Kai Havertz’s double saw Chelsea cruise to victory in Saturday evening’s west London derby, leaving Fulham on the brink of relegation.
The German opened the scoring after brilliant play from Mason Mount early on and then sealed a 2-0 win with his second soon after the restart.
Fulham had gone into the weekend already needing a remarkable end to the season to survive and their task got harder ahead of kick-off with news of Brighton’s win over Leeds earlier in the day.
That result, coupled with defeat at Stamford Bridge, means Scott Parker’s side are nine points adrift of safety with four games to play – a gap which could yet grow, with Burnley and Newcastle still to play this weekend.
The visitors had actually started brightly, with Antonee Robinson forcing Edouard Mendy into an early save, but the Blues were ahead on ten minutes when Mount’s magnificent piece of control and pass allowed Havertz to find the net.
Hakim Ziyech missed a brilliant chance to make it two after being nicely found by Timo Werner’s pull-back, the winger denied by an excellent save from Alphonse Areola in the Fulham goal.
Werner was the creator when the second did arrive just four minutes after half-time, combining with Havertz before his countryman slotted in the second.
That goal seemed to knock the life out of Fulham and as the game drifted towards its conclusion, Thomas Tuchel was able to withdraw the likes of Mount, Ziyech and Ben Chilwell ahead of Wednesday’s huge Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid.