Chelsea vs. Fulham: Final score 2-0, Blues back on track

Clive Rose

Chelsea's first half performance was far from stellar, but they played well in the second half and earned a derby win over their West London rivals.

Despite all the talk of a crisis at Stamford Bridge after a couple of very poor results against Everton and Basel, the Blues are top of the Premier League table after they recorded a 2-0 win over Fulham. They were held scoreless in the first half and had very few chances, but put together an impressive second-half performance, capped off by John Obi Mikel's first Premier League goal.

Juan Mata and David Luiz, despite being reportedly fit enough to play, were controversially left out of Jose Mourinho's 18-man squad. The Blues did not name a central defender on their bench and opted to include Kevin de Bruyne and Willian over Mata.

Fulham had their best chance of the match in the 13th minute, off a terrible giveaway by Ramires. His turnover in midfield led to Pajtim Kasami finding Darren Bent with a through ball that sent him one-on-one with Petr Cech, but the Chelsea keeper made a stop on a tame shot.

Chelsea's only big chance of the first half came right before the halftime whistle blew. An intricate passing spell around the penalty area led to Eden Hazard spraying wide for Branislav Ivanovic, who wound up for a powerful shot, but David Stockdale was able to make the stop.

Early in the second half, Chelsea played with quite a bit more ambition and only needed seven minutes to find the eventual game-winning goal. Oscar was the scorer, but his opportunity only came after Stockdale came up with a pair of big saves. He stopped Andre Schürrle's initial effort from a narrow angle and Samuel Eto'o's close-range follow-up, but Kieran Richardson lost track of Oscar and allowed the Brazilian to mop up the mess in the box.

The result was sealed in the 84th minute by Mikel, the most uncharacteristic of scorers. He scored with an impressive scissor kick volley off a header by John Terry following a corner to double Chelsea's lead and ensure a win for his team.

Chelsea: Cech, Cole, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic, Mikel, Ramires, Hazard (De Bruyne 85'), Oscar, Schürrle (Lampard 80'), Eto'o (Torres 64')

Goals: Oscar: (52'), Mikel (84')

Fulham: Stockdale, Richardson, Hangeland, Amorebieta, Riether, Kacaniklic (Mesca 72'), Sidwell, Parker, Duff (Taarabt 64'), Kasami (Rodallega 85'), Bent

Goals: None

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