Chelsea v Fulham ratings: Petrovic 8, Palmer 8; Diop 5, Jimenez 6

Palmer scores from penalty spot for third straight Premier League win

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Cole Palmer rose to the challenge by scoring a penalty to give Chelsea a 1-0 win over Fulham on Saturday - their third straight Premier League victory.

Palmer sent Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno the wrong way from the spot in first-half stoppage time after Raheem Sterling had been tripped in the area.

It was the 21-year-old's ninth league goal of the season and fifth from the penalty spot, the former Manchester City player emerging as the most successful of Chelsea's many expensive offseason signings.

Palmer's penalty erased the bitter taste from the shock 1-0 loss against second-tier Middlesbrough in the semi-final first leg on Tuesday.

That League Cup calamity was just the latest disappointment in a troubled season for Mauricio Pochettino's side. Chelsea were barely better than Fulham, but Pochettino will take heart from the way they ground out a victory.

After a 10-day winter break, the Blues will have a chance to overturn the League Cup deficit when they return to action against Middlesbrough in the second leg on January 23.

Fulham's best chance for an equaliser fell to Raul Jimenez whose shot forced Djordje Petrovic into a one-handed save in the 73rd minute. Chelsea captain Conor Gallagher smacked the post with a shot from the outside of his boot in the 83rd minute.

One of the biggest cheers came when Ben Chilwell was sent on from the Chelsea bench, marking the England defender's return from injury and potentially solving the Blue's left-back problem which centre half Levi Colwill has struggled to fix.

Player ratings from the match can be seen in the picture gallery above. To view the next image, click on the arrows or swipe if on a mobile device.

Updated: January 13, 2024, 4:51 PM