Chelsea played out a 2-1 win away at Craven Cottage as the Blues won the west London derby against Fulham.
Fulham had sacked former boss Claudio Ranieri days before today’s game, and appointed former Chelsea midfielder Scott Parker to be their manager, and the struggling club indeed put on a good show at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon.
Chelsea were dominant in the first-half and were deservedly winners after a good half where Maurizio Sarri’s side troubled Sergio Rico who was forced to make multiple saves.
Gonzalo Higuain opened the scoring just after 20 minutes as he made great movement to convert a telling pass from Cesar Azpilicueta. Calum Chambers levelled the scores from a corner kick seven minutes after Higuain’s strike, but Jorginho put in a well placed shot from outside the box to score the second for Chelsea.
The second-half was a different affair as Parker’s pep talk seemed to have lifted his side. The Cottagers threatened Chelsea all game and made life difficult for the Blues. They pressed the Blues and created some good scoring opportunities, but Chelsea will have to thank Kepa Arrizabalaga for a job well done in goal to save the three points for his side.
In his post match interview, Sarri hailed the team’s performance for 60 minutes and admitted that Fulham took over the game afterwards. Sarri blamed the team’s inability to convert their chances as the reason why the game wasn’t killed earlier on.
“We played very well for 60 minutes,” the Chelsea boss said.
“We could have killed the match with a third goal. We didn’t kill the match and then in the last 20, 25 minutes we were very tired, physically but also mentally.
“In seven days we played 120 minutes in a difficult match against City, we played 90 very expensive minutes against Tottenham, and today a very important derby against a team with a new coach. It was a very difficult match.
“So very good for 60 minutes, then very tired, but it was a normal reaction to our seven days.”
Chelsea have now closed the gap on a top four finish. The Blues are 6th on the table, a point behind fifth placed Arsenal, two points behind Manchester United and five points behind Tottenham in 3rd.
If Chelsea can win their outstanding game, the Blues will be fourth on the table and two points behind Spurs.
Come on Chelsea!!!