Chelsea achieved the victory they desperately wanted after four games. The fact that he showed a transformational level of performance was also a huge benefit.
Chelsea won 2-0 in the away game against Fulham in the 7th round of the 2023-24 English Premier League (PL) held at Craven Cottage in London, England at 4 am (Korean time) on the 3rd.
Chelsea, who won the league in four games, rose from 15th to 11th place with 8 points (2 wins, 2 draws, 3 losses). It was a valuable victory that erased the poor performance of 1 draw and 2 losses in the previous 3 games.
Chelsea’s victory was led by two players who were ugly ducklings after their transfer. The main characters were Michailo Mudrik and Armando Broya, who scored the first and third goals, respectively.
First, Mudrik, who joined Chelsea for a whopping 100 million euros (approximately 142.6 billion won) in transfer fee, had been scoreless in 23 games before today’s game, but scored a hot first shot to quench his long thirst for goal drought.
Broya also failed to establish himself after growing up at Chelsea Youth, but after being loaned from Southampton, he became a top league striker. However, after returning from loan, he suffered an cruciate ligament injury and missed all of last season. Broya, who was left with only regret amidst such bad luck, also showed signs of revival by scoring a goal in his return as a starter after about a year.
In a situation where the best members were unable to appear due to injuries and accumulated warnings, Chelsea used a 4-3-3 formation to strengthen the competitiveness of the midfield.
Mudrik, Broya, and Cole Palmer were in the attack line, and the midfield was comprised of Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, and Connor Gallagher. Goalkeeper Robert Sánchez appeared in the four-back combination of Levi Colwill, Thiago Silva, Axel Disasi and Mark Cucurella.
Fulham, who had shown good form in recent home games, also responded with a 4-3-3 formation. The front line was composed of Willian, Raul Jimenez, and Harry Wilson. Below him, Andreas Pereira, Joao Palinha, and Harrison Reid formed the midfield combination. The defensive four-back line consisted of Robinson, Diouf, Lim, and Castagne, with Bernd Leno wearing goalkeeper gloves.
In the first half, Chelsea took the lead in attack with a new midfield strategy. Caicedo was positioned in the third line, Fernandez was deployed more aggressively and took charge of developing the attack, and Gallagher also moved more actively, actively targeting the opponent’s halfspace.
As a result, Broya hit a shot past the goalkeeper in the 2nd minute of the first half. However, the shot unexpectedly went over the goal. After Fulham missed a free kick opportunity in the 7th minute of the first half, Chelsea also missed a shot by Mudrik in the 10th minute of the first half.
The first goal was scored in the 18th minute of the first half. Chelsea’s fullback Colwill delivered an exquisite space cross. Mudrik caught it with a neat chest trap, and after one touch, he finished it off with a quick shot, cutting into the Fulham net. It was his first goal in 24 games since moving to Chelsea.
Chelsea, who took the lead with Mudrik’s first goal, scored an additional goal one minute later. In the 19th minute of the first half, Palmer stole a pass from the opposing defense and connected it to Broya. This pass was cleared by the opposing defense, but it was hit by Broya’s feet and was sucked into the goal. It was a result of luck for Chelsea and Broya. However, it was also an additional goal created by Broya’s active movements for about 20 minutes after the start of the game.
Chelsea, who took a 2-0 lead, continued to lead the attack. Fernandez threw a simple and bold pass, and Gallagher and the three attackers continued to threaten the opponent’s goal. In the 41st minute of the first half, Fulham also tried to make amends with Jimenez’s header following a corner kick, but it missed the goal.
Chelsea also missed a free kick opportunity near the penalty box in the 42nd minute, but maintained the lead in the first half and finished 2-0.
Fulham’s hard work stood out in the second half. Chelsea made the first change by replacing Mudrik, who scored at the start of the second half, with Ian Maatsen. Fulham also made major changes to their attacking line by replacing Jimenez and Wilson in the 8th minute of the second half and inserting Carlos Vinicius and Alex Iwobi.
And in the 11th minute of the second half, Iwobi had a decisive opportunity on the right side of the penalty box, but the header did not connect properly. Afterwards, Chelsea missed a free kick opportunity in the 12th minute of the second half. In the 14th minute of the second half, Fulham Vinicius’ header missed the goal high. Both teams had one chance to score.
And in the 18th minute of the second half, Chelsea had a decisive opportunity to put a wedge in the game. Gallagher, who received a pass from Broya, who did a good job protecting the pass from behind, connected a cutback pass into the penalty box. And Matsen connected it with a left-footed shot, but it hit the goal post. Fernandez shot again at the second ball chance, but this time Fulham goalkeeper Leno blocked it.
However, in a later scene, bad news broke out as Broya complained of physical condition and was replaced due to injury. However, Broya’s injury did not appear to be that serious, as he walked off the pitch on his own despite limping.
Fulham also made a change by substituting Sasa Lukic in place of Pereira in the 31st minute of the second half, while Chelsea further strengthened their midfield line by substituting Chimuanya Ogochuku in place of Palmer.레고토토
In the 32nd minute of the second half, Fulham missed a golden opportunity. Willian connected the pass after narrowing to the center. After receiving this, Lukic immediately sent an exquisite pass that broke through the opponent’s defense, and Palinha, who had rushed into the halfspace, connected with a right-footed shot. However, Sanchez made a remarkable save by blocking the shot with his foot.
Afterwards, both teams looked for opportunities to score, but were unable to create anything significant, and the game ended with Chelsea winning.
From Chelsea’s point of view, it was a relief to see minor injuries to Broja and Mudrik again. In addition, the team’s strong performance in the first half due to strong pressure showed signs of weakness in the second half as stamina declined.
However, it was significant that two attackers who had been silent for a long time not only scored goals, but also found new ways to use Gallagher and Fernandez. It was a victory that had a lot of meaning in that it showed signs of change in Chelsea’s tactics and performance, which were close to colorless.