Chelsea solidified their Champions League standing on Wednesday night, comfortably downing their West London rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage. While the first half-hour of play was encouraging for the Cottagers, a wonderstrike by David Luiz changed the game entirely, and the Blues eventually ran out 3-0 winners.
The game was very even and rather uneventful until the Luiz goal, which stunned Fulham into offering very little opposition for the following 60 minutes. It came somewhat out of nowhere, with Luiz stepping up from his central defense position and deciding to take what appeared to be a speculative shot from 35 yards. It swerved in a manner that made it nearly impossible for Mark Schwarzer to stop, right into the top corner to give Chelsea a 1-0 lead.
Fulham did have one decent chance before the end of the first half, in the 36th minute, when Petr Cech was forced into a stop on a low shot by Urby Emmanuelson. Chelsea hit back just six minutes later, however, extending their lead. Shortly after a corner, Juan Mata crossed to the far post and found John Terry, who had lost Philippe Senderos. Schwarzer's positioning wasn't exactly stellar either, and he was easily beaten at his near post.
As Rafa Benitez is prone to do, he had his side start the second half in a very conservative manner, protecting their two-goal lead. The first event in the second half of any real note came in the 70th minute, when Mladen Petric inadvertently blocked a header from Senderos off the line while trying to divert it into the back of the net, and was called for offside. Much like their only previous excellent chance of the game, it came very shortly before a Chelsea goal.
Schwazer made a very good save on Victor Moses in the 71st minute, but Chelsea made the most of the ensuing corner. Fernando Torres got on the end of the near-post in-swinger and nodded to the back post, where Terry was there to finish it off, completing a brace and sealing Chelsea's win.