Chelsea 1-0 Fulham: 3 Blues talking points

Chelsea beat Fulham once again in the West London derby at Stamford Bridge, courtesy of a Cole Palmer penalty. The talking points are below.
Chelsea FC v Fulham FC - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Fulham FC - Premier League / Clive Rose/GettyImages
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Conor Gallagher
Chelsea FC v Fulham FC - Premier League / Clive Rose/GettyImages

Inability to close out games

In line with recent Premier League matches, such as victories against Crystal Palace and Luton Town, Chelsea supporters experienced a tense conclusion while attempting to maintain their lead. After securing the opening goal towards the end of the first half, the Blues exhibited increased confidence and sharper movements up the pitch. Nevertheless, they faced difficulties in putting Fulham away. Despite dominating play with limited chances for the hosts, Chelsea struggled to secure the elusive second goal. Fulham had opportunities and could have secured a point, but Chelsea narrowly held on. Fulham had opportunities and could have easily snatched a point, but Chelsea just about hung on but the situation wouldn't have been the case if they either A: killed off the game early or B: didn't make it hard on themselves by committing dumb fouls and losing the ball in good areas, which could start a counter-attack.

Injury returnees: Chilwell at left wing once again

Despite the negative news surrounding Christopher Nkunku's injury this week, there was positive news as Ben Chilwell, Benoit Badiashile, and Carney Chukwuemeka all returned to the Chelsea bench against Fulham. While Badiashile didn't make an appearance, Chukwuemeka had a very late cameo, and Chilwell was introduced in the 77th minute. The return of these players could potentially provide a significant boost for CFC.

However, what really caught the eyes of Chelsea fans was that Chilwell was brought on for Sterling to play in his position rather than going to the back five, which the Blues eventually did. Pochettino has been under immense scrutiny by the Chels’ fanbase for his team selections and tactical style. We remember how he stated that the reason for playing Chilwell in the attack was due to injuries. Poch had Chukwuemeka (at the time) and Mudryk at his disposal but opted to play the traditional fullback.