Chelsea overcame Fulham 2-1 in Scott Parker’s first match as caretaker manager to close the gap on the top four to just two points.
Maurizio Sarri’s side had slipped away from Manchester United and Arsenal in recent weeks, but goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Jorginho close the gap to two and one points respectively.
Having replaced Claudio Ranieri with Parker, Fulham showed a rare bit of fight to get themselves back into the game through Callum Chambers after Higuain opened the scoring with his third Chelsea goal.
However, Jorginho, who has been playing below his best recently, restored the visitors’ lead before the break to clinch a welcome win for Sarri.
Kepa Arrizabalaga started his first game since his Wembley dispute with the manager and compensated for an earlier error in the match with a stunning stop to deny Aleksandar Mitrovic late in the game and seal Chelsea’s first away win in 2019.
Saturday’s result in the north London derby will have greatly pleased Chelsea; Tottenham and Arsenal’s draw means that they stayed within touching distance of the top four.
The win lifts them to just two points shy of Manchester United in forth and one below Arsenal in fifth with a game in hand against Brighton.
Of course, results are more important than ever at this stage of the season, but the performance on the back of their midweek win against Tottenham was a huge boost for Sarri. Having been on the brink of completely losing control of an already rogue dressing room, the manager appears to have galvanised his side ahead of their final set of fixtures.
It was of no surprise to see the Fulham players delighted with after Chambers equalised in the first half. The goal was a result of a spirited fightback from the home side having just conceded and a show of rare unity amongst the Fulham ranks.