LONDON (AP) — Scott Parker’s first game as interim manager of Fulham ended in defeat after goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Jorginho gave his former side Chelsea a 2-1 win in the Premier League on Sunday.
Chelsea, with Kepa Arrizabalaga back in goal after being dropped in midweek following his refusal to be substituted in last Sunday’s League Cup final penalty shootout defeat by Manchester City, went ahead when recent signing Higuain converted a cross from Cesar Azpilicueta in the 20th minute at Craven Cottage.
Calum Chambers replied for second-from-bottom Fulham when he scored following a corner, but Jorginho restored sixth-place Chelsea’s lead in the 31st minute with his first goal from open play for the club.
Ryan Sessegnon thought he had earned Fulham a share of the points when he netted from close range near the end, only to see his effort ruled out for offside.
“Kepa is a man,” Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said. “He understood the mistake he made, so he was able to react very well. It is very important for our group and our dressing room.
“Higuain played a very good match. I think at the moment he is not at his best. He is improving. I hope in a couple of weeks he will be able to arrive at his best.”
Parker said the game had been a rollercoaster of emotions for him on the touchline.
“In the first half we felt stung against a very good side,” he said. “We didn’t put our stamp on the game in possession. In the second half we did.
“The most important thing was we showed character. We showed character with the ball, not just running hard, that is a standard. Our center-halves got the ball and played. This is the way Fulham play and the way I want my team to play.”
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