N’GOLO KANTE sent a message to Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri with the tackle that turned a match.
The little midfielder was heavily criticised by his own manager in midweek for lacking the technical ability to play at the heart of the team.
AFP or llicensors AFP or Licensors8 Pedro broke the deadlock for Chelsea against Fulham in the fourth minute
Reuters8 Spanish star Pedro curled in his fifth Premier League goal of the season
Whoever is right the France World Cup winner shrugged off the commetns and was on hand to provide the assist which saw Chelsea relieve the pressure after last Saturday’s stuffing by Tottenham.
Kante nicked the ball off Fulham midfielder Jean Michael Seri in the centre circle then raced into the box before passing to team-mate Pedro.
The Spanish winger then buried a low shot after only three and a half minutes to score Chelsea’s quickest Premier League goal of the season.
It was also the first time since the 3-2 victory over Arsenal in August that they had scored inside the first 20 minutes.
AFP or llicensors AFP or Licensors8 Former Barcelona ace Pedro celebrates after opening the scoring at Stamford Bridge
AFP or licensors8 N'Golo Kante impressed for Chelsea after being criticised by Maurizio Sarri last week
Despite the early boost Sarri will still not be happy with his team’s overall performance even though sub Ruben Loftus Cheek added the second and killer goal eight minutes from time.
The midday kick off affected both sets of players in a tepid London derby but Sarri had wanted a big response from his players in the wake of last weekend’s thrashing by Spurs.
But instead they managed just a handful of chances and almost lost the lead when Calum Chambers had a brilliant header saved at point blank range by Chelsea keeper Kepa and goalscorer Pedro had to clear off the line.
Getty – Contributor8 Ruben Loftus-Cheek sealed the win in the 82nd minute for Chelsea
Getty – Contributor8 Loftus-Cheek reacts after finding the bottom right corner
Reuters8 Gianfranco Zola shakes hands with former boss Claudio Ranieri before kick-off
Chambers also had a powerful shot from the edge of the area pushed away by Kepa as Fulham fought back in the second half.
Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata missed from three yards just three minutes after coming on but fellow sub Ruben Loftus Cheek settled the game in the 82nd minute after a great combination with Spaniard Pedro with a curling shot from 15 yards.
Reuters8 Olivier Giroud almost doubled Chelsea's lead with a smart shot in the first half
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