Enzo Fernandez led the statistics in his first half with Chelsea and almost set up the victory against Fulham at Stamford Bridge
After FA Cup and EFL Cup action over the past few days, the Premier League returned with the eagerly awaited clash between Chelsea and Fulham at Stamford Bridge, a special match for the debut of the biggest signing in English soccer history. Officially introduced a day after Deadline Day, Enzo Fernandez made his debut as a starter to bolster Graham Potter’s starting XI.
Ziyech, who left Paris Saint-Germain this week, also started as a starter. With this, Potter made his 64th change to the starting lineup in 15 Premier League matches.
On the other side, Neeskens Kebano misses out for Fulham due to injury, but the big news was the debut of Sasa Lukic, another signing made in the final hours of the intense Deadline Day.
Chelsea and Fulham performed positively at the start
Both teams had moments of brilliance in the first half, with the Blues having the better opportunities. In the 20th minute, Thiago Silva manages a fantastic ball over the top for Havertz, who is one on one against Leno. The German attempted a first-touch volley, but shot past goalkeeper Leno who saved with his legs.
In another great moment, Fernandez passes it to Mount who controls the ball, and gets a curling cross towards Havertz at the far post. The ball deflects off Ream, but Kai Havertz couldn’t get control of the ball and wasted the opportunity.
Fulham also came close to scoring as Pereira lets a powerful shot fly from about 30 yards out, and Kepa gets down low in a spectacular save. Before the break, Tete flies past Cucurrella and gets a cross to the back-post for Willian at the back of the defense. Badiashile forces the Brazilian’s mistake and avoids the goal.
Enzo Fernández: Numbers prove an excellent first half debut for the Blues
Even with the score at zero in the first half, the player who stood out the most and lived up to expectations was precisely Enzo Fernández, according to figures from the Sofascore database.
Chelsea’s new signing led in five different statistics among all Chelsea players, ranking first in touches (59), recoveries (9), tackles (4), duels won (7/8), and passes in the rival camp (15).
Fulham holds off the Blues with organization in midfield
In the second half, Chelsea were slow to return with the same intensity and Fulham had another great chance with Willian gets past a flurry of blue shirts before laying it off to Pereira, whose shot is blocked.
When it did come closer, the Blues should have made the most of it after Enzo Fernandez found space from outside the area in a long-range shot that went just wide of ... in a debut that would go down in recent Premier League history.
However, Fulham’s defensive organization for the remainder of the second half prevailed over Chelsea’s attempts at attacking intent, as they exchanged many passes in the attacking half but failed to get any shots on target.
Chelsea really improved in the second half, but Fulham’s marking in midfield with four defenders (two wingers and two defenders) was enough for a heroic result at Stanford Brige.