Fulham of England defender, Ola Aina played all 90 minutes against his former club, Chelsea, but he was shown a late yellow card in his side’s 2-0 loss at Stamford Bridge, while Tosin Adarabioyo also got full duration action under his boot for The Cottagers.
The visitors also had Josh Maja on from the start, but he bowed out for Ivan Cavaleiro in the 81st minute, while Josh Onomah replaced Ivan Cavaleiro in the 78th minute, while Ademola Lookman played the full game, but Nigerian-born striker, Tammy Abraham got off Chelsea’s bench in place of Mason Mount in the 76th.
Megasportsarena.com reports that Aina, Adarabioyo, Maja and Lookman all got six points out of ten for their efforts, while Onomah gained five, with Abraham also getting half of the total marks possible from the feisty encounter at Stamford Bridge.
Aina and his Nigerian compatriots eventually ended the London derby on a sad note, as Kai Havertz doubled his English Premier League goals tally with a brace and Chelsea edged Fulham closer to relegation.
Havertz handed Chelsea a 10th-minute lead with a delicate, lofted finish after Mason Mount’s sublime control and through pass and the German added his second four minutes into the second half with another composed finish after combining with compatriot Timo Werner.
With an eye perhaps on Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg with Real Madrid of Spain, Chelsea’s coach, Thomas Tuchel made five pre-match alterations, but his side were rarely tested and could have made the victory wider, but for a number of inspired saves by Alphonse Areola.
Fulham’s plight towards the foot of the table left them with little option but to assert themselves from the first whistle, and they gave Chelsea a real fright inside five minutes when Antonee Robinson’s drive forced Edouard Mendy into a fingertip save.
The early pressure on the Chelsea goal forced Tuchel out of his seat on two occasions, with Reece James bearing the brunt of the tirade for his failure to move forward in support of the attack, and the hosts responded to their manager’s rallying calls.
Fulham grew after the reprieve, pushing for the equaliser as Lookman’s rasping drive drew Mendy into another save in the Chelsea goal and Aina’s heavily deflected shot clawed off the line by The Blues’ shot-stopper.
Chelsea’s 15th victory in all competitions under Tuchel sees them move to within two points of third-place Leicester and open up a six-point cushion to West Ham in fifth in the race for a top-four finish.
For Fulham, defeat leaves them in 18th place, nine points adrift of Newcastle and Burnley having crucially played a game more than their relegation rivals.