Felix Sees Red As Fulham's Rare Win Over Chelsea Puts Pressure On Potter  (Sky Sports)

Fulham 2 Chelsea 1

Carlos Vinicius scores Fulham's second goalFulham celebrated a first win over local rivals Chelsea in almost 17 years on Thursday, with their 2-1 victory at a bouncing Craven Cottage moving them up to sixth in the Premier League and heaping the pressure on Blues boss Graham Potter, who saw new loan signing Joao Felix sent off on his debut.

It was Chelsea old boy Willian who got Fulham up and running after an encouraging start from the visitors, firing in (25) with the help of a deflection against the side where he spent seven years of his career.

Fulham had already had a penalty appeal waved away and struck the bar through Bobby Decordova-Reid by that point, with Chelsea's defence clearly low on confidence, but Potter's men struck back at the start of the second half when Kalidou Koulibaly (47) forced the ball over the line after Mason Mount's free-kick hit the post.

That looked set to provide Chelsea with the platform to go on and grab a morale-boosting comeback win - instead they would fall to a rare and hugely damaging defeat to their neighbours.

Felix had seemed destined to grab the headlines after being thrown into the starting line-up just over 24 hours after completing his switch from Atletico Madrid, with a fantastic first-half performance lighting up what has been a toothless Chelsea attack. But in the end, his first appearance will be remembered for a foolish studs-up lunge at Kenny Tete.

His straight red card on 57 minutes means he will now be suspended for three of the remaining 20 Premier League games of his loan period, compounding Potter's problems on a night Denis Zakaria was added to their already lengthy injury list.

It was all smiles for Carlos Vinicius though as he ended a 10-month goal drought with a towering header the suspended Aleksandar Mitrovic would have been proud of to win it for the hosts.

At the halfway stage of this campaign they have already surpassed their points total from their last stint in the Premier League and may even be dreaming of qualifying for Europe. For Chelsea, those kind of ambitions seem a long way away. They stay 10th, 10 points off fourth-placed Manchester United who have a game in hand.

How Fulham recorded a rare win over Chelsea

It had all started encouragingly for Chelsea, with Felix instantly sparking their attacking play into life. Within two minutes he'd nutmegged Tim Ream to set up Kai Havertz for a blocked shot which led to Lewis Hall wasting a follow-up. By the quarter-hour mark the Chelsea fans were singing his name, with Antonee Robinson and Andreas Pereira both in the book for bringing down the stylish, dangerous, roaming forward.

But for all the added impetus Felix brought to Chelsea's attack, their lack of belief at the back was plain to see and proved to be their undoing.

Fulham saw a penalty appeal waved away when Denis Zakaria bundled into Vinicius and smashed the bar through Decorova-Reid when Trevoh Chalobah miscued a header amid an error-strewn performance. They finally hit the net through former Chelsea man Willian.

Cesar Azpilicueta should have known his former team-mate well enough not to let him step in on his right and Chalobah should have done better with his attempted block, which deflected the ball in off the post beyond Kepa Arrizabalaga. But Fulham's supporters behind the goal didn't care one bit and revelled in taking the lead against their neighbours who they last beat in March 2006.

Chelsea, who had scored just three in their past seven fixtures, had opportunities before the interval to level, with Bernd Leno denying Felix twice, either side of another good opening for Hall but after what would have been an uncomfortable half-time break, they came out firing in the second half.

Within two minutes of the restart they were level, with Koulibaly forcing the ball home after Mount's free-kick rattled the woodwork. A turnaround looked to be on the cards. But within the space of two minutes Potter was left cursing his luck once more, with Zakaria limping off and then Felix sent off for stretching for the ball after a poor touch.

Potter looked bewildered by his bad luck in the dugout and while his 10-player team initially pushed forward they were caught out by Pereira's deep cross which allowed Vinicius to shake off his markers and nod home with Kepa nowhere.

A quadruple substitution from Potter couldn't inspire a second Chelsea equaliser, despite Azplicueta going close and the excellent Leno denying Havertz again, and a jubilant Fulham celebrated just a second win over Chelsea in their last 31 attempts. A rare triumph for the hosts - but a now all-too-familiar painful feeling for under-pressure Potter.

What's next for Fulham and Chelsea?

Fulham are back in Premier League action on Sunday when they travel to Newcastle; kick-off 2pm, live on Sky Sports.

Meanwhile, Chelsea host Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Sunday; kick-off 2pm.


Fulham Leno, Tete, Adarabioyo, Ream (c), Robinson, Reed (Cairney 69), Palhinha, Decordova-Reid (Wilson 69), Pereira (James 90+3), Willian (Solomon 84), Vinicius (Chalobah, N. 90+3)
Subs Not Used Rodak, Diop, Kurzawa, Harris
Booked Robinson, Pereira, Adarabioyo, Leno
Goals Willian 25, Vinicius 73

Chelsea Kepa, Chalobah (Cucurella 80), Silva, Koulibaly, Azpilicueta (c), Zakaria (Jorginho 56), Kovacic (Gallagher 80), Hall (Chukwuemeka 79), Felix, Mount (Ziyech 80), Havertz
Subs Not Used Bettinelli, Badiashile, Aubameyang, Fofana
Booked Chalobah, Hall, Mount
Sent Off Felix 58
Goals Koulibaly 47

Attendance 24,460

Referee David Coote

VAR John Brooks