Analysis

Loftus-Cheek: We needed that goal

He caught the eye with his runs against PAOK on Thursday and would have scored then had it not been for some good goalkeeping. Yesterday in the west London derby Ruben Loftus-Cheek did hit the net and it was an important goal too.

Although the Blues were already 1-0 up when the 22-year-old was introduced from the bench halfway through the second half, Fulham had created chances after the interval and Kepa Arrizabalaga was called upon to make saves. With 82 minutes on the clock the three points looked much more assured as Loftus-Cheek doubled the advantage.

‘I thought we needed that cushion because Fulham were dangerous, definitely in the last 20 minutes,’ the midfielder agreed, ‘so it was good to get the goal to take a bit of pressure off us.

‘I tried to lay the ball off to Eden and I turned, and there was a big space in front and luckily he played the ball through and I finished it.

‘We needed to follow the game at Tottenham up with a win on Thursday and in this game as well in the Premier League,’ he noted. ‘It is a tough game playing Fulham and credit to them because they were dangerous at times, they have a new manager now and they look solid, so a tough game for us and good to get the win.’
 

It was Loftus-Cheek’s first action in the Premier League since the final match in October, when he also scored late in the game after coming on. That was in the 4-0 win at Burnley.

‘When I get time to play I am always doing my best,’ he said. ‘This season it looked like I am getting time in the Europa League and I had to be ready for that, and if I do well in the Europa League then maybe I will get more minutes in the Premier League, like this game and I will try to do my best.

‘The more I play the better I feel and the better I play. Days like this I get my time to play and try to take it, whether that is a goal or an assist or making blocks. I have to do things both defensively and offensively.’
 

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