LONDON (AP) — Chelsea’s long wait for another Premier League win came to an end on Monday with a 2-0 victory at Fulham.
Two goals in the space of a minute in the first half from Mykhailo Mudryk and Armando Broja secured the points for Mauricio Pochettino’s struggling team at Craven Cottage and moved it up to 11th in the standings.
It was Chelsea’s first win in the league since Aug. 25 and only its second in the top flight all season.
“It was a decent performance, maybe not as good as we would like, but the most important thing was three points and we desperately needed that,” said Chelsea captain Conor Gallagher.
Mudryk, a $108 million signing last season, fired Chelsea in front in the 18th minute after controlling Levi Colwill’s ball and finishing past Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Broja then doubled the lead a minute later, with summer signing from Manchester City, Cole Palmer, seizing on a mistake and providing the assist.
“It’s important for us to build our confidence and trust in ourselves,” Pochettino said. “I’m so happy for the players and in the end we got what we deserved.”
The victory should give Pochettino something to build on after such a troubled start to the season and comes after his side beat Brighton in the English League Cup last week.
It has not been easy for the Argentine who was hired at the end of last season and charged with the responsibility of returning Chelsea to its glory days.
His appointment might have lifted the mood around the club after its worst-ever Premier League season last term, but there has been no instant uplift in form, with Chelsea going into Monday’s game in 15th place.
Its one win in the league had come against newly promoted Luton and its only other victories had been in the League Cup.
That is despite owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital spending big in the transfer market again in the off-season.
But Chelsea looked certain to ensure its first away win of the season after scoring two goals in quick succession in the first half.
After the break, substitute Ian Maatsen was close to adding a third when his side-footed effort came back off the post. Enzo Fernandez tried to convert the rebound, but his shot was blocked by Leno.
Fulham substitute Sasa Lukic had the chance to pull a goal back in the 77th with a shot from around six yards (meters). But he fired straight at Chelsea keeper Robert Sanchez.
“It is clear at this level and against these types of teams we cannot make the mistakes we made,” said Fulham manager Marco Silva. “We were punished for the mistakes we made.”