In a thrilling Premier League encounter on Monday night at Craven Cottage, Chelsea secured their second victory of the season by defeating Fulham 2-0. Mauricio Pochettino’s squad showcased a convincing performance against their west London rivals.
The match commenced positively for the visitors, with Armando Broja, although appearing offside upon review, squandering an early golden opportunity as his strike sailed over the crossbar despite his initial composure in rounding the goalkeeper.
Fortunately for Chelsea, their missed opportunity faded into oblivion when Levi Colwill delivered a sublime ball from the left flank, finding Mykhailo Mudryk, who confidently slotted the ball past Bernd Leno to notch his first Chelsea goal and give his team the lead.
Merely 20 seconds later, Chelsea found the net once again, with Cole Palmer capitalizing on Tim Ream’s errant pass to set up Broja, who this time made no mistake and doubled the lead.
Throughout the first half, Chelsea maintained firm control, although they didn’t manage to extend their lead before halftime, holding a comfortable 2-0 advantage.
The second half witnessed a slight downturn in action, yet both teams had their opportunities. Substitute Ian Maatsen, who had replaced Mudryk at halftime, struck the woodwork with a well-placed left-footed shot, while Enzo Fernandez’s rebound effort was thwarted by Leno.
Later in the half, Sasa Lukic missed Fulham’s best chance of the game, as his low shot, delivered from close range, was saved by Robert Sanchez, preserving the scoreline until the final whistle, with Chelsea emerging as the victors.
Here are five key takeaways from Chelsea’s triumph on Monday:
1.Mykhailo Mudryk Ends His Goal Drought:
After 24 competitive appearances in Chelsea blue, Mudryk finally broke his goal-scoring drought. His composed finish and confident play in the first half mark a positive turning point for the 22-year-old winger, who has faced challenges since joining midway through the previous season.
2. Armando Broja’s Impressive Return:
With Nicolas Jackson suspended, Broja earned his first start after a lengthy absence due to a knee injury. Despite missing an early opportunity, he found the back of the net 19 minutes into the game. Broja’s all-round performance was commendable, providing a significant boost to Chelsea’s goal-scoring woes this season.
3. Back-to-Back Wins for Chelsea:
Following their 1-0 victory against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Carabao Cup, securing three points against Fulham in the league was essential for Chelsea. With only five points from the first six games, Chelsea’s form had been concerning, but recent victories in both cup and league matches are promising signs.
4. Cole Palmer’s Impact:
Chelsea’s £45 million acquisition from Manchester City, 21-year-old Cole Palmer, continues to impress. After making his first start in the Carabao Cup and contributing a match-winning assist, he delivered another high-quality performance in this game, showcasing his skills, creativity, and interceptions.
5. Injury Concerns Persist:
Both of Chelsea’s goal scorers in this match, Mudryk and Broja, were substituted relatively early. Moises Caicedo also had to leave the pitch during additional time. With a long list of injuries already plaguing the team, Pochettino and Chelsea will be eager to avoid any further additions to their injury woes.