As Chelsea picked up a priceless 1-2 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage in the Premier League, to boost their chances of a top 4 place, I look at the 5 key talking points from this match yesterday.
Before I get into it though, here are the highlights from the SW6 derby yesterday;
- Kepa MOTM- One of the main reasons that Chelsea managed to scrape a win was due to the brilliant saves of Kepa.
The Spaniard made quite a few vital saves in the game to keep Chelsea in the lead for the majority of the game.
The main outstanding save that sits in my mind, is the one from a Mitrovic volley from a Sessegnon cross, which the Spaniard had to react very quickly and tip over the bar. Kepa also made a vital save in the 88th minute to deny Mitrovic a headed goal.
This great performance from Kepa has come at a good time for him, as most of recent news surrounding him has been about the fiasco at Wembley in the Carabao Cup Final last weekend. And since then, he has been dropped and responded well to starting in the game yesterday.
Like Alex Goldberg says here; Kepa has made the headlines for the right reason this time;
Here is the Spaniard picking up his MOTM award today;
2. Higuain had a mixed game- Despite the Argentine striker scoring his third goal for Chelsea since joining from AC Milan on Sunday, El Pipita could have killed the game off earlier.
from right at the start, to the end of the game- Higuain was involved in some way.
His involvement started in the 5th minute when he glanced a header wide of Rico’s far post from a Hazard corner.
And then in the 20th minute- he instinctively finished off an Azpilcueta cross into the box from the right hand side.
Before half time, Higuain missed a sitter when Jorginho’s long ball over the top was met by the run of Higuain. But after controlling well- he then swiveled and blazed his shot from close range over Kepa’s bar. Everyone expected the net to rustle on that occasion.
And then right on the whistle, Higuain nearly scored a replica of his first goal. However the difference was that Rico saved at his near post unlike the first Higuain goal.
I think the main concern with Higuain is that he has many similarities with Morata. E.g. Both strikers are good at instinctive finishing. But a weakness that is present in both players is that when both players have alot of time 1-on-1, they usually overthink and miss sitters. E.g. Higuain’s missed chance against Fulham today, and Morata’s missed 1-on-1 against Arsenal last season at the Emirates.
However the main difference that makes Higuain more favourable to Sarri compared to Morata, is that Higuain’s movement is much better than Morata’s, and Higuain knows Sarri’s system to a tee- unlike Morata.
3. Jorginho proved his doubters wrong today- The Italian regista was excellent today. More in the attacking phase, but also defensively aswell on most occasions.
The regista scored the important goal to give the Blues a vital 3 points, with a lovely controlled finish into the roof of Rico’s net.
He also nearly got an assist when he played a lovely long ball over the top of Fulham’s defence, but Higuain couldn’t convert the chance provided to him by lovely passing play from Jorginho.
The main point for Jorginho now is to find consistency in his performances now.
The important thing for Jorginho today is that he got a positive response from the CFC fans today, unlike recent games where he got booed!
So can Jorginho now win the fans back over?
4. Hazard looked tired today- Eden Hazard- Chelsea’s star player was not the star in Chelsea’s game today.
The Belgian struggled to make a massive impact on the game, and it was similar to the Tottenham game, where he had a lethargic energy to his game. But this is understandable considering that Hazard plays most Chelsea games. We have to remember that he had played 120 minutes only last week in the Carabao Cup final.
However, the most ironic thing about this game is that Hazard still made an impact even though he was poor today for his standards. The Belgian grabbed the assist for Jorginho’s second goal.
5. Top 4 is now in Chelsea’s hands at this moment- A win today for Chelsea was vital. Nothing more than 3 points would have felt like a defeat for Sarri’s Blues in their quest to achieve top 4 this season.
Also the fact that the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham gained points yesterday- this meant that Chelsea had to win to remain in the hunt for top 4.
So this 2-1 win for Chelsea yesterday has kept the blues in sixth position with 56 points. 1 point off Arsenal in 5th and 2 points off Manchester United in 4th place. However Chelsea have the advantage over these two teams as they have a game in hand.
The game in hand is against Brighton at home, and if they win that which you would expect them too- then they will move into the top 4, and quite possibly will only be 2 points off Tottenham at this current moment.
Before finishing off- I would just also like to state that the fact of Fulham being rejuvenated could have made my 5 key talking points- but didn’t in the end. However I did predict that Fulham would be up for this game in my preview!
Another point which could have made it into my 5 key talking points was the fact that Sarri rotated the starting eleven for this match.
Comment down below. Do you agree with my 5 key talking points, or are there other talking points that I have missed?
By Danyal Khan