Fulham fell to a 1-0 defeat against Chelsea at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon, with Ivan Cavaleiro, in particular, disappointing with his performance for Scott Parker’s side.
Whilst Antonee Robinson’s red card was the turning point, as he received his marching orders after a poor tackle on Cesar Azpilicueta, it was perhaps the performance of Cavaleiro that will disappoint Parker the most.
The Portuguese winger was excellent in Fulham’s draw against Spurs in midweek, earning a 7.7 rating from SofaScore after his equalising goal, which was the best of any Cottagers player.
Unfortunately, consistency has been an issue for the former Wolves man throughout his time with Fulham, and Saturday’s performance against Chelsea emphasised this, as he earned a 7.0 rating, with only Ademola Lookman, Bobby Decordova-Reid and Robinson rated lower of the Fulham players who started the game.
Chelsea’s centre-backs Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger would earn 8.0 and 7.8 ratings respectively and both won the vast majority of their duels, suggesting that Cavaleiro didn’t cause them nearly enough problems.
As per SofaScore, Cavaleiro would have just 41 touches of the ball against Frank Lampard’s side, completing just 17/22 of his passes, which was only four more passes than goalkeeper Alphonse Areola would complete during the game.
The 27-year-old, who earns £60k per week at Fulham, would attempt two crosses during the game and none of them were accurate, suggesting that he was wasteful when presented with the opportunity to create on Saturday.
With Aleksandar Mitrovic out of form, Fulham are reliant on Cavaleiro to hold the ball up front, but he struggled to win duels against Chelsea. He would win just three out of seven ground duels, and one out of six aerial duels, resulting in an overall success rate of just 31%.
This demonstrates that he struggled a lot more than he did on Wednesday night against Spurs for example, where he would win four out of six total duels.
Despite grabbing a goal in midweek, the forward did not look confident in front of goal, and missed a glorious chance to give Fulham the lead in the first half following a flowing move, with Kenny Tete visibly frustrated that his teammate was unable to hit the target after he found him in space in the area.
Therefore, despite Robinson’s red card, Parker will surely be frustrated that Cavaleiro was unable to have any real impact on the game.
And, in other news… Khan must swoop for EFL youngster likened to Gareth Bale