Kepa Arrizabalaga makes amends for Wembley mutiny meltdown in Fulham clash

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Chelsea's Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga applauds supporters on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Chelsea at Craven Cottage. (AFP)
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Chelsea's Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga makes a late save during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Chelsea at Craven Cottage. (AFP)
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Chelsea's Willian in action with Fulham's Joe Bryan (Action Images via Reuters)
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Chelsea's Gonzalo Higuain, left, challenges for the ball with Fulham's Joe Bryan during the match between Fulham and Chelsea at Craven Cottage stadium in London, England, Sunday, March 3, 2019. (AP) Photo/Tim Ireland)
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Soccer Football - Premier League - Fulham v Chelsea - Craven Cottage, London, Britain - March 3, 2019 Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic in action with Chelsea's Emerson Palmieri Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
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Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Willian (L) vies with Fulham's English defender Joe Bryan (R) during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Chelsea at Craven Cottage in London on March 3, 2019. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / AFP / Glyn KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images m
Updated 03 March 2019

Kepa Arrizabalaga makes amends for Wembley mutiny meltdown in Fulham clash

LONDON: Jorginho fired Chelsea to a 2-1 win at struggling Fulham on Sunday as Blues goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga seemed to be on the road to redemption after his Wembley mutiny with a highly impressive, match-saving display.
Maurizio Sarri’s side took the lead through Gonzalo Higuain before Calum Chambers equalized at Craven Cottage.
In an incident-packed first half, the much-maligned Jorginho restored Chelsea’s lead with his first goal since the opening weekend of the season.
Chelsea were also indebted to Kepa for a series of superb saves that preserved their lead after the break, lifting the sixth-placed Blues within two points of fourth placed Manchester United.
Blues boss Maurizio Sarri had dropped Kepa for Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Tottenham on Wednesday as punishment for the Spaniard’s refusal to be substituted during last weekend’s League Cup final defeat against Manchester City.
But Sarri had insisted Kepa remained his “first choice” and the world’s most expensive keeper returned in place of Willy Caballero after his one-game demotion.
“Kepa is a man,” Sarri said. “He understood the mistake he made, so he was able to react very well. It is very important for our group and our dressing room.
The Chelsea boss, while pleased with the three points, felt his team could have been more ruthless in front of goal to kill the game off, especially as Fulham had the ball in the net at the death but were foiled by an assistant’s flag for offside.
“We played very well only for 60 minutes, we could have killed the match.
“We were not able to so in the last 20 or 25 minutes and we were in trouble because we were very tired mentally and physically after 120 minutes against Manchester City and a strong match against Tottenham.
“But I am really very happy with the performance for 60 minutes and the result.”
The performance of on-loan striker Higuain will also have lifted the spirits of the Chelsea manager. It was Higuain’s third goal in eight games since the Argentine joined from Juventus in January.
“Higuain played a very good match. I think at the moment he is not at his best, but he is improving. I hope in a couple of weeks he will be able to arrive at his best,” Sarri said.
Blues captain Cezar Azplicueta admitted Chelsea knew they had been in a game and that it was a tough encounter.
“It was a tough game. In the first half we played very well and created a lot of chances to go in more comfortably at half-time.
“We didn’t score and we know Fulham are fighting relegation, every point matters — they pushed hard and sometimes you have to dig in.
“We know that we are entering into the last stage of the season where we have to take everything we can. We have a lot of targets to get. Hopefully we can get what we want”
Fulham caretaker manager Scott Parker was under no illusions the task that faces his side between now and the end of the season. 
“It was a rollcoaster for me on the sidelines. In the first half we felt stung against a very good side, we didn’t put our stamp on the game in possession. 
That was a big focus for us. In the second half we did do that. The most important thing was we showed character.
“We showed character with the ball, not just running hard, which is standard. Our center-halves got the ball and played, this is the way Fulham play and the way I want my team to play.
“I am thinking long term in the best interests of Fulham Football Club. I will treat this as long term because I want to help this club.”


Hatton leads interrupted Abu Dhabi second round

Updated 22 January 2021

Hatton leads interrupted Abu Dhabi second round

  • Tyrrell Hatton was on five under for the day with five holes remaining to put him atop the provisional leaderboard at 12 under
  • Overnight leader Rory McIlroy, one over for the day with four holes still to be completed, is five shots back and in a share of second

ABU DHABI: England’s Tyrrell Hatton led the Abu Dhabi Championship by five shots on Friday before fading light forced play to come to a premature halt with the second round due to be completed on Saturday.
Hatton was on five under for the day with five holes remaining to put him atop the provisional leaderboard at 12 under.
Romain Langasque was five shots adrift after 16 holes before conditions forced organizers to suspend the round.
Sharing provisional second with the Frenchman was overnight leader Rory McIlroy, who was one over for the day with four holes still to be completed. And two who managed to make it to the clubhouse, New Zealander Jason Scrivener and Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond.
Janewattananond and Scrivener were out early to finish their first rounds on Friday morning after Thursday’s fog delay of almost three hours forced them to play catch up.
Hatton is aiming for a fourth Rolex Series title in this event, the first of three tournaments being staged in the Gulf.
He began his second round one shot off his Ryder Cup teammate McIlroy after assembling a fine opening 65.
The 29-year-old followed up the two eagles he had made on day one with another from 22 feet on the second hole.
After dropping his first shot of the tournament at the next he hit back, producing a run of four birdies.
He was going in search of his tee shot into a bunker at the 14th hole when the siren sounded a premature halt to the round.
“I’m obviously in a great position at the moment,” he said.
“It was certainly tough out there, so I’m really happy to be five under.
“I held some nice putts and there were a couple of par putts toward the end of my round — nice to hold them and keep a bit of momentum going.”
On the prospect of a busy day at the office on Saturday, Hatton added: “It will be fine. I’ll just try and stay loose and see how we go.”
Langasque was almost celebrating the first hole in one of the new Race to Dubai season, his tee shot at the par three 15th whistling past the hole.
Defending champion Lee Westwood bogeyed the 13th and 14th before play was suspended to lie nine shots off the lead, with world number three Justin Thomas on the projected cut mark of one under.