Chelsea picked up their second win of the season as they defeated Fulham 2-0 on Monday night at Craven Cottage.
It was a positive start to the game from the visitors, Armando Broja, who looked offside on the replay, had a golden chance early on, his strike sailed over the bar though despite his composure to round the goalkeeper initially.
Fortunately for the Blues, their squandering of that chance was soon forgotten, a wonderful ball from the left-hand side by Levi Colwill picked out Mykhailo Mudryk, the Ukrainian took it in his stride and slotted past Bernd Leno to score his first Chelsea goal and give them the lead in this contest.
Just 20 seconds later, the away side had the ball in the net again, Cole Palmer gained possession from Tim Ream’s misplaced pass and played Broja in behind, this time the Albanian made no mistake and doubled the lead.
As the half continued, the away side were firmly in control, they did not score another before the break but they held a healthy 2-0 lead.
The second half saw the action fizzle out slightly, but both teams still had chances. Substitute Ian Maatsen, who replaced Mudryk at the interval, smacked the woodwork with a guided left-footed strike, Enzo Fernandez’s effort on the rebound was then kept out by Leno.
Later in the half, Sasa Lukic squandered what turned out to be the hosts best chance in the game, a low ball found the Serbian, but Robert Sanchez saved the shot that was straight at him from close range.
The score-line did not change before the final whistle, and the Blues emerged as victors.
Here are five things Absolute Chelsea learned from Monday’s win.
1) Mykhailo Mudryk breaks his duck
In his 24th competitive game in Chelsea blue, Mudryk has finally managed to score. The finish from the 22-year-old was a composed one, and he played with confidence for the rest of the first half.
While it has been a challenging time for him since signing midway through last season, that performance and goal will do the world of good for the winger.
Hopefully him being substituted at the interval was just a precaution.
2) Armando Broja is back
With Nicolas Jackson suspended for this contest after collecting too many yellow cards, Broja earned his first start since his lengthy time on the side-lines due to a knee injury.
It was a fantastic return to the starting XI for the striker, although he missed a good chance in the opening moments, he found himself on the scoresheet 19 minutes in. As well as the goal itself, the all-round display from Broja was very impressive.
Given Chelsea’s goal scoring problems so far this season, having the young forward back playing is a massive boost.
3) Back-to-back wins for the Blues
Having defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 on Wednesday night in the Carabao Cup, it was imperative that Chelsea followed up that win with three points in the league against the Cottagers.
With just five points accumulated from the opening six games, the Blues’ form has been that of a relegation side, but by winning in the cup and now against Fulham, things are looking up.
4) Cole Palmer looks to be an excellent addition
In the Carabao Cup fixture midway through last week, the 21-year-old was given his first start for the Blues, after picking up the game winning assist, he was back in the starting line-up in this game.
Once again, the attacking playmaker set up a goal and turned in a high quality performance that included tricks and flicks as well as key interceptions.
Chelsea spent £45 million on the youngster from Manchester City, although it was a big fee, the Blues have a superb talent on their hands.
5) Injury problems strike again
Both of Chelsea’s goal scorers in this contest were substituted rather early on. Mudryk departed at half-time, and Broja limped off in the 65th minute.
Moises Caicedo was also forced off in additional time.
With a long list of injuries already making things difficult for Pochettino, the last thing he and the Blues will want is anymore names being added to it.
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