Joao Felix was sent off for a studs-first lunge on his Chelsea debut as his new team slumped into crisis after a 2-1 loss at Fulham in the Premier League on Thursday.
The Portuguese forward looked disappointed after being shown a straight red card in the 58th minute for a dangerous challenge on Kenny Tete that caught the Fulham man just below his right knee.
Felix, who joined Wednesday on loan from Atlético Madrid for the rest of the season, was having an impressive game until he was sent off, making soaring runs, making decisive passes, and showing off some neat moves and flicks. Were staying
He will not be able to feature them again until February 11 as he will now miss league games against Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Fulham.
With Felix joining in a deal that is reported to cost Chelsea $790,000-a-week in wages and loan fees, it turned out to be a costly error for both the club and under-pressure manager Graham Potter.
Potter said, “It was a forward tackle – there was no malice but I understand why it was red.”
“It’s another blow. The hits keep coming at the moment, that’s what. He (Felix) was really good, you could see his quality in the game, so it’s doubly disappointing for us.”
Chelsea slumped to a sixth defeat in their last eight games in all competitions – their worst result in almost 30 years – thanks to Carlos Vinicius’ 73rd-minute winner, who found Andreas Pereira with an unmarked header away. goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was hesitant to come out for the ball as the post.
The Brazilian striker was only playing because first-choice center forward Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham’s top scorer, was suspended.
Fulham’s American defender Tim Ream said, “The boys are moving on – we’re not one-trick ponies.” “We have guys in the team who can finish and put the ball away.”
On finishing sixth in the Premier League: “It’s the result of everything we’ve been doing. Hard work on the training ground, togetherness of players and fans. We are not looking at the table but we are in a very good position.”
Fulham took the lead in the 25th minute through former Chelsea winger Willian’s deflected shot, only to have Mason Mount’s free-kick hit the post in the 47th and centre-back Kalidou Coulibaly forced the rebound from close range.
Fulham climbed above Liverpool into sixth place to continue a fine first season in the top flight. It was a fourth straight win in the top flight, something the south-west London club had not achieved since 1966.
Chelsea finished in 10th place, having played 19 points more than leaders Arsenal.
A top-four finish to qualify for the Champions League is looking more and more unlikely for Chelsea, whose extensive injury list now includes Denis Zakaria after the midfielder came off with a hamstring problem midway through the second half.
Potter made a quadruple substitution in the 79th minute to secure a draw but striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was not among them.
Last week against Manchester City, Aubameyang was substituted after coming on as an early substitute and already appears to be a player in Potter’s favor with attacking options Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic injured. are becoming increasingly limited.
Potter said, “The red card changes the game.”
“We have to keep working. There is no other way, you have to keep working to stay together and focus.”
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)