup defeat at Manchester City final weekend.
Given license to roam throughout Chelsea’s three-man assault, Felix showcased his velocity and agile footwork as he surged into the Fulham space.
Joao Felix’s debut began brightly. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Felix’s go discovered Kai Havertz and when the German’s shot was blocked, he laid the rebound to Lewis Hall, whose low drive was saved by Bernd Leno.
Picked out by Mateo Kovacic, Felix fired vast from the sting of the world, then volleyed over after Azpilicueta’s cross discovered him unmarked 10 yards from objective.
Despite that vibrant begin from Chelsea, Potter’s defence was susceptible.
Fulham’s Bobby De Cordova-Reid slammed his shot towards the bar after a careless header from Trevoh Chalobah.
And Potter was left to rue extra dangerous defending when Fulham took the lead within the twenty fifth minute.
Hall surrendered possession and Chalobah didn’t clear correctly earlier than Willian unleashed a strong drive that took a deflection off Chalobah because it flashed previous the wrong-footed Kepa.
Willian didn’t have a good time out of respect for his previous membership however Potter was ashen-faced on the bench as Fulham followers taunted him by singing “Stamford Bridge is falling down” and “you’re getting sacked within the morning”.
Chelsea gamers protest Joao Felix’s purple card. (Photo by Ben Stansall / AFP)Source: AFP
Chelsea had been stage two minutes after half-time as Mason Mount’s free-kick hit the publish and rebounded to Koulibaly, who stabbed simply over the road earlier than Leno might save.
But even then, Potter’s luck wouldn’t final as Felix noticed purple. Needlessly throwing himself right into a excessive sort out that crashed into Tete’s shin, Felix might don’t have any complaints when David Coote flashed the purple card.
The purple card means Felix, who Chelsea shelled out $17m to signal him on mortgage, will price the Blues $2.4m for the following three-game suspension he has earned.
There was an much more ignomious contribution to Chelsea’s downfall from Kepa within the 73rd minute.
Kepa fully misjudged the flight of Pereira’s cross, permitting it to sail over his head to Vinicius, who nodded into the empty internet whereas Chelsea defender Thiago Silva screamed on the hapless keeper.