Chelsea boss Villas-Boas praises team after shootout win over Fulham despite being one man down for 70 minutes
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has praised the 'superhuman effort' of his side after they eventually overcame Fulham in their west London League Cup third round derby tie at Stamford Bridge.
True grit: Chelsea players celebrate after league Cup win over Fulham. Pic/Getty Images
The game finished scoreless after an enthralling 120 minutes as both teams fielded an array of fringe players, with Chelsea's progression sealed by Bryan Ruiz's desperately unlucky penalty that cannoned off the underside of the bar. The hosts were on the front foot until Brazilian centre-half Alex was given his marching orders for hauling down Kerim Frei after Ruiz's classy backheel.
However, Pajtim Kajami blasted the resulting spot-kick against the bar and ten man Chelsea stoically held on for over an hour until the shootout, with Villas-Boas notably thrilled with his side's resilience. "I'm very, very happy with the display," said Villas-Boas to reporters after the game. It was a superhuman effort. I think it's even more gratifying because Fulham are a team that privileges playing good football.
"They didn't just lump it forward when we had ten men. They played the ball in and around us in all kinds of ways. "To be with 10 men for 70 minutes, to hold Fulham back and to still create the most opportunities and the best chances is something that is out of this world."
Other key results * Manchester City 2-0 Birmingham * Brighton 1-2 Liverpool * Everton 2-1 West Bromwich