Fulham left Stamford Bridge with a 2-0 defeat on Saturday and, when assessing the Opta statistics, it’s difficult to argue that Chelsea didn’t deserve their victory.
After containing the home side throughout the first half, strikes from Oscar and John Obi Mikel in the second earned Jose Mourinho’s men the victory that their 24 efforts on goal probably warranted. The majority of those were off target, but we still relied on David Stockdale to keep us in the contest, with the big goalkeeper making seven saves throughout the game.
In contrast, the Whites only managed four attempts, with just the one on target. Petr Cech’s first-half save did prove crucial, though, and it would have been interesting to see how the match played out had Darren Bent netted after being sent through one-on-one by Pajtim Kasami’s excellent pass.
It was another positive showing from the Switzerland Under-21 captain, as he complemented his two key passes with four tackles – the joint highest (along with Fernando Amorebieta) of anyone on the Fulham team. He also played more balls into the final third of the pitch (six) than anyone else in a white shirt.
With Chelsea dominating the possession stakes (64.4 per cent), Fulham were forced to defend for long periods of the game and we did so effectively for the majority of the time. Indeed, we intercepted 20 of the Blues’ passes (they managed to cut out just two) and former Chelsea man Steve Sidwell was the most prolific in this department with seven interceptions to his name.
Although the home team put in more tackles during the 90 minutes, it was Fulham who came out of challenges more successfully, with 94 per cent our tackles resulting in possession of the ball, in comparison to Chelsea’s 89 per cent.