Chelsea secured a much-needed return to winning ways as they claimed a 2-0 win over Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Mauricio Pochettino made five changes from the team that lost to Everton last time out with Dorde Petrovic, Levi Colwill, Thiago Silva, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson coming in for Robert Sanchez, Marc Cucurella, Reece James, Enzo Fernandez and Armando Broja.
Chelsea kicked off the game on the front foot as they looked to exert early dominance and had their first effort on target in the 15th minute when Conor Gallagher stung the palms of Wesley Foderingham with a long-range effort.
What followed was a period of possession without penetration as the hosts laboured to fashion out any significant attacking threat.
Jackson came close to breaking the deadlock three minutes shy of half-time with a curling strike which just about flew past the right post.
That was the final meaningful action of the first half as Chelsea headed into the interval with much to prove in the second half.
The Blues wasted no time laying down an early marker in the second period. They took the lead after just nine minutes following some excellent work from Cole Palmer and Sterling, with the latter turning provider for the former to finish home from close range.
Chelsea’s opener gave them a huge lift and they wasted no time doubling their advantage just past the hour mark as Palmer pounced on a loose ball inside the box to square across for Jackson to finish from point-blank range.
Refusing to rest on their laurels, Chelsea went in search of more goals and were close to a third via Sterling, who got on the end from a delightful long pass from Silva but saw his effort smothered by Foderingham.
With the game all but in the bag, Chelsea rang the changes with Broja and Fernandez coming on for the final knockings of the contest.
Broja was presented with a golden chance to end his six-game goal drought five minutes from time but the Albanian could not sort his feet out fast enough to turn home Palmer’s delivery.
By far the best player on the pitch, Palmer attempted to outsmart Foderingham with a cheeky free-kick moments later but United’s goalkeeper was alert to it.
The Blades had one last crack at grabbing a consolation strike, but Cameron Archer failed to test full debutant Petrovic from a tight angle as Chelsea held on for a first clean sheet in 10 outings.
The hosts have moved up to 10th in the Premier League table, while the visitors remain bottom of the standings.
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