Jorginho silences critics with a stunning finish against fulham
Maurizio Sarri‘s favourite and italian defensive midfielder Frello Jorginho has silenced his critics which grew over the month due to his inability to perfom very well as a defensive midfielder at chelsea.
It was known that he was used as a replacement for NGolo Kante who been said to play the role better.
Meanwhile, Kepa Arrizabalaga returned to the team and impressed to keep the Cottagers out. The Blues moved within two points of fourth place Manchester United with a 2-1 win sealed courtesy of goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Jorginho, Arsenal loanee Calum Chambers did equalise in the first half to ruin Kepa’s chance of a clean sheet return before Jorginho’s eventual winner.
Fulham were on top for significant periods of the second half and had a goal disallowed for offside but the result kept them 19th, 10 points from the safety zone while Chelsea stayed sixth but moved to within a point of fifth-placed Arsenal. The Blues held on for an important victory over west London rivals Fulham to keep their Champions League hopes alive.
Kepa almost embarrassed himself 18 minutes into his return, dropping a routine cross right in front of Ryan Babel, but fortunately he was able to pounce before the Netherlands international could punish him. Shortly afterwards, Chelsea capitalised on that let-off – Higuain steering Cesar Azpilicueta’s low cross in with a first-time finish.
Fulham levelled seven minutes later when an unmarked Chambers met Babel’s cross following a short corner with a controlled finish at the back post but Chelsea restored their lead in the 31st minute, as Eden Hazard teed up Jorginho on the edge of the box, who found the top-right corner. Proceedings continued to be open after the break – Willian and Aleksandar Mitrovic both going fairly close within 15 minutes of the restart.
Kepa rescued Chelsea with a fine flying save to parry Mitrovic’s header, securing victory and a hint of redemption, before Ryan Sessegnon saw an injury-time leveller correctly ruled out for offside. Hazard was certainly a leading light for Chelsea, tormenting Denis Odoi constantly before his late withdrawal, while he set up Jorginho’s winner with a good run and pass. That made him only the third Chelsea player to both score and assist 50 goals in the Premier League.
Everything points to the battle for the third and fourth Champions League spots being quite thrilling towards the end of the season. Just five points now separate Spurs in third and sixth-place Chelsea, meaning there could be plenty more twists and turns in the final weeks.
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Chelsea will hope to continue their dominance as they welcome Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev to Stamford Bridge in the Europa League on Thursday, before returning to Premier League action at home to Wolves three days later.