FULL TIME: Chelsea win!
90+4min: Azpi next into the book for fouling Lookman. Chelsea defend the free kick and counter through Pulisic, who sends Werner through. He’s 1-v-1 with the goalkeeper ... and misses, again.
90+3min: Good cross from Bryan for Fulham, but Chelsea head clear.
90+2min: Pulisic weaving a bit of magic on the left, his cutback doesn’t find a Chelsea player, but Azpi’s arriving at the top of the area ... and hammers his shot out of the park.
90min: Chelsea win a corner as 5 minutes are added on. We play it short and promptly lose it.
87min: Fulham looking for the equalizer, but Kamara’s shot from distance is gathered easily by Mendy.
86min: Fulham press high and Chelsea looking rather nervous at the back. Eventually we win a throw, to settle down a bit.
84min: 3-v-2 for Chelsea, but Werner’s touch lets him down. He does better on the next attack, but this time it’s Abraham who slips to let Fulham off the hook.
82min: Fulham counter with Lookman. Thiago Silva takes one for the team, and gets his yellow for stopping that at midfield.
81min: Pulisic drives the line and cuts it back, but instead of going short to Werner, aims a bigger ball towards Abraham, which is cleared.
78min: GOALLL MASON MOUNT! Hudson-Odoi takes on his man in the right channel and puts in a nice ball to a wide open Chilwell. He passes up his shot to drive the byline and cross. The goalkeeper gets a hand to it, but palms it straight to Mount, and this time he doesn’t hit the crossbar but rather the back of the net! 1-0, CHELSEA!
76min: Good cover from Chilwell cuts out a through ball after Fulham kept the ball well under pressure in the center.
75min: Werner & Hudson-Odoi on for Giroud & Ziyech
73min: Kovacic bursts into the area after Ziyech’s shot is blocked, but the cutback doesn’t reach a Chelsea leg.
71min: Ziyech into the book for stopping a counter after Azpi’s pass infield was cut out.
69min: Fulham threatening again, but Reed doesn’t get much power behind his shot from distance and Mendy catches it with ease. Chelsea counter and DeCordova-Reid brings down Chilwell, and gets rightly booked.
68min: Fulham free kick at midfield, taken quickly. Azpi and Mendy miscommunicate and the former almost passes it into his own goal. Mendy makes the save with his foot and Chelsea block the follow-up shot with the goal standing empty.
67min: Classic Ziyech ball in from the right, but Pulisic can’t catch up to it at the far post. Inches away from contact and a sure goal. Chelsea’s best chance yet.
66min: Rüdiger puts in a big ball from a deep left position, finding Abraham’s head. Areola makes the save; was probably offside anyway.
65min: Finally a change, with Abraham replacing Jorginho.
63min: Finally some decent interplay that doesn’t result in a cross, but Giroud strays offside and misses the easy chance anyway.
61min: Chelsea pass it around for a bit, pushing Fulham further back and more compact. Pulisic eventually tries a cross towards the far post, but Fulham clear easily.
59min: Fulham defending well, but concede another corner as they block Ziyech’s shot. Mount again finds a Chelsea head, Azpilicueta this time, but he can’t direct his header on target.
57min: More good pressing from Fulham, but eventually Rüdiger wins a foul off Tete and we can play out.
55min: Ziyech tries his luck from 25 yards this time. Nope.
54min: Fulham counter after breaking the high press. Aina cuts inside from the left and goes for goal from 25 yards. Not close.
53min: Another Chelsea corner, Mount finding Giroud, but there’s not enough power on the header and Areola can collect.
51min: Great footwork from Mount in the right channel, before finding Giroud at the near post. He doesn’t quite sort his feet out however and Chelsea have to settle for a corner. Mount puts it into a dangerous area, but Fulham clear for another corner, which is also dangerous but also cleared.
49min: Chelsea win a corner as Fulham cut out a pass towards Giroud. Chelsea play it short before Ziyech hammers in a high ball, which is palmed out for another corner. This one causes a bit of a scramble, but Fulham eventually hack it clear.
48min: Fulham press high, forcing a throw. Chelsea seem confused by the whole process but Kovacic eventually wins a foul to let us out.
46min: Chelsea’s first attack ends in an offside before Kovacic can try his luck from distance.
SECOND HALF: No changes for either side in terms of personnel, though Fulham are now down to ten men, and appear to have changed to a back-four.
HALF-TIME: Dire stuff, mostly from Chelsea, who are lucky to not be behind, and are now up a man as well. Need much better.
45min: RED CARD FULHAM! Chelsea on the ropes, but Robinson dives in recklessly as Azpilicueta goes to clear the ball. Straight red.
43min: Fulham press and win the ball in midfield. Bodies falling left and right, no calls, but eventually Chelsea crowd out Anguissa before he could take a shot.
42min: Fulham come again, this time finding Cavaleiro’s head with a cross from the left. Wide, harmlessly.
41min: Fulham carve Chelsea open, left to right with Robinson to Tete, who finds Cavaleiro wide open on the penalty spot, but he somehow miskicks the ball against his own standing leg, from where it spins just wide of the post. Massive letoff.
39min: Fulham win a corner as Rüdiger blocks a cross. In comes the outswinger from Reed, Pulisic heads clear. Fulham play back wide to Lookman, who tries an audacious first-time effort from a wide angle, that just about clears the stands behind the goal.
35min: Giroud gets Chelsea moving forward with some good hold-up, but Pulisic and Chilwell combine only to win a corner. Ziyech with the outswinger creates a bit of a scramble, but a lucky bounce eventually takes the ball into the grateful arms of the goalkeeper.
34min: Mendy goes long from a goal kick, and Fulham almost allow the ball to run all the way though. Aina eventually intervenes, just ahead of Pulisic.
32min: Pulisic tries his luck from 20 yards after Chelsea turn the ball over in midfield, but he misses the target by some distance.
31min: Mount’s bundled off the ball just outside the Chelsea penalty area; no foul. Jorginho and Silva do enough to prevent any danger.
29min: Ziyech with a low, right-footed cross this time, but no one’s home and Fulham can clear.
26min: Chelsea win a corner, which Mount takes, finding Rüdiger. His header looks destined for the corner, but Areola makes a great save. Ziyech takes the next corner, but Fulham defend this one better.
25min: Azpi crosses after some quick ball movement, but Aina wins the header over Pulisic. Chilwell gathers the ball on the far side, his cross is half-cleared, but only as far as Mount, who takes a touch and swings a boot and rattles the crossbar! Unlucky.
23min: Silva looking for Giroud; Ziyech dummies the pass and receives the layoff from Giroud. He shoots, aiming for the low corner, but the goalkeeper’s equal to it.
21min: Chelsea controlling possession but not able to create much besides a hopeful shot from Chilwell (blocked) and a deep cross from the same, which is collected easily by the goalkeeper.
18min: Rüdiger breaks the lines with a pass towards Giroud. Fulham cut that out but Chelsea win the ball back but can’t quite create a shooting opportunity. Fulham then break the other way on their left again and find Cavaleiro in the area, but he makes a mess of his chance and Chelsea can win the ball back and play out.
16min: Chelsea give the ball back thanks to a lapse in concentration and missed touch from Pulisic. Fulham push on the left with Robinson and create a couple shooting opportunities, which are blocked by Azpi and Rüdiger.
15min: Chelsea press in the center midfield, but Fulham able to play through and around it, to keep possession well. But they’re not doing much with it, and eventually mis-hit a pass for a throw.
12min: Ziyech and Azpi combine well on the right, with the latter putting in a decent cross towards Giroud, but Fulham win the header. The clearance goes straight to Chilwell at the edge of the area, but his volley is high, wide, and not so handsome.
9min: Ziyech presses and wins the ball on the right, then combines with Mount, and Giroud to create a shooting opportunity for the latter. His effort deflects just wide of the post for a corner, which is overhit harmlessly.
7min: Kovacic loses the ball in midfield and Fulham attack the short field. Thiago Silva covers and clears for a throw.
6min: Fulham push on the right, but Chelsea defend well. Kovačić wins a foul in the area to complete the clearance.
4min: Chelsea win a corner and it’s a training ground routine, which sees Pulisic stand by Ziyech as decoy. The ball is hit low to the top of the area where Mount arrives, but his shot is blocked by a sea of bodies.
2min: Pulisic undersells a pass to Chilwell and Fulham can clear. Rüdiger covers a counter opportunity.
1min: Chelsea immediately cut out a pass from Fulham and settle into some early possession. Pulisic tries a quick flick over the top, but the ball hits the referee, so we get a drop ball.
KICK-OFF: The teams are out, in classic colors, white & black versus all blue. A moment of silence for Fulham legend Tosh Chamberlain, who passed away last week. The players take a knee, and we’re off! Fulham get us underway.
Fulham have more points in their last five games (5) than we do (4), so it’s time to put our thang down, flip it, and reverse it like Missy Elliot and get back to the business of fighting for the top-four instead of being mired in mediocrity in mid-table.
We have another big game coming up on Tuesday, against Leicester City, but there’s no time to mess about. Lampard has accordingly selected a strong starting lineup, albeit with a few unexpected changes.
Here we go!
Fulham starting lineup (3-4-3):
Areola | Adarabioyo, Andersen (c), Aina | Robinson, Anguissa, Reed, Tete | Lookman, Cavaleiro, De Cordova-Reid
Substitutes from: Rodák, Hector, Odoi, Ream, Bryan, Kebano, Onomah, Kamara
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Mendy | Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Rüdiger, Azpilicueta (c) | Kovačić, Jorginho, Mount | Pulisic, Giroud, Ziyech
Substitutes from: Arrizabalaga, James, Zouma, Emerson, Gilmour, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Werner, Abraham
Date / Time: Saturday, January 16, 2021, 17.30 GMT; 12.30pm EST; 11pm IST
Venue: Craven Cottage, SW6
Referee: Peter Bankes (on pitch); Jarred Gillett (VAR)
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); NBC, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!