Potter refuses to blame Felix or Kepa after Chelsea lose again

Chelsea boss Graham Potter refused to blame Joao Felix and Kepa for his side’s 2-1 defeat at Fulham.

The loss left the Blues slip 10th in the table, with Felix enduring a nightmare debut after being shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Kenny Tete in the second half.

Kepa then misjudged an Andreas Pereira cross, allowing Carlos Vinicius to nod home from close range to hand the Whites a first win over Chelsea since 2006.

Felix had looked lively before his dismissal in the 57th minute and he will now serve a three-game ban just days after arriving on a loan deal until the end of the season from Atletico Madrid for a fee of almost £10m.

“It is really frustrating. I feel for the supporters and we are disappointed to lose,” Potter said.

“It was even game first half, we had chances, but it was the basics that let us down – we can do a lot better in defending.

“The red card is where we are at the moment, losing Joao for three matches is really disappointing.

“He is a top player, there was no malice in the challenge. It was a little bit high and the ref had a decision to make. He will learn from it.”

“It wasn’t an emotional challenge, it was a football action. These things happen and we are suffering.”

Kepa, who shipped in four goals at Manchester City on Sunday, had little chance with Fulham’s opener from Willian, which deflected off Trevoh Chalobah, but was at fault for the second goal from Marco Silva’s side.

Potter said: “I never like to speak about individuals, but they were not putting us under pressure despite being down to 10 men. It was a soft goal defensively.

“It’s important we stick together.”