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.”


Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19, will miss Sakhir F1 GP

Updated 01 December 2020

Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19, will miss Sakhir F1 GP

  • The team issued a statement saying Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time
  • Hamilton is in isolation in accordance with the health protocols in Bahrain

World champion Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend, his Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team said Tuesday.
The team issued a statement saying Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit where he won the Grand Prix.
“But he up woke Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive,” the team said. “Lewis, therefore, took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.”
Hamilton is in isolation in accordance with the health protocols in Bahrain.
“Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery,” the team statement said.
The 35-year-old Hamilton appeared to be drained at the end of the race in Bahrain.
“It’s physical, this track has always been physical. We’ve got lots of high-speed corners so I was definitely feeling it,” he said soon after the GP. “I was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn’t really quite sure how it would play out at the end.”
There is another race in Bahrain on Sunday — on Sakhir’s shorter outer circuit — before the 17-race season concludes in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton has a big lead in the F1 drivers’ champion with 332 points, well ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on 201 points and Max Verstappen on 189.
The Mercedes team said it would announce a replacement driver later in the week.