• Louis Wishlade

Match Report: The Battle at the Bridge

Updated: May 7

Scott Parker named an unchanged start from the side that earned a point at the Emirates. The young manager set his side up to deploy a high defensive line and to press aggressively, just has the Baggies had in their shock 5-2 win. However, a Havertz brace ultimately undid their performance as Fulham fell to a 2-0 defeat.

Fulham dazzled in the opening minutes, as Antonee Robinson’s pressing won him possession deep in the Chelsea half. However, the American blazed his wonderful left-footed shot over the bar from the edge of the box. The White's high line would be their downfall, as Chelsea exploiting it as they grew into the game.

In the tenth minute, Thiago Silva floated a ball over top of Fulham, from the edge of his own box, finding Mason Mount. The England international received the ball with a deft touch before splitting Andersen and Aina with a beautifully weighted through ball to Havertz. The German received the ball on the edge of the box, taking a few touches and shrugging off Aina, before deftly lifting the ball over Areola, gifting the Blues the lead.

Havertz celebrates scoring Chelsea's first goal early in the first half.

Photo Credits: TalkSPORT

The playmaker soon rustled the White’s net again, just six minutes later, although the goal was swiftly ruled offside, to the relief of Fulham fans.

After this, the Cottagers tested their opponent’s goalkeeper, with Decordova-Reid’s shot blocked by Silva and Lookman’s bottom-left corner effort saved by the hand of a stretching Mendy.

The Pensioners also had their fair share of chances, as Pulisic placed a shot directly into the hands of Areola, after a mazy Werner run and low, driven cross. The German talisman also had his own endeavour denied by the World Cup winner – as did Ola Aina at the other end after a fantastic volley from the edge of the box.

Havertz completes his brace to take Fulham's Stamford Bridge Barren spell to 24 games.

Photo Credits: Loop

However, after a good battle at the Bridge, Silva once again found Havertz with a cross-pitch long ball. The mercurial talent took the ball down as he ran, shimmying past Tosin and Robinson before completing a textbook one-two with his German colleague Werner. The ex-Salzburg man slid the ball past Fulham’s back line, finding the 21-year-old on the penalty spot, who easily slotted the ball to the right of Areola and into the bottom-right corner, presenting Chelsea with their second on the 49th minute.

Carvalho had his hard work for the league leading Under 18s rewarded with his debut on Saturday.

Photo Credit: Fulham FC

Whilst this was the last goal of the game, it was a good day for the starlets of both clubs, with Gilmour completing a full ninety minutes in midfield for the Blues, whilst Fulham’s Portuguese youngster, Fabio Carvalho, made a bright debut in the last ten minutes.

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