Fulham FC striker Aleksandar Mitrovic ruing a missed goal scoring opportunity against Chelsea FC

The maverick atones

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Fulham FC striker Aleksandar Mitrovic was twice denied by Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Tim Harrison
Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

As the Blues host Premier League entertainers Wolves this weekend, maverick keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has atoned for his one-man mutiny by turning in the performance of his Chelsea career.

The 24-year-old Spaniard was man of the match in the west London derby at Craven Cottage as Fulham slipped to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of their neighbours.

Kepa started with an early fumble, failing to hold a catch, with only Ryan Babel’s sluggish reaction preventing the Whites taking the lead.

But from then on, he was solidity itself. Gonzalo Higuain put the Blues ahead, while Calum Chambers’ equaliser for Fulham was down to shoddy defending, not poor keeping.

After Jorginho conjured up a glorious volley from distance to give Chelsea the lead again, it was just a case of hanging on as Scott Parker’s reinvigorated team threw everything forward.

The Blues go into Sunday’s clash against surprise improvers Wolves with renewed vigour; their blip at Wembley, when Kepa embarrassed himself by refusing to be subbed, all-but forgotten.

On his form at the Cottage (including two superb saves from Aleksandar Mitrovic, one at point-blank range), the keeper has every prospect of adding to his trio of international appearances.

Meanwhile Willy Caballero, still understandably miffed at being made to stand on the Wembley touchline like a jilted bride, can point to the clean sheet he kept last week against Spurs as evidence of his continued potency.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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