A late goal from Mason Mount gave Chelsea a laboured 1-0 win at 10-man Fulham in the Premier League on Saturday, easing some of the pressure off their manager Frank Lampard.
Mount drove in a scorching low shot from 10 metres in the 78th minute to give Chelsea only their second league win in the last seven games and lift them two places up to seventh on 29 points from 18 games.
Fulham, who had wing back Antonee Robinson sent off on the stroke of halftime for a reckless tackle on Cesar Azpilicueta, stayed 18th on 12 points after their first defeat following five successive draws.
Home goalkeeper Alphonse Areola made two saves and Mount rattled the crossbar for Chelsea in a frantic three-minute spell midway through the first half but Fulham missed the best chance when Ivan Cavaleiro scuffed his shot wide.
With Chelsea lacking any edge up front after the break despite their numerical advantage, Fulham nearly made them pay for a defensive mix-up in the 68th minute as Cavaleiro’s shot was blocked by Thiago Silva.
Mount finally broke the deadlock with an unstoppable shot inside the near post after Areola could only palm an inviting Ben Chilwell cross from the left straight into the England midfielder’s stride.