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Rare Mikel strike seals Blues win
Published : 21 Sep 2013 21:46:52Rss feed
John Obi Mikel scored his first Barclays Premier League goal as Chelsea beat Fulham 2-0 in the west London derby at Stamford Bridge and won for the first time in a month.
Oscar's second-half strike and Mikel's first goal in almost seven years ended a four-match winless streak and extended manager Jose Mourinho's unbeaten Premier League home record to 63 matches with a first victory since the defeat of Aston Villa.
The 2-0 win means Fulham's 34-year wait for victory at Stamford Bridge went on to the relief of Chelsea, who responded from defeats to Everton and Basle.
The visitors had chances and Chelsea, with Mourinho deeming Juan Mata not even worthy of a place on the substitutes' bench, were fortunate not to be a goal down at the interval as Darren Bent spurned the opportunity to give Fulham an early lead.
Too often the Blues relinquished possession and their attack was blunt, with Samuel Eto'o again struggling to recover former glories on his third successive start after signing from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala.
Owner Roman Abramovich did not appear impressed watching down from his seat, but Oscar's third of the season and Mikel's third for the club in more than 300 appearances were enough for the Blues to return to winning ways.
That Branislav Ivanovic was Chelsea's most creative player illustrated the ongoing struggle Mourinho has to overhaul their playing style.
Mourinho insists he will accept short-term pain for long-term gain, but admitted positive results were required early in the Blues' "beautiful project".
After two "ugly" results - the recent defeats, which followed a draw at Manchester United and a European Super Cup penalty shootout loss to Bayern Munich - this was far from pretty.
Mourinho left out Mata and David Luiz, both of whom sat behind the bench having failed to satisfy their manager's tactical demands.
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