Big Win For Drummy's Boys
Last night saw a top of the table clash in the U21's league, a game something in a similar v...
Last night saw a top of the table clash in the U21's league, a game something in a similar vein to last Monday's first team game against Manchester City. Going into this game Chelsea sat fourth in the table six points off top of the league Fulham who are unbeaten in league and it would turn out to be a real game of 2 halves.
With Fulham's record this season Chelsea knew that they would be in for a difficult game and Dermot Drummy fielded a team that is about as strong as he could field to try and get the win. Beeney started as expected between the sticks with a back four in front of him of Fankaty Daby, Alexy Davey, Andreas Christensen and Nathan Ake. The 2 midfielders were Lewis Baker and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The attacking midfield trio of John Swift, Jeremie Boga and Alex Kiwomya and Islam Feruz was the striker.
The early stages of the game were controlled by Chelsea, keeping possession really well and trying to probe forward when they could but Fulham were struggling to get on the ball and and early chance fell to John Swift which he failed to get on target. Chelsea would be more clinical with their next chance however, Alex Kiwomya burst down the left hand side and looked to have missed his chance when he checked his run but immediately took another burst of pace to beat his man again and get to the byline where he fired the ball low across the 6 yard box and John Swift was first to the ball and hit home to give the blues a lead within 20 minutes.
In the next period of the game Chelsea would continue to dominate possession particularly with Lewis Baker and Ruben Loftus-Cheek controlling the midfield and not giving Fulham a sniff, chances were few and far between with a couple of half chances for Fulham and a half chance also for Alex Kiwomya. On 36 minutes however Chelsea would deservedly double their lead. When the opportunity arose Chelsea were employing the high press as the first team do and it reaped rewards this time forcing a mistake from the Fulham defence, John Swift found Lewis Baker on the edge of the box who tried a quick lay off but found a Fulham plauyer. However the ball bounced off that player and found Baker again who this time made no mistake and hit the ball first time into the bottom left hand corner, it all happened so quickly that the camera barely caught the action.
The Chelsea boys would manage to see out the rest of the first half without giving the Fulham players a sniff on goal and have a decent chance for Loftus-Cheek which he was unable to take but when the half time whisltle went it was Chelsea who would be thrilled to be 2 - 0 up in a tough game and controlling things quite comfortably very much in the way the first team did against Manchester City. The trick now would be to continue that into the second half.
The second half looked like things would continue in the same vein as right from the kick off Ruben Loftus-Cheek showed his power collecting the ball wide right and powering into the middle running into the box and past a couple of players before he was fouled right on the edge of the box, the resulting free kick was too close to the box for Baker to get it up and down quickly enough and the free kick went over the bar.
After 5 minutes of the first half things were looking good for Chelsea, Alex Kiwomya had a chance but could not finish but Fulham were not getting any joy even though they were looking like they were getting into some rhythm to get back into the game. It wouldn't be too long before Fulham would get a goal back, quick feet by the Fulham number 10 in the box was causing problems for Nathan Ake who left a foot dangling and invited to the player to go down which he did, in truth it was soft but Nathan should have been more controlled, the penalty was given and hit home with Beeney going the right way but unable to get there.
Fulham now had their tails up and were applying lots of pressure on Chelsea to try and get the equaliser, chances became very limited for Chelsea with only Jeremie Boga having a chance which he could not convert but Fulham were getting chances now with a regularity that was not there in the first half. Chelsea were defending bravely and giving their all but the midfield was lost, Lewis Baker became anonymous as did Loftus-Cheek who was replaced by Ssewankambo, Baker himself was brought off near the end of the game as being already on a yellow he got arguing with the ref and Drummy probably thought it best to bring him off.
Into the last minutes Fulham were better in possession but without creating anything more than half chances and Chelsea were clearing their lines time and again. In added time Chelsea were just trying to keep possession and run down the clock but a big chance did come to Chelsea in the last couple of minutes where a break saw them 4 on 2 the ball was fed to John Swift but he could only hit it into the side netting.
Thankfully that would be enough for Chelsea to see out the game and come away with a huge 3 points against the team who have been dominant in the league so far.The second half was a defensive performance but there was good performances from Fankaty Dabo, Loftus-Cheek and Lewis Baker. Chelsea are now only 3 points behind Fulham in the league and will face Liverpool next Friday who are also just above them in the league as things stand.