Chelsea battle past Fulham in West London derby

Chelsea battle past Fulham in West London derby

A 3-0 Europa League win over Malmo was followed by a 0-0 draw with City in the Carabao Cup final - they were eventually beaten on penalties - before a 2-0 win over Tottenham and Sunday's 2-1 win at west London rivals Fulham.

"I can kill him, but I think that [bringing him back] was right". He understood. His behaviour this week was very good.

It was Parker's first game in charge following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, a former Chelsea boss, after less than four months in charge.

The decisive goal came just three minutes after Calum Chambers had equalised, while Kepa made fine saves to twice deny Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Tom Cairney and Bryan were also denied by Arrizabalaga as the hosts kept the pressure on their neighbours, but Fulham's improvement did not stop Sarri opting to replace each of Jorginho and Hazard.

As it stands, any of Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United have a chance to finish in the top four position after Manchester City and Liverpool who are first and second.

"With another man", he said, that would have been an outcome - before adding that with this one "I knew it wasn't the right decision".

The midfielder was available to leave Chelsea in the January transfer window as manager Maurizio Sarri made it clear he does not consider him a natural fit to his plans.

"We played very well for 60 minutes, very well". Top four is a hard war, because we're not only four teams, we're six teams.

Sarri was delighted for his first-half scorers, especially after the criticism aimed at midfield lynchpin Jorginho, who had not previously found the net from open play for Chelsea and who has been seen as an underwhelming presence.

Mitrovic nearly equalised for Fulham in the 88th-minute but forced Kepa into a decent save before Ryan Sessegnon thought he had snatched a point in added time, only to see his effort ruled out for a marginal offside.

Parker said: "He looked offside, to be fair".

And he acknowledges Fulham's likely relegation will provoke questions.

With the battle for the third and fourth spots in the Premier League quickly descending into a four-horse race, Chelsea's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season are delicate at best.

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