Fulham 1 Chelsea 1
Craven Cottage almost witnessed a rare event, a Fulham win over Chelsea last night.
Instead we had to settle for a draw but that draw meant that for the first time since the 2002/2003 season, we`d managed not to get beat by Chelsea.
Martin Jol, without a raft of players including Grygera, Sidwell, Johnson and Pogrebnyak, also had to cope with the fact that he`d also be without the injured Bryan Ruiz after the Costa Rican broke his foot on Saturday.
Jol though, had remembered how, in the Carling Cup, Karim Frei had tormented Chelsea and gave the youngster the chance to do so again.
Our visitors got the action underway and the first few minutes were quiet when it came to goal attempts. The first real burst of action saw Fulham successfully defend a series of corner-kicks won by our visitors.
Frei, justifying his inclusion, proved to a real handful fro Chelsea, with one, enterprising, rum taking him past three defenders before his weak shot failed to find the net.
But chances, for both teams, were few and far between and just as half time appeared to be upon us, Fulham were dealt a bad hand when Chelsea were awarded a penalty. Kalou looked to have any movement covered by a combination of Kelly and Murphy but when the striker fell to the ground Mark Clattenburg had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Although many of the Fulham players bore a look or resignation, those closest to the incident berated Clattenburg for what looked a very harsh decision. Schwarzer tried to instigate a few mind games to put Lampard off but his spot kick was low and to Schwarzer`s right and found the net.
Half time came with Fulham 1-0 down and with Schwarzer having hardly been troubled, such was the injustice of it all.
Jol made no changes at half time and Fulham were the better of the two sides for long periods of the second half but without really forcing Cech into making any decent saves.
As we entered the last ten minutes it looked as if Chelsea, courtesy of that Lampard penalty, were going to take all three points, even more so when Hughes rose superbly to meet a cross only for Cech to pull off an even better save pushing it around the woodwork for another corner.
From the resulting corner that much awaited equalizer did come when Dempsey found himself in space to jump and head home, past Cech, into the far corner of the net.
In the end it was, probably a fair result although many would argue that Fulham, despite the result, edged it.
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