Google+ PLANET FOOT 7: Chelsea back to victories after beating Fulham 2-0 in the Premier League.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Chelsea back to victories after beating Fulham 2-0 in the Premier League.

Chelseas 2-0 win over Fulham on Saturday catapulted the Blues from eighth to first in the Premier League table and left their West London neighbours in the relegation zone after five rounds.

Jose Mourinho's men were not at their best during the Stamford Bridge encounter  decided by second-half goals from Oscar and John Obi Mikel - but did enough to register their third summit-flight win of the season.Chelsea entered the match without a victory in their last four matches in all competitions, and could have trailed in the early stages when Fulham striker Darren Bent was presented with a terrific chance.

Bent wasted his effort though, and after a scrappy first half, Chelsea took the lead through Oscar's close-range finish in the 52nd minute.

Mikel subsequently capped off the victory with his first Premier League goal  plundered during his 185th appearance  when he hooked in following yet another Chelsea corner.

Mourinho reacted to his side's 2-1 house defeat to FC Basel in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday by swinging the axe, making four changes, as Juan Mata and David Luiz were left out of the squad while Frank Lampard dropped to the bench.

Captain John Terry was recalled by Mourinho, as were Mikel, Ramires, and attacker Andre Schurrle.

Fulham made three changes of their own, with Damien Duff - one of three-ex Chelsea players in their starting side - and Darren Bent the headline inclusions, replacing the injured Bryan Ruiz (ankle) and Dimitar Berbatov (hamstring) respectively.

Fulham fashioned the first chance of the match when Steve Sidwell, another former Chelsea player, headed over, and although Samuel Eto'o flicked broad at the other stop, the visitors should have taken the guide in the 13th minute.

A superb pass from Pajtim Kasami set Bent free, but the Aston Villa loanee  who entered the match with three goals in his last three matches against Chelsea  failed to create the most of the one-on-one opportunity, shooting straight at goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Chelsea felt they should have won a penalty shortly after, when Sascha Reither pushed Eden Hazard, and although nothing was given, Mourinho's men started to grow into the game.

Their abundance of possession, and several set-pieces, failed to materialise into everything substantial though, with further half-chances for Eto'o and a hopeful Hazard volley the best they could muster before Branislav Ivanovic saw a good drive turned broad by Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale on the stroke of half-time.

Chelsea got their goal seven minutes after play resumed, however, as Oscar found himself in the right place at the right time.

Schurrle was the instigator, skipping past Reither before shooting from the left with an effort that was spilled by Stockdale.

Fulham frightened and failed to sure their lines properly and Oscar was on hand to tap in with his left foot, much to the delight of the home supporters.

Sidwell had a fine chance to level proceedings less than two minutes later, but could not direct his.

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