Edouard Mendy and Kai Havertz came up clutch while Timo Werner was impressive as Chelsea ran out 2-0 winners against Fulham on Saturday.
Chelsea were a little slow off the blocks and in fact, it was Fulham who came close to scoring in the early exchanges, when Antonee Robinson’s shot was kept out by Edouard Mendy in the 5th minute. The Blues, though, were ahead inside ten minutes, as Kai Havertz scored from close range after being played through by Mount, whose first touch to control Thiago Silva’s long pass was brilliant.
Thereafter, both sides had the chance to score but neither goal was breached again, as Chelsea went into half-time with their slender advantage, thanks largely due to Mendy’s heroics in goal. Post the interval, the Blues were much improved and doubled their advantage in no time, with Havertz on target again, as he collected a diagonal pass by Ben Chilwell before scoring at the end of a give-and-go with Timo Werner.
Thereafter, Chelsea were in total control and never really looked like they were going to be in any trouble from Fulham. And, without much of a fuss, the hosts completed the 2-0 win to strengthen their place inside the top four. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Edouard Mendy: 9/10
That’s now 16 clean sheets in 28 Premier League games for Édouard Mendy.
At 57%, Mendy has the best clean sheet record of any goalkeeper in the PL this season (with 10+ appearances). Fantastic. pic.twitter.com/xCqWryYPS7
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) May 1, 2021
Forced into action early on, Mendy made a fine stop to deny Antonee Robinson. Another big save midway through the half saw him deny Ademola Lookman, while on the stroke of half-time he had to make another reaction stop. Not forced into any save in the second half, which he would be grateful for, as he kept another clean sheet.
Andreas Christensen: 7/10
Starting on the right side of the back three once again, Christensen was a solid customer for the most part and won 5 duels while also making 2 big blocks to help Chelsea to a clean sheet. Precise with the ball at his feet, the Dane completed 90 percent of his passes, including each of the four long balls he attempted.
Thiago Silva: 7/10
Donning the armband for Chelsea, Silva led by example against Fulham and did well to keep the backline organised. His own numbers were nothing short of impressive, as the veteran Brazilian made 4 clearances while winning each of the 3 duels he contested. The delicious long pass towards Mason Mount in the build-up to the goal scored by Kai Havertz was the standout moment for him.
Kurt Zouma: 7/10
Back in the starting lineup owing to Antonio Rudiger’s absence, Zouma was a solid customer at the back for Chelsea and along with Ben Chilwell, he kept a check on Ivan Cavaleiro efficiently. Made 7 clearances while completing 4 tackles and won 4 duels as well. Completed 94 percent of the passes he attempted and often pushed into the Fulham half, when Chelsea were in command. Top effort.
Reece James: 6/10
Back in the starting lineup, James was some way off his best and appeared to be involved in a few nervy moments at the back as well. The English international lost possession a staggering 16 times and did not even attempt a single cross, which was bizarre considering his strengths in the final third. Will hope to do better next time around.
Billy Gilmour: 6/10
Handed a rare start by Tuchel, Gilmour was decent enough on the day even if he was not as solid as he would have wished to be. Having said that, one cannot be too harsh on the talented Scotsman, seeing as he hardly gets called into action by Tuchel. Nevertheless, Gilmour ensured he did not waste many passes while also winning 4 duels. A solid base to build on.
Mason Mount: 7/10
In a superb start to the game, Mount produced an exquisite first touch before setting Havertz up for the opener. Continued to push forward efficiently and was the Blues’ best prospect on the creative front for much of the game. Also put in the hard yards defensively, seeing as he was playing in a deeper role. Seemed to have picked up a niggle before being taken off for Tammy Abraham.
Ben Chilwell: 7/10
A constant outlet down the left flank, Chilwell played a beautiful diagonal ball towards Havertz in the build-up to the second Chelsea goal. Never really put under a lot of pressure on the defensive front, with Cavaleiro largely being listless on his side, although he still won 3 duels. Will turn his attention towards Real Madrid now.
Hakim Ziyech: 5/10
Back in the starting lineup, Ziyech produced a sub-par performance, especially when compared to Timo Werner and Havertz. Saw a fair bit of the ball, but did not do much of note apart from creating a half-chance for Werner while also missing one glorious opportunity. There were a few sloppy moments on the ball as well and Ziyech really needs to start stepping up.
Timo Werner: 7/10
Dropping down to one of the two attacking midfield slots, Werner seemed to be at home being more of a creative player than a goalscorer and shared a tremendous chemistry with Havertz. Played the deft ball that released his compatriot for the second Chelsea goal as well. Once again seemed to lack confidence inside the opposition box, though. Looks better suited in this role right now.
Kai Havertz: 9/10
Kai Havertz vs Fulham:
1 key pass
100% aerial duels won
Man of the Match. pic.twitter.com/68sPQ11G2S
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) May 1, 2021
The Player to Watch in our preview, Havertz made a bit of a slow start to the game, cheaply giving the ball away when Mendy was forced into the early save. However, on the opposite end, he popped up to latch on to Mount’s through ball before netting the opener. Linked up brilliantly with Mount and Werner all game long and constantly seemed to pose a threat high up.
His movement caused Fulham a lot of problems and the perfect example came when he doubled his tally, first controlling Chilwell’s pass superbly before engaging in a give-and-go with Werner and finally pulling the trigger. Such a massive confidence-boosting performance, this.
N’Golo Kante: 6/10
On for Ziyech, Kante was typically unassuming in the final quarter of the game and made sure there were no slip-ups late on.
Tammy Abraham: N/A
On for Mount, Abraham did not see a lot of opportunities going his way before the end of the game, as Chelsea looked to play out the final minutes without any slip-ups.
Marcos Alonso: N/A
A late introduction in place of Chilwell, Alonso helped see the game out.