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Fulham 2 Chelsea 2

Fulham 2 Chelsea 2

A towering header from Clint Dempsey ensured the spoils were shared in the West London derby this afternoon.

A packed Craven Cottage was treated to an enthralling and massively entertaining game which will go down as one of the best, between the two sides, in recent years.

The draw gives Fulham their best unbeaten run, of nine games, in their Premier League history.

For the fixture, Roy Hodgson was able to recall Brede Hangeland after the influential defender missed the Boxing Day trip to Spurs with influenza. Sadly, Jimmy Bullard wasn`t deemed fit enough to be considered and Dickson Etuhu took his place in central midfield.

For the visitors, Luiz Felipe Scolari made two changes to the side that had beaten West Brom on Boxing Day. Michael Balalck was replaced by Deco whilst the top scorer in the Premier League, Nicolas Anelka, was omitted in favour of Florent Malouda.

Chelsea had the first chance of the game when Drogba timed his run to race onto a ball from Deco but his shot was woeful and went wide. Fulham, in the very next move, took the lead.

Simon Davies delivered a free kick into the danger area and Chelsea`s defence hesitated whilst Clint Dempsey finished with aplomb.

After the goal, Chelsea, despite losing Malouda and Alex to injury in the first half, had the better of the exchanges. Schwarzer did well to keep out a long range Anelka shot and also to deny Drogba. Further efforts from distance, by Lampard, were also comfortably dealt with.

1-0 at half time and a satisfied home crowd.

Sadly, it didn`t take Chelsea too long to equalise in the second half. With forty-nine minutes gone, a calamitous mix-up involving Schwarzer and Hughes saw Lampard presented with an easy chance to roll the ball home.

The goal saw the game open up and with Chelsea pushing for a winner, John Pantsil raced down the right hand side of the pitch before shooting wide. When Andrew Johnson was pulled up for a foul with seventy-two minutes gone it looked as if our defence would be able to cope seeing as the free kick was some twenty-five yards away.

What we didn`t reckon upon though was the wall being so flimsy and when Lampard drove his kick through it Schwarzer didn`t have enough time to react and make a decent hash of it.

Chelsea thought they`d taken all three points but they hadn`t reckoned on the now famous Fulham perseverance. A corner was won and when Davies floated the ball over there was Clint Dempsey rising high to head past a stranded Petr Cech.

Bravo lads, now on to Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Andrew Joyce
Date:Sunday December 28 2008
Time: 5:00PM

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Thank you Fulham. :)
28/12/2008 17:16:00
End of the match at 2-1 Chelsea? Nope - this isn't last year's Fulham. A fantastic point.
28/12/2008 19:06:00
Great game, although I thought the equaliser was never coming!
Al Billy
28/12/2008 19:55:00
What a great end to a memorable year. Now we have Jan full of very winnable games.
28/12/2008 19:58:00
Agreed! We never seemed to get the equaliser, but then 'Deuce' gave Chelsea a uppercut of dimensions! Brede and Konc had a great game as well, and AJ worked his *bleep* ass off! All hail The Cottagers! Bloody Brilliant!
28/12/2008 20:00:00
I thought Brede looked as if he was brought back too soon. wasn't his usual self, like Hughes. Pants had a good game as did Konch and Murphy
29/12/2008 04:39:00
A great team effort. Wanting to be first to every ball in the middle of the park. The only thing that did worry was that the scum built a lot of play from the back and could easily get to the corner flag in possession in two-three passes. Zamora could have chased a few more 'lost causes' that earned a penatly verus Boro, but the ref allowed the handball in the run up to lampard's first and as for the high foot by AJ for Lampard's 2nd...I saw drogba clear pantsil's head with his foot moments eariler.
29/12/2008 10:01:00
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