Scott Parker believes Fulham defended “heroically” despite slipping to a 1-0 home defeat to Chelsea as they finished the match with 10 men.
Mason Mount drove the ball past goalkeeper Alphonse Areola in the 78th minute to break the deadlock and bring Chelsea’s three-game winless Premier League run to an end.
Fulham wing-back Antonee Robinson was dismissed for a flying tackle on Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta just before half-time to give the Blues a second-half numerical advantage, and Parker was full of praise for his side.
“You never feel that you’ve probably done enough because of the circumstances of being down to 10 men and the quality that Chelsea have at their disposal and the players they have on the pitch,” the Fulham boss said.
“I think at that we knew this game would go to 90 minutes really, and you’re playing the clock a little bit and you get to 70-odd or 78 minutes and you’re thinking ‘can we hold on?’.
“I thought we defended heroically and I thought we defended really well and it is a shame that they got their nose in front.
“But overall, I’ve got a real admiration for my team the way they played.
“Certainly first half, (we) limited them really and the 10 or 15 minutes before the sending off we were well in the ascendancy and we missed a great chance with (Ivan) Cavaleiro and when you’re us, really those chances against these sort of teams really need to go in and the sending off changes the game, obviously.”
The result moved Chelsea just one point behind Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham in seventh place and manager Frank Lampard praised his side’s spirit.
“(The win) was really important because our recent league form as we know has not been what we want, so that means at the top end of the pitch we’ve gone from the top goalscorers in the Premier League to not.
“That means there’s a little bit of a lack of confidence in individuals and when you’ve got a little bit of a block of a 10-man team then you’re going to have to try and find a pass that goes through a line or a bit of magic that comes off the cuff and it wasn’t quite there for us until the goal.
“But Mason, like I said, was the outstanding player. The patience was good, the movement of the ball was pretty good it was important that we took it forward because I think the spirit and the way we approached the game was spot on and now we’ve got a big game on Tuesday.”