Chelsea bounced back from defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur with an assured 2-0 victory over Premier League strugglers Fulham.
Claudio Ranieri's side showed glimpses of improvement but struggled to offer any significant threat against the Blues, as goals from Pedro and Ruben Loftus-Cheek ensured Chelsea continued their pursuit of Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the league table.
Here are four things we learned following the game.
1. N'Golo Kante & Jorginho Can Be a Devastating Partnership
With little resistance from Fulham, Jorginho was given the chance to dictate the tempo of the match. His passing skills were on show, but he was also vocal in his attempts to combine with Kante, instructing him when to press to perfection.
This was evident during Chelsea's first goal as Kante, who often defended deeper than his Italian teammate, was encouraged by Jorginho to move forward and press Jean Michael Seri. Kante stormed forward, won the ball and unleashed an impressive through ball to allow Pedro to open the scoring. Jorginho did not touch the ball, but his impact was crucial.
2. Fulham Need to Find More Defensive Stability
In all aspects of their performance, Fulham were uninspiring. Their defensive pressure was non-existent for the majority of the game, with the team instead sitting deep and hoping to frustrate Chelsea.
Defenders were guilty of playing some risky passes, but the midfielders must take some responsibility for Fulham's defensive issues. Their lack of pressure invited Chelsea's attackers to move forward and, even though the Blues were not at their best, they did not struggle to create opportunities against Ranieri's men.
During his time with Leicester City, Ranieri built a defensively resolute squad. Whilst Fulham's goals are not to replicate Leicester's unlikely title triumph, they must listen to their new manager and back him in the transfer market, or else they will find themselves falling further behind.
3. Ruben Loftus-Cheek Is Exactly What Chelsea Need
A common criticism of Chelsea is that they are over-reliant on Eden Hazard. The Belgian was not at his best against Fulham, and Chelsea struggled to showcase the level of performance that is required from teams who are competing for silverware.
The Blues were desperate for another player to impose themselves on the game and create chances out of nothing, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek's second half introduction did just that. Within minutes of replacing the injured Mateo Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek pushed forward with intensity and deservedly got himself on the score sheet.
Fans will be concerned about Kovacic's fitness, but they need not worry. Loftus-Cheek has the ability to put the team on his back and carry them over the line. If Kovacic faces a period on the sidelines, Loftus-Cheek more than deserves the chance to replace him.
4. Sergio Rico Is Doing All He Can to Save Fulham
Sergio Rico was undoubtedly Fulham's standout performer against Chelsea. He was helpless to prevent the two goals, but Chelsea could have easily netted a further three or four goals if Rico had not been on hand.
Whilst none of his saves were spectacular, he proved himself to be a dependable option in goal. Had Fulham defended with more intensity, Rico may well have preserved his clean sheet.
After watching from the sidelines during Fulham's opening nine matches, Rico has now asserted himself as the team's first-choice goalkeeper, and rightly so. Fulham should be doing all they can to turn his loan spell into a permanent move, as he could be key to their Premier League survival.