Joao Felix Sent off as Chelsea Lose in West London Derby

Joao Felix Sent off as Chelsea Lose in West London Derby (News Central TV)

Fulham boss Marco Silva praised “a tremendous night for the club and the supporters” as his team defeated 10-man Chelsea in a feisty west London derby at Craven Cottage.

When the score was tied at 1-1, Portugal winger Joao Felix was dismissed on his Chelsea debut. Carlos Vinicius then headed in the game-winning goal in the 72nd minute.

Prior to Kalidou Koulibaly‘s early second-half equaliser, Willian gave the hosts the lead against his old team in the first half. However, Fulham advanced to sixth place in the Premier League thanks to Vinicius’ winning goal.

“Chelsea is a super team, they are a massive club and their budget is completely different to ours, you can’t compare,” said Silva.

Marco Silva

“It was a great night for our fans and they deserved it. For our football club, for our fans it’s special and I definitely felt it at the final whistle – the way they celebrated was a really important moment.

“Our players have been brilliant for the season so far but we know we are just in the middle of the season and as a manager there’s big room to improve.”

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Graham Potter is under more stress following Chelsea’s loss because the Blues have now won just twice in 10 games across all competitions.

Joao Felix, who only joined Chelsea from Atletico Madrid on Wednesday in a £9.7 million loan transfer until the end of the season, received a straight red card after 58 minutes for a terrible lunge on defender Kenny Tete and will now miss three games.

Potter’s Blues team got off to a strong start, but the visitors almost went in front when Chelsea lost the ball and Vinicius put a pass through to Bobby de Cordova-Reid, who shot against the crossbar with Kepa Arrizabalaga out of position. But Chelsea fell behind two minutes later in the 25th minute.

The visitors’ defence was weak as young left-back Lewis Hall failed to make a clearance before Trevoh Chalobah could have made a better clearance.

When Willian received the ball, the two-time Premier League champion from Brazil watched his shot take a significant deflection off Chalobah, leaving Arrizabalaga with little chance. Against his former squad, Willian did not throw a party.

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After Mason Mount’s free kick rebounded off the left-hand post, Chelsea equalized just two minutes into the second half when Koulibaly reacted quickest to force the ball over the line from close range.

Before being dismissed, Joao Felix was the greatest player for the visitors. As a result, the 10 men duly gave up the victory to Vinicius. At the final whistle, there was a celebration among the home supporters at Craven Cottage.

Since a 1-0 win over the Blues in March 2006, Fulham have only defeated Chelsea four times in 53 Premier League meetings. This victory snapped that skid.

Despite having played two more games than Liverpool, the team they have moved above, Fulham has now climbed up to sixth place in the Premier League.

Even so, Fulham, led by Marco Silva, who were promoted from the Championship last season, are still having an outstanding season.

The Fulham supporters will be beginning to fantasize about what might occur in the remaining games of the season, despite club captain Tom Cairney’s claim that the players were not “thinking at all” about the potential of qualifying for Europe next season.

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Silva’s absence of top goal scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has 11 goals, made this victory even more significant for him. Vinicius, though, proved to be a capable stand-in, and his goal sent the Fulham supporters home satisfied.

Football in Europe already seems far away for Chelsea. They have only collected 25 points from their first 18 Premier League contests of the current campaign, which is the fewest at this level since 2015–16 and the only time since 1996–1997 that they have failed to make the European playoffs.

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