Chelsea welcomed Fulham to Stamford Bridge in yet another edition of the London Derby between the two teams. The Blues had suffered their first defeat against Tottenham in the last game and wanted to make things right, this time around. Maurizio Sarri’s team had a good game in Europe and were hoping to play with a similar flare once again.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were two key components of the win against PAOK in the Europa League and the fans were demanding more opportunities for their young stars.
The home side started off quite positively and took the lead in the 4th minute via a Pedro goal. It was good to see that they had left the Spurs’ game behind, where they were rather poor.
Eventually, quite a few chances that were created by either side went begging and eventually, it was only in the 82nd minute that super-sub Loftus-Cheek added a second for his side. He had been playing really well and the fans would have hoped that he would get more game-time soon.
The likes of Willian had been very poor and there was a need to drop the Brazilian, with the Englishman getting a more pivotal role in the playing eleven. His goal was a huge win for all the youngsters that the club has at present and are being under-utilized.
With that being said, Sarri might now be urged to use more of them in the future and this can really be a positive sign for his team. Pedro too can now try and cement his place in the playing eleven, as he also performed rather well and the goal will help his confidence too.
It was a rather easy win and the team will now be looking forward to some of the other games that they will really need to win, if they wish to keep their title challenge alive for this season. The game against Manchester City at the Bridge on the 8th of December is a must-win for starters, if they wish to dethrone the reigning champions of England.
There can be no complacency within the squad with regards to that match, as Pep Guardiola’s side will seriously punish them then. The team needs to find the right balance and Sarri needs to now fix a playing eleven that would be a threat to the Citizens.
Also, Chelsea face off against Wolves in mid-week, which is a game that they will be expected to win and the Italian will be hoping that his team takes back all three points. What is the right combination for his team, is what he needs to work on.
The main positive from last night’s win will be that, Sarri will now see the youngsters as a usable option in the top flight of English football, rather than just bench-warmers. It is not that he has not been playing them, but their contribution in the cup competitions has been more and they have not been getting the respect that they actually deserve.
Things have changed in the recent weeks and hopefully the Chelsea boss continues to use them more often than not, as they are surely the future of the club.