·3 February 2023
·3 February 2023
Fulham have really impressed - Potter
Enzo Fernandez’s Chelsea debut ended in anti-climax as Fulham earned a worthy 0-0 draw against Graham Potter’s side at Stamford Bridge.
The hosts’ £106.5million deadline day signing was kept largely subdued as Potter’s team failed to substantially improve upon their mid-table Premier League position and saw their indifferent form extend to one win in six in the competition.
Fulham proved it is not necessary to spend in excess of £500m to sit in the upper reaches of the top flight, with Marco Silva’s well-drilled team making the hosts look toothless at times at the end of a week in which they broke the British transfer record to land World Cup-winner Fernandez.
It leaves Chelsea stranded in ninth and already struggling to hold on to the optimism generated by owner Todd Boehly’s whirlwind £315m investment during the January transfer window.
If the argument from Chelsea is that this is all a long-term investment, this game against Fulham certainly made it feel like it. Over £300m worth of January investment still offered up another 0-0 draw, that tested attention levels more than Financial Fair Play regulations. Enzo Fernandez, who came straight into the starting XI after his British record deadline day signing, admittedly looked tidy. But £106m warrants more than tidy.
That is perhaps the most generous description of Graham Potter’s football right now. It is occasionally nice, and you can see a nascent idea taking shape, but it doesn’t exactly get you off your feet. It barely forces goalkeepers to dive, so few shots on target have Chelsea had.
As with his Brighton, it still looks like Potter could do with a striker. That is all the more pointed given Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was on the same day left out of the Champions League squad, left out of the matchday squad, and now looks like his time at Chelsea will instead be very short-term.
Michael Jones3 February 2023 22:15
Post-match reaction from Fulham’s Willian who said: “It was a big night. We performed well with and without the ball. We deserved a bit more maybe but a point is good. It’s hard to come here and play against Chelsea. They have a very good team.
“It was a special night to be back at the Bridge. I spent seven years here, I was very happy. I’m very happy at Fulham. We have to keep going the same way.
“We have so much to improve. It was a good reception from the Chelsea fans. I respect them a lot. It was amazing.”
Michael Jones3 February 2023 22:11
Fulham captain Tim Ream spoke to Sky Sports after the game and was really pleased with how his team performed tonight: “It’s a team game. We work on it every week.
“Defend from the front and attack from back. It takes all 11 guys and the ones coming on. Fantastic team performance. We can be very proud of coming away with a point and maybe a bit disappointed not to get more.
“I’m happy to keep a clean sheet and be in the right place at the right time. To preserve a point and a clean sheet makes it even better.”
Michael Jones3 February 2023 22:07
90+5 mins: The points are shared at Stamford Bridge! A spirited defensive performance from Fulham sees them take a point away from Chelsea and they move up to sixth in the table.
It’s back-to-back goalless draws for Graham Potter’s men who follow up their draw at Anfield with one here. The Blues now move above Liverpool but have played two games more than Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Michael Jones3 February 2023 21:53
90+2 mins: Fulham work the ball into the penalty area from the right. It bobbles and bounces around before popping up for Joao Palhinha who fires one at goal and pushes it just wide of the far post!
Michael Jones3 February 2023 21:49
Michael Jones3 February 2023 21:48
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