Chelsea got back to winning ways in the Premier League courtesy of a fortunate 1-0 win over 10 man Fulham at Craven Cottage tonight.
The Blues came into the game with just one win in their last six league outings, a run that has seen them slide down the table after being tipped as potential title challengers in the fledgeling stages of the season, while Fulham had drawn five successive top-flight fixtures
Both sides were guilty of missing some gilt-edged chances in the first half, though Fulham’s chances of getting something out of the game was hampered as Antonee Robinson was shown a straight red just before the break for a rash challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta.
Despite being down to 10 men, the Cottagers still looked threatening, though Chelsea finally made the most of their man advantage as Mason Mount volleyed home from 10 yards with 12 minutes to play after Alphonse Areola failed to properly deal with Ben Chilwell’s cross.
Timo Werner missed a late chance to double the lead and make sure of the points, though Frank Lampard’s side managed to hold on to secure a confidence-boosting three points, and speaking afterwards the Chelsea boss felt his side were deserving winners.
“Of course it feels good to get a win, it has not been easy with the league form recently and you have to break the duck,” he told Sky Sports. “Fulham made it difficult. We started the game well, controlled a lot of the ball, it is not easy against 10 men. We kept going and we got what we deserved tonight.”
Mason Mount coming up clutch for Chelsea 🔵 pic.twitter.com/3EyUarjnJz
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 16, 2021
Asked about the difficulties of playing against 10 men, Lampard said he was pleased that his side found the ‘confidence’ to play.
“It is a pressure to move the ball, hit the sides, open it up, make them run and create chances. We were doing that. Just because of the current form it is a bit harder, the confidence is not quite there. But we found it so I’m really pleased.
“I trust the quality of the players. There was a feeling we would get a goal, because the pressure was constant. It was about staying patient with our passing and I think we did.”
Lampard was also pleased to see matchwinner Mason Mount providing an attacking threat despite being asked to operate further back to what we have become accustomed to seeing him.
“Mason was in a deeper role but can still arrive. He needs to score more goals, he knows that, but his quality and attitude is brilliant.”
The result leaves Chelsea in seventh, three points off the top four places with a midweek game against fellow Champions League hopefuls, Leicester City.