Tuchel made five changes to the team that drew against [team 3468] in midweek. [player 1316] came in for [player 31837], with [player 581220] replacing [player 1330]at right wing-back. Gilmour came into midfield alongside Mount, who was deployed slightly deeper. Ziyech played behind Havertz and Werner.
[coach 153] named an unchanged lineup from their last game against [team 19]. It was already tough for [team 11] to get out of the bottom three, and a defeat at Stamford Bridge would certainly end the hopes of successive top-flight campaigns.
The game had an electric start as both teams were pressing high and were trying to get on the front foot. Fulham were pressing with high intensity and were forcing [team 18]’s backline and midfielders into mistakes. The away side looked dangerous in those opening minutes as [player 581067]’s effort was palmed over by Mendy. Fulham looked the more energetic side, but they were leaving themselves exposed to a counter-attack with their high defensive line.
Chelsea were slowly growing into the game and were able to beat Fulham’s press through incisive passing. With [player 95792] as the sweeper in a back-three, they also had the option to go long to bypass the press. That’s what they did when the blues took the lead inside the first 10 minutes.
A long ball by Silva was brought down beautifully by [player 537121]. The youngster then played a lovely weighted through ball from a narrow gap to find the goalscorer, Havertz. Areola did get contact on the ball but couldn’t do enough to keep it out. However, it was the basic defensive error that allowed Mount to control the ball. Neither one of [player 1956] or [player 25284] went to head the ball away. They let the ball came down, and after that, the situation was out of their hand.
Mount and Hbavertz were looking Chelsea’s best players as the duo combined again. Havertz finished again, but the goal was disallowed after a VAR check for offside.
Fulham responded well as they kept penetrating Chelsea’s defensive line. [player 5321] came close as his low and powerful effort was saved by Mendy.
This was followed by another scintillating move from the home side. Mount played a brilliant pass in behind Fulham’s defence to find [player 31823]. The German squared the ball to Ziyech, whose effort was stopped tremendously by [player 95393]. Just before the half-time whistle, [player 99137] made a crucial save to deny Aina as Fulham were all over Chelsea as the first half came to an end. A big reason for Chelsea’s lead was the outstanding performance by their man in goal.
Chelsea started the second with a lot more intent in their press. They didn’t allow Fulham a minute of easy passing as they kept forcing them into mistakes. Fulham didn’t continue their form from the first half and were struggling to get out of their final third.
Chelsea’s strong start to the second-half was rewarded with a goal as Havertz scored again, this time combining with his German colleague, Werner. [player 1601] played a lovely diagonal to Havertz, who came onto his left foot before exchanging with Werner to score their second. It was Werner’s 7th assist in the League this season.
As the game progressed, Chelsea’s dominance started to increase, and Fulham were pegged in their half. Chelsea’s defensive record under [coach 523937] is exceptional, and it continued as they kept another clean sheet. Also, a big three points as they look to finish in the [league 2] places.
Overall, it was a professional performance from the home side and a good day for the academy graduate [player 6599973]. The highly-rated youngster has lacked game time under the new boss, but his performance today was authoritative. With the [league 8] now getting closer, Gilmour will appreciate more time on the pitch as he tries to make it to the [team 18706] squad to go to the summer tournament.
Kai Havertz (Chelsea)
The famous German has struggled for form in his first season in the most physical league in the world. His performances under [player 95] were not so encouraging, and his chances of making [team 18660]’s summer squad were unlikely.
Tuchel’s appointment was a massive boost as [player 32612] is now working under a native manager who knows him well. Along with Havertz, Werner’s form has also improved under the German boss.
Against Fulham, Havertz was outstanding. Apart from his brace, his movement off the ball and his touches were effective. The 21-year-old had 2 shots on target and both of them were goals. He also made 3 clearances as well as completed 28 out of 33 passes.
His newfound form will be crucial in Chelsea’s remainder of the season, and this has also raised his chances of making it to [coach 896295]’s squad for the Euros.
Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea)
The highly talented attacking midfielder had another lousy performance. Since the day he was signed, expectations were high surrounding his impact on the squad. However, this has been a season to forget for the Moroccan international.
Against Fulham, the killer instinct that he has in his game was missing again. It is widely talked about that Tuchel’s system is not suitable for [player 24288]’s skillset. However, the player himself has praised Tuchel’s tactical knowledge. He had the chance to score Chelsea’s second, but his shot was too central. Although, the credit should be given to the keeper’s quick footwork.
Maybe next season, we will find out if it was just a one-season blip or if the [league 8] too hard and too physical for the former [team 629] superstar.