Graham Potter: Chelsea ‘struggling’ however should stick collectively amid ‘irritating’ run | footballnews

Graham Potter referred to as on Chelsea to point out a united entrance after defeating away to native rivals Fulham heaped strain on his place and left the Blues on their worst run of league type since 1996.

Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat at Craven Cottage, which included a pink card on debut for Joao Felix and an harm to Denis Zakaria, means Potter’s aspect have taken simply six factors from their previous 9 Premier League video games. They sit tenth within the desk, 10 factors off fourth-placed Manchester United who’ve a sport in hand.

“We’re struggling for the time being. We’re struggling, the followers are struggling. We really feel for them,” mentioned Potter. “It is vital to stay collectively and attempt to get by way of this robust interval.”

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Highlights from the Premier League match between Fulham and Chelsea

Chelsea crashed out of the third spherical of the FA Cup on Sunday with a 4-0 thrashing at Manchester Metropolis, who additionally ended their Carabao Cup hopes earlier than Christmas. With such a giant hole to the highest 4, it appears the Champions League is their solely hope of success this season.

For Potter, Thursday was one other irritating night, with Felix’s encouraging debut reduce brief by his sending off, an harm listing prolonged to 10 gamers, and defensive errors costing his important aspect factors.

Chelsea’s XI of absentees

  • Edouard Mendy (shoulder)
  • Reece James (knee)
  • Wesley Fofana (knee)
  • Ben Chilwell (hamstring)
  • N’Golo Kante (thigh)
  • Ruben Loftus-Cheek (ankle)
  • Denis Zakaria (unknown)
  • Raheem Sterling (hamstring)
  • Christian Pulisic (ankle)
  • Armando Broja (knee)
  • Joao Felix (suspension)

“It is actually irritating, extremely difficult,” Potter mentioned of the state of affairs. “I really feel for the supporters.

“We’re upset to lose tonight. I felt it was a comparatively even sport within the first half, we had a few possibilities. However I believe the fundamentals we are able to perform a little bit higher, by way of our defending and soccer actions .

“We get again within the sport and the pink card is the place we’re at for the time being, by way of issues that may occur to us [do happen to us].

“To lose Joao for 3 matches is absolutely disappointing. Joao is a younger participant, a high participant, you possibly can see his high quality and there wasn’t any malice [in the tackle] however the ref has a choice to make. He’ll be taught from it.

“Greater than something improbable from the opponent, it was extra our primary actions the place we now have to do higher.”

Which Premier League video games may Felix now miss?

  • January 15 – Chelsea vs Crystal Palace, kick-off 2pm
  • January 21 – Liverpool vs Chelsea, kick-off 12.30pm
  • February 3 – Chelsea vs Fulham, kick-off 8pm – stay on Sky Sports activities
  • Felix may return for West Ham vs Chelsea on February 11, kick-off 12.30pm

Talking to BT Sports activities, Potter mentioned about Felix’s pink card: “It was a ahead’s sort out, there was no malice in it however I understood why it was a pink. It’s one other blow, the hits hold coming for the time being.

“He was actually good, you may see his high quality within the sport, so it’s doubly disappointing for us.”

With Felix suspended, the place do Chelsea’s objectives come from now?

Sky Sports activities’ Peter Smith at Craven Cottage:

After simply quarter-hour, Chelsea’s touring supporters have been singing Joao Felix’s title. He had tempted two Fulham gamers into yellow-card fouls, nutmegged Tim Ream to tee up Kai Havertz for an excellent likelihood and seen a number of good openings come his means.

It was the form of spark Chelsea and Graham Potter had desperately been trying to find in assault. Earlier than Thursday they’d managed to attain simply thrice of their final seven matches. Felix seemed to be the reply to their issues. The participant to supply creativity, craft and actual high quality within the remaining third.

Joao Felix on debut for Chelsea
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Felix had an encouraging Premier League debut earlier than his pink card

However earlier than the hour mark – like so many issues for Potter and Chelsea proper now – it had gone badly flawed. Felix’s lunge at Kenny Tete was hardly probably the most vicious problem however along with his studs up and by connecting along with his opponent’s shin, there was solely going to be one consequence.

Felix had appeared set to seize the headlines along with his first-half show – nevertheless it was his rash second within the second which would be the lasting reminiscence of his debut. He now misses three of his remaining 20 Premier League video games of his mortgage spell. An costly foul, certainly.

However it additionally throws up the query of how Potter will get his assault firing once more for the matches with Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Fulham, which Felix will miss.

Kai Havertz struggled at Craven Cottage along with most of the Chelsea forward line
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Kai Havertz struggled at Craven Cottage together with many of the Chelsea ahead line

His choices are restricted. Havertz was as soon as once more wasteful at Craven Cottage, dropping his battle with Bernd Leno emphatically. Raheem Sterling remains to be recovering from harm. David Datro Fofana has solely simply arrived from Molde. And as for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he wasn’t even used off the bench with Chelsea in determined want of a aim. That felt like a telling determination from Potter, who sub-subbed the striker within the earlier Premier League sport.

Chelsea are the bottom scorers within the high half by a way, so how do they fireplace their means out of this dreadful run of type? It is a main query which wants answering earlier than Sunday.

On the again: Chelsea crumble below the slightest of strain

Sky Sports activities’ Sam Blitz:

The frustration for under-fire supervisor Potter is that Thursday evening’s defeat at Fulham was totally Chelsea’s doing.

The Blues began brilliantly at Craven Cottage with Felix trying to be the reply to Chelsea’s creativity points by popping up neatly within the midfield holes and carrying the ball ahead with aptitude.

Chelsea's defense crumbled even under the slightest of pressures
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Chelsea’s protection crumbled even below the slightest of pressures

Within the first 20 minutes, Chelsea had created eight first rate possibilities and restricted Fulham to scraps. Whereas the Blues weren’t in entrance, it seemed like there was progress in per week the place Potter had “sincere conversations” along with his squad.

Then all of it fell aside on the again. Trevoh Chalobah’s poor contact out of the again began a catalog of errors. That mistake led to Bobby Decordova-Reid hitting the bar however then got here the strain. Minutes later, Lewis Corridor was responsible for the same mistake and Willian put Fulham in entrance. All that arduous early operating went down the drain and after trying so comfy, Chelsea have been clinging on for half-time.

The identical may very well be mentioned for Felix’s pink card. Chelsea had hauled themselves again into the sport after the break and have been on high, trying to full the comeback. All of a sudden, the one second of insanity led to the sport operating away from Chelsea once more.

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Following his aspect’s 2-1 defeat to Fulham, Chelsea head coach Graham Potter says the lack of Joao Felix for 3 video games following a pink card is ‘actually disappointing’

Potter have to be inspired by his particular person means to arrange a staff able to performing, solely to see frustration in his younger, injury-ridden aspect crumble as quickly because the strain is cranked up.

With one other London derby with Crystal Palace awaiting the Blues on Sunday, the Chelsea supervisor is aware of {that a} good begin to calm the nerves is required, not only for his gamers however the followers too.

But when they lose that one…

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