Joao Felix became the first Chelsea player to be sent off on his Premier League debut on Thursday night, when he was shown a red card against Fulham, kicking off his career in London in nightmare fashion..
The loan signing from Atletico Madrid had looked promising in his first appearance for the Blues, but his good work was undone when he lunged in on Kenny Tete with the score 1-1 on 58 minutes.
It didn’t appear malicious, but it was certainly dangerous, and there was little doubt about the 23-year-straight old’s red..
The Portugal forward took an early bath, and his teammates went on to lose 2-1 at Craven Cottage, extending Graham Potter’s bad luck and results, which has left Chelsea in 10th place in the Premier League.
Felix’s red card earned him an unwelcome place in Chelsea history, as he became the first player from any Premier League club to be sent off on debut since Federico Fazio for Tottenham in 2014..
‘A forward’s tackle,’ Potter said of the challenge. It didn’t appear to be an emotional one. It was a football action that could happen at the speed of the Premier League. He didn’t go to cause harm to anyone. He did not lose his mind..
They will all be teaching opportunities. Joao is a promising young player. You can see his talent and what he contributed to the game. He’ll benefit from it.
It was a costly tackle for Chelsea, as Felix will now miss three games due to suspension, a significant amount considering the forward was only signed on loan for the rest of the season.
Felix will miss Premier League games against Liverpool, Fulham (again), and West Ham due to a loan fee of £9 million and wages worth around £6 million..