Chelsea 1 Fulham 1
Fulham regained some credibility after the horror loss to United with a battling display at Stamford Bridge.
On the back of the 5-0 thrashing by Manchester United, at Craven Cottage, Martin Jol made three changes to his starting eleven. Stephen Kelly replaced Chris Baird at right back, Karim Frei came in for his Premier League debut and Orlando Sa was also given a start. Bobby Zamora, much to the disgust of the travelling support, was, once again, not in the starting eleven.
Using a philosophy of ensuring we were difficult to break down, Jol ensured that numbers were kept behind the ball to frustrate Chelsea, with only Sa ploughing a lone furrow up front.
The ploy worked well and during the opening forty-five minutes Fulham more than held their own. With Danny Murphy prompting superbly from midfield, Fulham possibly created the best chances. Early on Cech was forced to tip a shot from Dempsey around the post before a superb tackle from Luiz denied Dembele.
Naturally there was a response from Chelsea and Mata produced the ball of the half to pick out Torres who controlled it in an instant and was frustrated to see Stockdale pull off a great save to keep it at 0-0.
With numbers behind the ball Fulham continued to frustrate Chelsea and even when Bosingwa got in a couple of decent crosses our defence was on hand to clear the danger.
As half time approached Fulham started to get the upper hand, Frei danced away from two defenders but his cute ball in saw Dembele`s header go straight at Cech and the keeper was able to make a comfortable save.
Half Time - Chelsea 0 Fulham 0
Unfortunately, any plans to keep it tight were dashed two minutes into the half when our hosts scored. Cole was allowed to deliver the ball to Torres and when he looked as if he was losing control of it Mata stepped up to bury a shot past Stockdale.
But instead of buckling and going on to lose the game, Fulham knuckled down and some ten minutes later were back level. Ruiz showed his skill in turning Cole and when hi slow ball was delivered into the area the Chelsea defensive trio of Luiz, Terry and Cech allowed Dempsey to nip in and finish from three feet out.
The goal saw Fulham get the upper hand in terms o flooking the most likely to score but as has often been the case we couldn`t convert possession into chances.
Instead we were left to thank Stockdale for producing a great array of saves as Chelsea looked to snatch all three points as the clock began to run down, the keeper doing exceptionally well to deny Meireles whilst also keeping out two efforts from Drogba, the second being from a free kick from all of thirty yards out.
A good point won and a deserved one.
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