Against Fulham, Chelsea created an unremarkable display but did just enough to secure a 1-0 victory in the London derby.
As Chelsea scraped to an unimpressive 1-0 victory at a battling Fulham side that played half the game a man low, Mason Mount scored a late winner.
In each of their three previous Premier League matches, Frank Lampard’s side went into the match without a victory, a streak that had seen their coach come under added scrutiny. The result was by no means antique, even though they were able to break the run.
Chelsea had the best of the first half, but did not start to exercise genuine influence until the Blues left with a numerical advantage after the dismissal of Antonee Robinson in the 44th minute.
They had considerable trouble making the most of the sending off, but Mount finally struck 12 minutes from time to lift Chelsea up to seventh in the league.
As they created a flurry of chances in fast succession before the half-hour mark of the match, Chelsea momentarily seemed to find their rhythm.
Alphonse Areola had to be alert twice during what was a promising three-minute spell from the visitors, saving from Olivier Giroud and Antonio Rudiger each side of Mount touching the crossbar.
But it was not the beginning of a lengthy onslaught, just before half-time, Chelsea’s chances were improved when Robinson was given a clear red for a wild tackle on Cesar Azpilicueta that totally missed the ball and sent the Spaniard soaring.
Chelsea’s chance formation level did not seem to improve, despite possessing an extra guy, two of their best possibilities eventually resulted in offside calls.
Just after the hour, a defensive calamity nearly saw Chelsea fall behind, as Azpilicueta’s bad pass forced Edouard Mendy to stretch and nudge Ivan Cavaleiro’s ball, but fortunately Thiago Silva was present to block his shot in front of an empty net.
In the later stages, Chelsea ultimately finding a way through, Mount drilling a volley low past Areola after the Frenchman redirected a left-wing cross right to him.