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Chelsea return to winning ways against Fulham

AFP  |  London 

Chelsea bounced back from their first defeat of the season to see off local rivals Fulham 2-0 on Sunday, with goals from Pedro and putting the gloss on a mixed performance.

The home side dominated possession at and scored early through Spanish forward Pedro but struggled to find their rhythm and looked shaky until substitute Loftus-Cheek settled their nerves with a late second.

enjoyed a dream start to his tenure in England but a chastening 3-1 defeat to Tottenham last week stung him badly, prompting a series of post-mortems with individual players.

Sunday's hard-fought win lifted Chelsea into third place above Spurs, in action against Arsenal later in the day.

The home side, welcoming former back to in the Fulham dugout, were quickly into their stride against their neighbours and were ahead inside four minutes.

N'Golo Kante -- publicly criticised by his for his positioning in the match against Spurs -- was instrumental in the opening goal, dispossessing in the middle of the pitch and feeding the ball to Pedro on the right side of the penalty box.

The stepped inside onto his left foot and fired the ball into the far corner. Pedro's strike was Chelsea's 1,000th goal -- they are the third club to reach the landmark after Manchester United and Arsenal.

Chelsea dominated the remainder of the first half, with saving smartly with his feet from shortly before half-time but they failed to convert their dominance into clear-cut chances.

Fulham started the match rooted to the foot of the table but lifted by last week's victory in Ranieri's first match as boss, which followed six straight defeats.

Ranieri made two substitutions for the second half, bringing on Floyd Ayite and Aboubakar Kamara for and

Fulham, playing with more urgency, twice went close to an equaliser through defender

kept out Chambers' header 10 minutes after the break before the loose ball was cleared off the line by Pedro.

Then midway through the second half Kepa palmed away a powerful shot from Chambers.

Chelsea had a chance to seal all three points when Rico could only palm an Eden Hazard deflected shot into the path of substitute but he skewed the ball horribly.

The Spanish forward was spared further embarrassment when England international Loftus-Cheek finished a lovely move by driving into the net from the right-hand side of the penalty area in the 82nd minute.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 02 2018. 20:35 IST