After the painful defeat inflicted by Tottenham, last weekend, it was essential that Chelsea got back to winning ways, in the Premier League, against Fulham.
And that, thankfully, is exactly what they did, beating their near-neighbours 2-0, at Stamford Bridge.
Maurizio Sarri, in the wake of the Tottenham defeat, made just two changes, bringing in Olivier Giroud and Pedro for Alvaro Morales and Willian.
Although Chelsea got off to a great start, with Pedro scoring in the 4th minute, the performance given wasn’t one that will give those above us, in the Premier League table, sleepless night.
Fulham, bottom of the Premier League table, never recovered from the early goal, scored by Pedro, but the feeling was always there that they were always capable of snatching a goal, something proven by a couple of decent saves that Kepa had to make.
Indeed, the points were only made safe when Ruben Loftus-Cheek, on as a second-half substitute, latched onto a ball from Hazard to lash the ball past Rico in the Fulham goal.
The second goal saw a wave of relief surge around Stamford Bridge with the support acknowledging the points were safe.
But, for lengthy spells in this game, Chelsea looked lethargic, there was no sign of the change in pace needed to get through a Fulham defence that were content to crowd us out whenever given the chance.
The game could have been settled earlier but any sporadic chances that fell Chelsea’s way were not taken advantage of.
Too many of the Chelsea starting eleven didn’t do themselves justice with Alonso looking off the pace and Kovacic not dominating proceedings as he should do.
In fact, I’d say Chelsea’s best player was the very person who copped for the most flak, from Sarri, in the aftermath of the Tottenham defeat, N’Golo Kante, with Frenchman providing the assist for the opening goal and from there on in, buzzing around the midfield as only he knows how to.
With the games coming thick and fast, this month, Chelsea travel to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday and then welcome Manchester City, to Stamford Bridge, next weekend.
If they’re to get maximum points from those two games then there’ll need to be a big improvement on what we witnessed on Sunday.