Jorginho evades markers and haters to take back control for Chelsea against Fulham

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The Blues' pivot was back in action and took control of a Premier League game once again after being shut down for the past few weeks

Jorginho and N'Golo Kante's midfield displays were enough to stave off the critics as Chelsea ran out 2-0 winners against Fulham at Stamford Bridge in their west London derby.

The £57 million summer signing had been stifled in recent weeks as Everton and Tottenham both brilliantly shut Jorginho down with man-marking jobs involving the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Richarlison and Dele Alli.

It left Maurizio Sarri's side without a win in their previous two Premier League games but Jorginho successfully evaded Fulham’s Tom Cairney on Sunday afternoon, as Mateo Kovacic and Kante also shone in the win.

Chelsea's overall display was far from convincing, with some sloppy play in the final third and an inability to completely stop the relegation candidates from creating chances.

However, it was a much more complete midfield performance with Jorginho and Kovacic switching positions at times, with the trio in the middle delivering energetic displays and looking more at ease with their roles.

The former Napoli man is still adapting to the Premier League and he has yet to hit the levels of consistency that he showed in Serie A. Sarri called his players in for individual meetings after the loss to Spurs and Jorginho admitted that it was a learning experience to be so badly beaten by their rivals.

"It is better that it happened now, towards the start of the season, so that we have got time to learn from it and improve," Jorginho said in the matchday programme. "We learned that we need to start every game as if it was our last, we need to start with all the belief and will to win, and this will help all the different aspects of our game after that."

Kante was criticised by his manager after the 3-1 defeat to Spurs for losing his discipline but he produced a complete display in defence, and even attack, where many think he is lacking the required attributes to play in his more advanced role.

The France international recorded a second assist of the season after he successfully closed down Jean Michael Seri to feed Pedro, who scored Chelsea's 1000th home Premier League goal in his 150th appearance for the club.

N'Golo Kante Chelsea 2018-19

Kante's two assists this season since moving into a more advanced role mean he now has as many in the league this campaign as in his first two years at Chelsea combined.

Kovacic was ultimately hauled off as Chelsea lost their way but he seemed to provide good balance without that killer touch in the final third. Ruben Loftus-Cheek earned his substitute appearance after a man-of-the-match showing against PAOK in the Europa League.

He followed up his powerful display on Thursday by killing this game, as he struck home from Eden Hazard's incisive pass to make it 2-0 in the second half. Hazard had been struggling up until Loftus-Cheek's introduction but his powerful midfield runs created space for the Belgian to show his class.

Hazard has to find his rhythm again after a spellbinding start to the season, which saw him net eight times, and he is now on a 10-game goal drought for club and country. Doubts also remain over David Luiz's defensive abilities, while Marcos Alonso struggled against Fulham.

Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud keep yo-yoing in their roles as the starting strikers but neither look like they are able to produce goals on a consistent basis to compete at the very top of European football.

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Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri will be disappointed to leave his old club without any points and, for Chelsea, there is plenty of work to do, even though there were positive signs in the midfield area.

Despite the scoreline, it was further proof to demonstrate that they will not win the Premier League this season, with a top-four finish the main aim in Sarri's first year in charge.

Arsenal are hunting Chelsea's fourth spot down and it will take a big effort for the Blues to stay ahead of Unai Emery's side between now and May.

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