Early lead enough as Chelsea blanks Fulham

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  • Pedro scores in 4th minute
  • Arrizabalaga makes 3 saves
  • Loftus-Cheek puts it to bed

Chelsea outlasted a game Fulham thanks to an early goal from Pedro and late insurance from Ruben Loftus-Cheek, claiming London Derby honors with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Blues go third for the moment, a point better than Chelsea and three ahead of Arsenal before the North London Derby (Watch live at 9:05 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Fulham sits bottom of the table with eight points, two points back of 17th.

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Fulham’s Cyrus Christie dribbled 40 yards for a shot on Kepa Arrizabalaga before the match was a half-minute old.

Pedro danced around weak defending to make it 1-0 three minutes later, with N'Golo Kante stealing a sloppy Fulham touch and slipping the Spaniard into Sergio Rico‘s office for a cutback and finish.

Calum Chambers hit a 20-yard shot at Arrizabalaga at the quarter-hour mark.

At the other end, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard put Olivier Giroud into the path of Rico as the Fulham goalkeeper managed another stop.

Azpilicueta then cued up Giroud for a chance Rico did well to stop in the 43rd minute.

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Fulham’s second half challenge started well, with Antonio Rudiger forced to stop a bid to meet Mitrovic followed by an Arrizabalaga save on Chambers off the ensuing corner.

Chelsea sub Alvaro Morata missed an in-tight bid to cut an Eden Hazard rebound on goal in the 73rd.

It was another sub who made it 2-0, as Loftus-Cheek left no doubt when presented with a Hazard square ball in the right of the box.