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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
February 14, 2011
• Craven Cottage, London
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 25685
All over at the cottage. A poor game ends with high drama and not for the side carrying the most threat. For all of Chelsea’s long-range efforts and endeavour, Fulham wasted the game’s golden opportunity in stoppage time as Clint Dempsey struck a penalty he won himself straight at Petr Cech. A point is of little use to Chelsea but they will now consider themselves fortunate to make the short trip home with only one point in the bag.
90' + 4'
Penalty save Petr Cech
90' + 4'
Missed Penalty Clint Dempsey
Yellow Card Zoltán Gera
Penalty saved. Dempsey stepped up to take the penalty he won with a solo dribble but thumps it down the throat of Cech who palms the ball out into the goal mouth. Dempsey acrobatically makes contact with the rebound but can’t keep his effort on target. Chelsea survive. Heartbreak for Dempsey.
Incredible drama, a Fulham clearance sees Clint Dempsey all on his own in the Fulham Half. With no option, the American drives into the Chelsea area and is felled by David Luiz. Mike Dean points to the spot. PENALTY.
Fulham again defend doggedly and spring into a life with a counter attack which ends with substitute Simon Davies heading over the Chelsea bar. A superb break-away by Mark Hughes’ side.
Chelsea look set to be frustrated by this disciplined Fulham defence. A point would see them remain in only a Europa League place.
David Luiz looks eccentric but for all the right reasons. The frizzy haired Brazilian finds himself in the attack for Chelsea and performs a bicycle kick to cross the ball into the area.
Eidur Smari Gudjohnsen
Eidur Gudjohnsen enters the fray for Fulham. A home debut against his own club.
Dempsey wrestles himself an opening, heading the ball into his path before volleying across Cech who palms the ball into the goal-mouth. A rare Fulham effort and a good save by the Chelsea keeper.
The ball just won’t drop for Chelsea in the Fulham area. Drogba did brilliantly to get to the by-line and slid the ball across the face of goal, only for attackers and defenders to watch it roll harmlessly away from danger.
Lampard collects the ball as a Chelsea corner-kick breaks down and swings in a superb cross. Essien throws himself at the ball but his diving header glances across goal and evaded all other Chelsea bodies. Fulham hearts were temporarily in mouths.
What seems like one of a thousand long-range efforts rains in from Essien, no trouble for Schwarzer who holds the ball comfortably.
Fulham finally forge some play in the Chelsea half but a host of crosses are cut out buy Terry and Luiz. A brief reprieve for Hangeland and his fellow defensive spoilers.
Another wave of Chelsea attack sees Ramires drag a long-range effort well wide.
Torres lasts four minutes more than on his Chelsea debut as Drogba enters the fray. Chelsea are dominant and the Ivorian could write the headlines if they can prize one clear opening.
Roars from the away section for a Chelsea penalty but Mike Dean says no. A lofted ball into the box from Ashley Cole is chested down by Malouda who is barged by Brede Hangeland. It seemed as if the giant defender miss-timed his jump to head the ball and clattered Malouda as he fell. Fulham escape the clumsy moment.
Long-range efforts continue to rule proceedings and Malouda is the latest to oblige. His right footed effort from all of 30-yards gets Schwarzer scrambling as the ball flashes past his left-hand post. A good effort from range at last.
As the game threatens to open up, Chelsea introduce Kalou in place of Nicolas Anelka. The Frenchmen’s best moment a second-half strike which deflected wide of Schwarzer’s post.
Lampard is well found by Essien and flicks the ball wide to Malouda who cuts inside and strikes goal wards, only for his effort to be bravely blocked by Chris Baird. Committed defending by the Northern Irish defender but Malouda maybe had better options in the box.
David Luiz takes a huge risk in his own area as he slides in on the on-rushing Clint Dempsey. The tackle had penalty written all over it but his timing was excellent and the risk was well calculated. Confident defending by the new signing.
These two sides have only produced one goalless fixture in their last 15 league meetings. Chelsea will be desperate to make sure the result remains a rarity.
A more purposeful Chelsea have emerged for the second 45 minutes. They look eager to break the deadlock and Fulham are struggling to break out of their own half.
Another Torres effort beats the cross-bar. This time, the eager to impress striker picks up a good position in the area and cuts the ball onto his right foot before blazing order. He is clearly giving it his all but so far, his goal scoring touch has evaded him.
Danny Murphy is having a strange night. Normally so confident in possession, the Ex-Liverpool man has squandered possession on numerous occasions. His latest error results in a Chelsea free-kick inside the area as Schwarzer is forced to pick up a back pass. The Blues waste the dead ball.
Brilliant work by Ramires as he plays a one two with Ivanovic and beats Salcido before lofting a measured cross to Torres at the back-post. Torres rises well above Hangeland but his header goes narrowly over. A good start to the second half by Chelsea.
Neither side has made any changes at half-time but Didier Drogba underwent a thorough warm up during the interval.
Roy Hodgson and Jose Mourinho have given up their Valentines night to attend this derby, let’s hope the players can ignite the London night in a better second half. Fulham get the ball rolling.
Mike Dean blows his whistle and brings an end to a half which won’t live too long in the memory. Torres had the best opportunity of the half in the dying seconds and his Chelsea teammates will do well to keep his head up at half-time. Fulham have threatened to create opportunities but quality has been evasive of almost every player on the pitch.
Disaster for Torres in the final action of the first half. Picked out with a long ball from David Luiz, the Spaniard is clean through on goal but a heavy touch allows Schwarzer to easily collect the ball. That was not the Torres Chelsea paid £50 million for. A clumsy touch and a wasted opportunity to break his duck.
Anelka drops into the centre of the field to receive a pass at the end of another good bout of possession but his long-range strike is pulled wide. Befitting of a first half void of any quality in the final third.
Yellow Card Steve Sidwell
Again a promising position is wasted as Murphy lofts the free-kick into the arms of Cech. The quality of set pieces and final ball has left a lot to be desired.
Ivanovic is booked for persistent fouling and Fulham have a free-kick in a promising position. Murphy stands over the ball.
Yellow Card Branislav Ivanovic
New West Brom boss Roy Hodgson is in the crowd and watches Fernando Torres chase a Frank Lampard pass before giving up as it crosses the dead-ball line. Chelsea are struggling to get the World Cup winner into the game.
The game seems to be full of efforts from range. Malouda firstly strikes narrowly over from 30-yards and Ivanovic then hits a shot from out on the touchline which has Schwarzer scrambling to tip the ball over the bar. Did the Russian mean it? Only he knows.
A scruffy opening half-hour has seen neither keeper forced to overly extend themselves as most play in the final third has been wayward. Torres looks eager to impress as his running looks purposeful but on the whole, the Spaniard has been quiet.
Chelsea build an attack nicely as Malouda switches the play and Ivanovic picks out Lampard with a cross. The England midfielder hooks his shot goalwards and gets good contact on the ball but it beats the cross-bar of Mark Schwarzer.
Damien Duff seems to be growing into the game against his old employers. His cross deflected off Ashley Cole for a Fulham Corner which Cech claims easily. Fulham have so far lofted two corner kicks into the grateful arms of the keeper.
Neat Fulham passing ends with Damien Duff hitting a stinging drive from 30-yards. Hist strike is straight down the throat of Cech who palms the ball into his goal-mouth. Unconvincing from the Chelsea stopper.
Danny Murphy almost gifts Chelsea an opportunity as his lofted backpass almost drops for Nicolas Anelka.
John Terry and Brede Hangeland epitomise the term 'defender' at each end. Both taking no prisoners in snuffing out any attack from the opposition.
Dany Murphy picks Salcido out with a well crafted cross-field pass but the Mexican hesitates and wastes Murphy's good work.
Fulham block two consecutive shots from 18 yards. First from Lampard, then from the on-rushing Ramires. The resulting corner comes to nothing.
A fairly even opening 15 minutes with both sides intent on playing football.
Petr Cech confidently plucks a Chris Baird cross out of the night air. No signs of the confusion seen at Stamford Bridge against Liverpool.
Jose Mourinho is in the stands to watch his old charges, fresh from a crucial Real Madrid victory away at Espanyol last night.
Chelsea have their first attempt. A scuffed Lampard drive which was never troubling Schwarzer.
David Luiz looks confident in his new environment, joining the Chelsea midfield during a controlled bout of possession which eventuall sees John Terry head across goal.
The Fulham fans seem in goood voice and pounc on the opportunity to call Torres a 'waste of money,' as the Spanish striker makes a hash of a pass.
Fulham create the first opening as Johnson tries to get on the end of a Duff cross but Luiz diverts the ball for a corner.
Early stages see the game played largely in midfield with neither side threatening to get an early break through.
And we’re underway!
Torres bursts through the Fulham defence and wriggles himself a yard of space to get a shot away but his contact is poor and Schwarzer dives to his left to easily hold the shot.
Chelsea have scored two goals at Craven Cottage during each of the last 4 seasons and Fulham haven't beaten the Champions since 2006. The Cottagers have however kept three clean sheets in their last three home games.
Ancelotti springs surprises though and makes three changes to the side defeated by Liverpool. New signing David Luiz replaces Jose Bosingwa, Ramires replaces John Obi Mikel and Florent Malouda replaces Didier Drogba. How will Chelsea cope without the Ivorian? Fernando Torres makes his away day bow for the blues.
Fulham boss Mark Hughes makes just one change to the side that picked up a point at Villa Park as recent own goal specialist John Pantsil is replaced with Carlos Salcido.
Welcome to the live Goal.com commentary from Craven Cottage where Fulham host Chelsea in a London derby under the lights. The hosts are looking to fire themselves into the top 10 of the Premier League and thwart their local rivals from gaining a crucial win which would take them into a Champions League spot.
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