Fulham 1-3 Chelsea - Schurrle hat-trick wins it for Chelsea.
Chelsea defeated Fulham at Craven Cottage after an inspired second half performance from Eden Haz...
Chelsea defeated Fulham at Craven Cottage after an inspired second half performance from Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle.
This was always a game we needed to win. It's games such as these that matter just as much as the big games. Heading into kick off we knew that if we could just get three points to keep the pressure on Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool, it would be fantastic after a difficult week travelling backwards and forwards to Istanbul.
To be fair, we looked tired and very leggy in the first half and nowhere near anything like the level we have been playing at. Fulham coped with us easily but for two chances Chelsea created through Fernando Torres where we should have done better but it's was a first half that was easy to forget.
At half time in this one, I had even asked for Andre Schurrle to be substituted like many others because he was having a really poor game!
It was almost like Chelsea were lopsided with both Schurrle and Hazard finding themselves in same position on the left leaving our right hand side open and exposed which Fulham took advantage of over and over again.
Clint Dempsey should have scored from a cross from the left wing but glanced a header wide early on but thankfully, he didn't provide much more in this one.
Chelsea came out in the second half and looked a different team. Despite some early Fulham pressure, we looked to have some tempo in our attacks and it was this that finally opened the door to put is in front.
Linking up with Eden Hazard for the first time, Schurrle made a run and Hazard played a delightful ball over the top. Schurrle was onto it, beat the defender to the ball and drilled his shot past the keeper to make it 1-0.
These two linked up yet again for the Chelsea second. Hazard picked up the ball in midfield, rode a challenge, spotted another Schurrle run between defenders and flicked a ball into his path for the German to shoot low into the corner to make it 2-0.
Schurrle then grabbed his hat-trick to put the game to bed with around 20 minutes to go. Petr Cech's goal kick was won by Torres and he spotted Schurrle making yet another run off the ball, played a through ball into his path and the German fired home into the net from close range to make it 3-0.
Chelsea conceded late on and will be disappointed how we conceded the goal. A corner came over and Darren Bent at the back post diverted the ball goal wards and with space and time, Johnny Heitinga slotted the ball home with Chelsea defenders standing still looking at each other!
Despite the goal, the game was won and Chelsea's 25 minute performance was the difference in the second half. It took us a while to get going but when we did, we were different to Istanbul in the fact that we were clinical.
Arsenal have lost away at Stoke so we sit FOUR points clear at the top of the Premier League and SIX points clear of Man City. OK, Man City have two games in hand but they still have to go out and win them.
To sum up, it was a game we had to win and eventually we delivered!
Enjoy your night Chelsea fans! We are top of the League, We are top of the League!