MX23RW : Tuesday, January 22 11:08:05
Dec 2, 2018 at 12pm UK at ​Stamford Bridge
Attendance: 40,551
Chelsea
2-0
Fulham
Pedro (4'), Loftus-Cheek (82')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Result: Chelsea battle to victory over Fulham in West London derby

Chelsea return to winning ways in the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Fulham in Sunday's West London derby at Stamford Bridge.

Goals from Pedro and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have earned Chelsea a 2-0 victory over Fulham in Sunday's West London derby at Stamford Bridge.

Pedro opened the scoring as early as the fourth minute and, although Fulham battled away gamely on Claudio Ranieri's return to Stamford Bridge, they could not find an equaliser and Loftus-Cheek made sure of the three points for his side during the closing stages.

Chelsea find themselves back in third place in the Premier League standings after Tottenham Hotspur's defeat in the North London derby, but Fulham remain bottom despite a positive showing against their neighbours.

Fulham started brightly on a sunny day in England's capital with Cyrus Christie forcing an early save out of Kepa Arrizabalaga with a low drive from 25 yards.

However, the Cottagers' early work was quickly undone as N'Golo Kante dispossessed Jean Michael Seri before advancing into the penalty area to tee up Pedro, who cut inside a defender before finding the bottom corner from close range.

Pedro scores for Chelsea against Fulham in the Premier League on December 2, 2018© Reuters

Fulham began to look there for the taking as Chelsea had joy down the right flank, but the visitors created another opportunity from distance as Calum Chambers stung the palms of Arrizabalaga from 20 yards out.

Chelsea hit back as Eden Hazard threaded a pass through to Olivier Giroud who saw a shot from an acute angle blocked by Sergio Rico, but the home side were unable to build on that chance.

Fulham had started to build some momentum heading into the break, but Chelsea almost doubled their lead just before half time when Giroud was denied at the near post after being found by Cesar Azpilicueta.

Ranieri's team went straight onto the offensive after the restart, but it was Chelsea who created the first opening as Pedro saw a right-footed curler comfortably parried away by Rico.

Claudio Ranieri and Maurizio Sarri on the touchline as Chelsea play Fulham on December 2, 2018.© Reuters

The Blues were starting to get on top but Fulham almost found an equaliser twice in the space of a minute, with Antonio Rudiger nearly diverting a cross into his own net before Alfie Mawson was superbly denied by Arrizabalaga from the resulting corner.

Chambers was the next man to test the Spanish stopper, who had to dive to his right to keep out a well-struck effort, and it forced Maurizio Sarri into a change with Loftus-Cheek being given rare minutes in the top flight.

Alvaro Morata was also introduced from the bench and the substitute should have wrapped the game up soon afterwards, only for a close-range volley to go well over the crossbar after Hazard had been denied by Rico.

Fulham were always in the game while it remained at 1-0, but with eight minutes remaining Chelsea doubled their advantage when Hazard teed up Loftus-Cheek to his right and the England international produced a fine finish to the left of Rico from 15 yards out.

The Cottagers battled on until the end and would have been full value for a consolation goal, but Chelsea held on to register a clean sheet a week on from their capitulation against Spurs.

CHELSEA (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso (Zappacosta 78'); Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic (Loftus-Cheek 67'); Pedro, Giroud (Morata 70'), Hazard

FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Rico; Christie, Odoi, Mawson, Le Marchand; Chambers, Seri; Cairney (Kebano 76'), Johansen (Ayite 46'), Sessegnon (Kamara 46'); Mitrovic

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Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard celebrate during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Crystal Palace on November 4, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711

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