Fulham took four points off Chelsea in the 2022-23 Premier League season but the first meeting between the two clubs in the new campaign did not go to plan – as the hosts went down 2-0 at Craven Cottage.
Mykhailo Mudryk and Armando Broja scored for the visitors.
Here are Richard Cawley’s player ratings.
Bernd Leno – 6
The German keeper has rescued the Whites on plenty of occasions since joining from Arsenal but had no chance with either of Chelsea’s goals. Looked to be the one who got a telling touch to deny Enzo Fernandes making it 3-0.
Timothy Castagne – 6
Got forward more aggressively in the second half, helped by some accurate diagonal passes. But the quality in terms of crossing did not match some of his energetic forays. Would have been happy to see the pacey Mudryk make way at the start of the second half for Ian Maatsen. It allowed the Belgian international to release some of his defensive shackles. Had 96 touches, only Issa Diop (102) having more.
Issa Diop – 5
An early slide tackle on Mudryk was encouraging but plenty of Chelsea’s more dangerous attacks came when Fulham’s centre-backs produced poor distribution. Was unable to cut out Levi Colwill’s cross which was finished smartly by Mudryk for the Chelsea opener.
Tim Ream – 4
The American was at fault for the Blues’ second goal. I talked above about the away team seizing on lapses and the defender’s pass was picked off by Cole Palmer in a threatening position. Ream’s attempt to redeem himself saw him kick the ball against Armando Broja, with it rebounding past Bernd Leno. Ream’s passing was shaky at times, and sometimes when he was not even under serious pressure.
Antonee Robinson – 5
Had his hands full with Cole Palmer, particularly in the first 45 minutes. The Chelsea youngster worked hard to close the left-back down. He did produce a few more of his trademark bursts forward in the second half but, just like with Castagne, there wasn’t that killer pass. One goal for Fulham and it could have made things nervy for a Chelsea side which has made an unimpressive start to the season. Made six interceptions – the most of any player on the pitch.
Joao Palhinha – 5
Both of the Whites’ deeper-lying midfielders struggled to dominate – no surprise when up against a high-quality Blues trio of Conor Gallagher, Enzo Fernandes and Moises Caicedo. It was noticeable that the tireless Gallagher stuck to the Portuguese when Fulham were in possession. Made the joint-most attempted tackles in the match along with Gallagher.
Harrison Reed – 4
Made only 26 passes before he was replaced in the 64th minute by Tom Cairney.
Andreas Pereira – 4
Set-pieces were not really on point from the Brazilian – aside for one met by Raul Jimenez – and in a match where Fulham did not fashion loads of chances, it was a missed opportunity to ask more questions of a largely untroubled Chelsea backline. Subbed in the 74th minute.
Harry Wilson – 4
Did not make any kind on notes on the Wales international before he made way early in the second half for Alex Iwobi.
Willian – 5
Marc Cucurella was booked after the Brazilian shifted the ball past him, denying a Fulham break down the right in the first half. Did produce a 20-yard shot straight at Robert Sanchez, one of Fulham’s three attempts on target.
Raul Jimenez – 4
Managed to get his head to a Pereira corner but it dropped fairly comfortably wide of Robert Sanchez’s right post. The Mexican’s Premier League goal drought continues and he was replaced by Carlos Vinicius just seven minutes into the second period. Failed to provide a focal point for Fulham attacks. Had just 16 touches. Fulham’s inability to secure an adequate replacement for Aleksandar Mitrovic is going to make things a real grind.
Marek Rodak – N/A
Calvin Bassey – N/A
Fode Ballo-Toure – N/A
Sasa Lukic – 5
Had a huge chance to cut the deficit in the 76th from Cairney’s pass but his shot was too close to Sanchez, who kept the attempt out with his left leg.
Tom Cairney – 5
Quality pass to open up the opportunity for Lukic.
Bobby Decordova-Reid – N/A
Alex Iwobi – 6
The recent signing from Everton did add extra energy and a touch more dynamism. Had a shot blocked.
Rodrigo Muniz – N/A
Carlos Vinicius – 5
Booked for a karate-style chop to the back of Tiago Silva. Did win a couple of headers in the box but they looped harmlessly away from danger.
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