- Fulham vs Chelsea kicks off at 5:30pm on Sky Sports
85 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 1
Fulham want an equaliser and change to a back four, but as they push forward in search of it they’re leaving gaps at the back.
82 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 1
Fulham responding well but I just don’t know what they’re meant to do against a Chelsea team determined to score eight goals. Attack attack attack is all that Lampard has them doing.
But there it is!
Fulham 0 Chelsea 1
Mount finishes low into the goal as Fulham fail to block them for the first time all game. It’s a great a finish, struck low and controlled well. Chelsea’s pressure pays off.
77 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Fulham have been superb tonight. Every player has shown total commitment, no prisoners taken, no balls left to run out of play. Chelsea putting on so much pressure though.
76 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Werner is about to come on for Giroud. Meanwhile, Reed has taken a knock to the head and takes his time, rightly, to get back to his feet. Ziyech is off too for Hudson-Odoi. That’s either Werner and Abraham up front together or a change back to a 4-2-3-1 with Pulisic the 10.
73 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Honestly, if you didn’t know Fulham had a red card because of the little symbol on the TV scoreline, it’d be very difficult to work out that they’re down to 10 men. They haven’t really changed how they’ve played all game long. Defending really well deep and high up the pitch, blocking space, charging at their opponents. Lampard must be so frustrated.
70 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Ziyech crosses from wide right but Pulisic just cannot connect at the back post. It’s a brilliant ball in.
And suddenly Fulham have a chance! Fulham have a free-kick, Azpilicueta passes back to the goalkeeper but at an angle that makes it difficult for him to play it because he’s come off his line way too early, and he just jabs at it, giving Fulham an open goal! Silva stays switched on and blocks a certain goal.
67 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Abraham’s first touch is a header on goal from near the six yard box as a long cross is launched into the area, but he heads straight down the middle and is offside anyway.
66 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Jorginho goes off, Abraham comes on. That’ll be Chelsea in a 4-4-2 which looks more like a 2-4-4 – the trendiest tactic in the Premier League this season.
65 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
What a miss. Oh my dear lord. Giroud is offside anyway but he’s missed the entire goal from the penalty spot while one v one with the goalkeeper. He pulls his shirt over his face in frustration at it.
63 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Fulham still defending really well, Chelsea don’t seem to have any options other than shifting the ball wide, winning a corner, then heading over the bar. Abraham getting ready to come on, presumably for Giroud.
60 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Another corner, another sort-of near miss. Azpilicueta heads over.
57 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
This Fulham press is really impressive. It’s also incredibly aggressive – they’re targeting Azpilicueta in particular and Chelsea are not enjoying themselves at all. These players must be extremely fit because it looks exhausting – a deep 5-3-1 out of possession in their own half, and heaps of players in the Chelsea final third when Lampard’s team tries to build.
54 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Chelsea go close from a corner again. That seems to be their main method of creating chances at the moment.
51 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
A corner is taken short and from wide of the area Ziyech zings a shot off the near post which the goalkeeper has to react to instantly. If he meant that it is some effort… and Areola laughs slyly to his teamates about it. Would have been a great goal!
Chelsea with all the possession again, as was the case in the first half. That extra man should tell at some point.
49 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Fulham pressing aggressively again at the start of this half and it’s forcing errors. Silva boots a wild pass out for a throw, gifting them possession in the final third.
47 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Fulham have stuck with a back three/five for the second half. Usually teams with 10 men go to a 4-4-1 but not Scott Parker. We’re about to find out if that’s a good idea or not.
A bad day for America
- Antonee Robinson is the second American to be sent off for Fulham in the PL and first since Carlos Bocanegra vs Villa in Feb 2004.
It’s a shame nothing else newsworthy has happened in the USA recently because this is going to dominate the headlines.
Jamie Redknapp doesn’t like the red
“That’s just the way the game has gone” says Redknapp on Sky Sports. The thing is, you can’t go flying into tackles like that, but if you don’t it looks like you aren’t as committed as you ought to be. It’s a difficult balancing act but I never understand players who lunge at full speed into slide tackles.
Well, there’s the talking point. This game has been two sets of really revved up players smashing into each other like they’re in a pinball game trapped inside a tumbledryer. It’s too intense. Slow it down then speed it up, change the tempo, pick a pass, control the game. Neither side has any control of this whatsoever, it’s total chaos.
Robinson is sent off!
It’s a really hard challenge made with force but I think it’s technically maybe harsh. It’s a 50/50, he’s late, he’s missed the ball, but he’s gone flying in without control. Azpilicueta goes down howling, which doesn’t help either.
That’s the kind of slide tackle you get in games that are played at 400mph.
43 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Oh my god what a miss. Chelsea’s desperate desire to send everyone forward on the attack leaves them vulnerable to some excellent passing out from goalkeeper to forward as Fulham counter at lightning speed. By the time Tete arrives in space on the overlap Fulham have a three v two but Cavaleiro mis-kicks his shot and misses what should be a fairly simple finish inside the box. On target and that was almost certainly a goal.
40 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Lookman absolutely powers a volley somewhere over the stand behind the goal, taking the decision to shoot as soon as the ball was near him in the air. It’s not like he had time to think about it.
38 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
It’s still frantic. Fulham get up the other end and win a croner. Reed’s getting ready to cross it in.
35 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Chelsea win a corner, Fulham can’t get rid and eventually the ball bounces to the goalie. Chelsea looking good at set pieces at the moment.
32 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Chelsea with 67 per cent of possession at the moment, playing with more of a box 4-2-3-1 than they often do. Mount is a 10 but right sided, with Kovacic and Jorginho essentially both playing as two pivots. The full-backs are mega high. Look at how aggressive this average positions map is:
Chelsea on the right basically playing a 2-4-4.
30 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Rudiger, Silva and Jorginho slow things down for just a few seconds, then start to push forward again. Anderson goes down holding his head after taking a knock from Giroud’s elbow/shoulder.
28 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Another Chelsea corner. It’s curled out from the right and Rudiger leaps high to head towards goal. Areola turns it behind with a diving save at full stretch.
This game is so fast, it’s ridiculous. There’s been so little quality in possession from either team because nobody has more than a half second to think about where the next pass should go. Rapid.
26 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
MOUNT HITS THE BAR! Azpilicueta gets a cross in from the right, Aina does well to deal with it, then Mount is able to get a shot away but hits the frame of the goal.
23 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Chilwell lifts a cross into the area but it’s caught by the goalkeeper, he throws it out quickly, and Fulham attack as fast as they can. Chelsea then win the ball and attack as quickly as they possibly can. Ziyech has a shot from distance saved.
20 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Fulham are defending with almost every player behind the ball except the forward three, who are ready to counter whenever possession turns over. They’re getting the ball forward so quickly that this game looks like it’s on fast forward. Someone needs to slow it down and take control, there’s only one tempo at the moment and it’s mental. The only way these teams will create is by forcing mistakes if it stays like this.
17 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Robinson and Cavaleiro have a couple of digs at goal as Rudiger blocks a clearance but the German defender blocks both.
16 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Lots of energy, quick passes, but nothing’s really happening. It sounds like it is because there’s so much yelling going on… but mostly it’s just groups of players crowding each other out.
13 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Chelsea working the ball around, lots of shouts all over the pitch from very aggressive sounding people, a cross comes in and nothing happens. Fulham keeping them quiet.
10 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Giroud goes for a stunner by volleying on the outside of his boot from a snap shot on the edge of the area, forcing a save from Areola. That was spinning into the bottom corner!
8 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Fulham work a decent move from a throw-in but can’t get the shot on goal. Rudiger’s been called out by Jamie Carragher for not being tight enough to his man a couple of times already.
5 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
A clever corner routine gives Mount the chance to shoot inside the box as he runs from deep to the area but his effort is blocked.
Lots of shouting on the sidelines as Fulham try to press high up the pitch. Both teams are up for this. The coaching staff definitely are anyway.
3 mins – Fulham 0 Chelsea 0
Chelsea attacking high up the pitch from the start, with only Silva and Rudiger left behind as they get forward.
Frank Lampard wants to change things
Scott Parker has some fairly predictable responses to the questions he’s asked, about there being lots of games and the team having to take their chances, but Lampard’s pre-match interview is very interesting.
He says that he’s changed the team because it needed changes to be made and that the side has lacked “characters”.
How to embrace lockdown football style
Chelsea have come up with a great idea and are offering footballers weekly Joe Wicks-style training sessions.
It’s definitely more fun than just running, or HIIT workouts anyway.
“Sessions will be broadcast live on Chelsea’s official Facebook channel at 11am every Saturday morning throughout lockdown and players can continue their training through the week via an app that is used by the club’s academy.”
Fulham vs Chelsea is the Premier League’s most one-sided local derby
Dan Zeqiri has written this weekend’s Football Nerd on today’s game. Give it a read!
This is what the teams look like:
No Werner or Havertz for Chelsea. Kante misses out because he’s suspended.
The West London derby
Welcome to our liveblog for Fulham vs Chelsea. In the white corner is Scott Parker, a former midfielder who used to play for both clubs and has managed to turn Fulham from looking like a relegation disaster into a team who actually play pretty nice football. They’re getting positive results too, like their 1-1 draw with Spurs midweek. It’s a mightly impressive job the manager has done.
Is that the same for Chelsea goalscoring legend of legends Frank Lampard? Sort of. Chelsea are decent but about the same level as they were last season, with the massive amounts of spending done between the two campaigns making that slightly less praise-worthy. Maybe. The signings who have concerned some supporters, Havertz and Werner, are great players who should turn out to be excellent longterm acquisitions… but Lampard doesn’t really have the benefit of time, what with him being the Chelsea manager. You’re never far away from being fired when it comes to Roman Abramovich’s ownership of the club.
Regardless, something neither manager thought they’d have to deal with is a global pandemic and Fulham have been hit by some covid cases lately. One player who won’t feature, with nothing to do with coronaviruses, is Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The midfielder is on loan from Chelsea and unavailable as per the terms of the deal. Frank Lampard says he’s very much still in his plans:
“The conversations I had with Ruben earlier in the season were that he wasn’t feeling as sharp as he wanted to be on the back of a really bad injury,” Lampard said. “He felt he needed games and maybe he could get regular games elsewhere.
“Seeing him play recently, I see him looking fit, fresh and strong. We know he’s an obvious talent so it’s great. If he can keep that up hopefully through the season, and if he can get back to where he was and more, then I’ll be very happy and he’ll come back as our player, for sure.”
No Loftus-Cheek today then. We’ll find out the teams very soon. Kick off is 5:30pm.