Premier League 2018-19: 3 observations from Chelsea's 2-0 win over Fulham
Chelsea came into the game on the back of a humiliating performance against Spurs last time out, while Fulham needed points to get out of the relegation zone. Both the clubs were looking for a victory, which promised a thrilling West London derby.
Inside four minutes of the game, Chelsea took the lead through Pedro after N'Golo Kante pounced on a mistake by Seri in the middle of the park. Calum Chambers got a half chance for Fulham from outside the box, but his shot was straight at Kepa.
As the half progressed, Chelsea got several chances to increase their lead but failed to convert any of the opportunities.
Fulham looked sharp at the start of the second half, forcing an excellent reflex save from Kepa from a corner. Ranieri's side looked more likely to score, and Chelsea's goalkeeper was called into action on numerous occasions.
Morata got a golden chance to secure all three points for the home side but missed a sitter from point-blank range, much to the dismay of the manager. However, Ruben Loftus-Cheek finished the game for Chelsea after an intricately taken shot past the goalkeeper.
It wasn't a vintage performance by the Blues, but it was enough to secure all three points. Here are the three key observations from the game:
#3 Parity restored for Maurizio Sarri
Chelsea started the season brightly, maintaining an unbeaten start of 12 games in the Premier League. Their first defeat of the season came against Tottenham Hotspur last time out.
Sarri has successfully instilled his philosophy among the players, and it is reflected in their performances as well. The Blues are no more the side built on defensive stability.
A defeat or a draw against Fulham could have taken Chelsea out of the top four for the first time this season. However, one mistake by Fulham in the first half and a good finish by Loftus-Cheek in the second half restored normalcy at the Stamford Bridge.