Barclays Premier League

Fulham 1-1 Chelsea



By Alex Byrom

Deputy Football Editor from Craven Cottage


Clint Dempsey’s header eight minutes from time rescued a point for Fulham with his sixteenth league goal of the season to strike a blow in Chelsea’s bid for a top-four finish.

Frank Lampard gave the visitors the lead in contentious fashion, converting a penalty after Danny Murphy was adjudged to have fouled Salomon Kalou.

The Blues failed to make their possession pay and were punished when Dempsey scored with eight minutes left. The American headed home a corner to give Fulham a deserved point.


? DID YOU KNOW ?

Since he came to the Premier League, Clint Dempsey has scored 60 goals in 225 games for Fulham.


But Chelsea will be left to rue missed opportunities as they chase a place in the top four and guaranteed qualification for the Champions League.

On a night of driving rain at Craven Cottage the conditions made things difficult for both teams but Fulham had an early edge as they used their wide players well.

John Arne Riise, Damien Duff and Kerim Frei all looked lively and kept the Blues defence busy.

However, Chelsea survived the early pressure and then dominated possession, but they failed to create any really telling chances from open play.

With 50 games already played and FA Cup and Champions League semi-finals fast approaching, Blues boss Roberto di Matteo made six changes from the side that beat Wigan on Saturday.

John Terry, Fernando Torres and Frank Lampard all returned but they know they will need to do more against Tottenham on Sunday and Barcelona next Wednesday if the Blues are to secure any silverware this season.

With just seconds of the first half remaining the visitors, who enjoyed some good fortune as they beat Wigan on Saturday, could consider themselves lucky once again, referee Mark Clattenburg awarding a penalty for a foul by Murphy on Kalou

The former Liverpool and England midfielder appeared to get a touch on the ball as he bought down the Chelsea striker but the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Lampard stepped up and made no mistake, despite Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer diving the right way, to score his 150th top-flight goal.

It gave the visitors a real purpose and they flew out of the blocks in the second half, but the pace of Frei down the left always looked a threat for Fulham and he set up Riise, who fired just wide of Petr Cech's left hand post.


? DID YOU KNOW ?

37 of Frank Lampard's 150 Premier League goals have come from the penalty spot.


Chelsea should have doubled their lead when Lampard played in a teasing cross from the left wing but Kalou missed the header and Brede Hangeland cleared the danger.

Chances were few and far between for both sides but Cech saved brilliantly from an Aaron Hughes header from close range, but the equaliser came from the resulting corner.

Dempsey escaped the clutches of his marker and headed home Damien Duff's pin-point delivery.



Monday 9th April

Barclays Premier League

Craven Cottage

 

Fulham 1-1 Chelsea                                    KO 8pm                (HT 0-1)

Dempsey 82   Lampard Pen 44

 

Fulham:   01. Schwarzer- 6.5/10, 02. Kelly- 6/10 (Jones 74- 4/10), 18. Hughes- 7.5/10, 05. Hangeland- 7/10, 03. Riise- 8/10, 16. Duff- 8/10, 13. Murphy (C)- 7/10 (Etuhu 73- 3/10), 19. Diarra- 7/10 (Sa 81- 2/10), 21. Frei- 8.5/10 (Kacanikclic 88- 1.5/10), 30. Dembele- 7.5/10, 23. Dempsey- 8.5/10.

Subs not used:  12. Stockdale, 14. Senderos, 10. Kasami, 28. Briggs

Booked:     Murphy 63

 

Chelsea:   01. Cech- 7.5/10, 02. Ivanovic- 5/10, 24. Cahill- 6/10, 26. Terry (C)- 6.5/10, 34. Bertrand- 6/10, 12. Mikel- 5/10, 08. Lampard- 7/10, 07. Ramires- 6/10 (Drogba 83- 2/10), 16. Meireles- 4.5/10 (Mata 70- 4/10), 09. Torres- 5.5/10, 21. Kalou- 5/10.

Subs not used:  22. Turnbull, 06. Romeu, 15. Malouda, 19. Bosingwa, 23. Sturridge

Booked:     Meireles (24), Cahill (41), Mikel (58). 

 

My Man of the Match:      Clint Dempsey (Fulham)- Rating 8.5/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:     Raul Meireles (Chelsea)- Rating 4.5/10



Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne and Wear)- 5.5/10

Attendance: 25,697



Match Facts

Possession: Fulham- 48           Chelsea- 52

Shots: Fulham- 11           Chelsea- 12

Shots on target: Fulham- 9           Chelsea- 4 

Shots off target: Fulham- 2           Chelsea- 8

Corners: Fulham- 7           Chelsea- 11

Fouls: Fulham- 5           Chelsea- 16

Offside: Fulham- 5           Chelsea- 2

Assists: Fulham- Duff           Chelsea- None



Martin Jol - Fulham Manager

"It was a soft penalty [awarded by the referee]. The referee [Mark Clattenburg] said to Danny [Murphy] at half time that he didn't foul him which was true; he got the ball. But he said it was a foul by Stephen Kelly. But that was an accident - it was unfortunate, so it was a little bit soft yes."

Click here to hear the full interview with the Fulham boss




Roberto Di Matteo - Chelsea Manager

"Well we knew it was going it was going to be a difficult game here against Fulham, and it's a shame we couldn't hang on to the lead but you have to give credit to the opposition also. Fulham played well, came at us, put a lot of balls into the box."


Click here to hear the full thoughts of Di Matteo

Click here to hear the thoughts of 150 goal man Frank Lampard


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