Fulham - Reality Check
Today, we lost to Chelsea 3-1.
Coupled with West Ham and Man City wins, we tumble out of 7th down to 9th, with only goal differential separating 8th - 10th position. End of the world? Nope - a simple reality check.
We were cut open early and often. To our credit, we didn't simply capitulate. We fought back and played some dangerous, flowing, technical football, with Erik Nevland looking particularly dangerous. It simply wasn't enough. By the end, Chelsea were absolutely dominant and we were lucky to keep it 3-1. It could've been much worse. We simply lost to a much bigger club on their home patch - nothing more.
It's been a long season for such a small squad and, the wear and tear is starting to show. Not helping matters was the fact that for the second week running we lost both starting forwards to injury with Nevland being forced off in the first half and Zamora limping off in the second half. Zamora may have started the match injured, so I don't want to read too much into his early exit. We were lucky to avoid it all season, but it seems that the injury bug has decided to show its face. It's bad timing for our European aspirations, but I'd rather it happen now versus earlier in the season where it could've derailed our effort to avoid another relegation battle.
Did anyone sincerely believe we were going to leave Stamford Bridge with three points? I thought we might be able to get away with a 0-0 draw and a single point. That's what Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny told me, anyway. It was always going to be a tough match to get anything from, and though I'm disappointed, I was always looking past this match to Villa, Newcastle and Everton - the fixtures where we could realistically add to our point total and solidify our place in the top half of the table, whether that be 7th or 10th.