21.09.13 Chelsea v Fulham

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Fulham fell to a 2-0 derby defeat at the hands of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday 21st. In what was a closely fought fixture, two second-half goals proved the difference as strikes from Oscar and John Obi Mikel earned the home side the SW6 bragging rights. The opening 45 minutes was an even contest, with the Whites squandering the best chance when Darren Bent shot too close to Petr Cech after being played through by Pajtim Kasami. But Chelsea came flying out in the second period and two close-range goals earned them their first win over Fulham at home in three years. Martin Jol made three changes to the side that drew with West Bromwich Albion seven days ago, with the recovered Bent taking the place of Dimitar Berbatov who didn’t recuperate in time from a hamstring strain. Fernando Amorebieta was handed a full debut at the expense of Philippe Senderos, while Damien Duff started on the right wing in place of the injured Bryan Ruiz. The first smell of danger arrived in the fourth minute when Chelsea were awarded a soft free-kick for an apparent foul on Ashley Cole by Kasami, but Andre Schurrle’s set-piece was headed clear by Sascha Riether. The Whites then broke with Duff who eventually managed to dink in a cross that Steve Sidwell headed over, while another opportunity then arrived on six minutes for the Blues when Samuel Eto’o beat David Stockdale to Branislav Ivanovic’s cross, but the striker’s effort went well over the crossbar. In what was an entertaining opening 10 minutes, Bent almost latched onto Scott Parker’s clever ball over the top, but Cech read the situation brilliantly to rush out and head clear the danger. The best chance of the game then fell to Bent in the 13th minute when Kasami played him in with sublime vision. The striker’s pace took him beyond Gary Cahill but his shot was too close to Cech who made a comfortable save. Schurrle had another set-piece opportunity with 20 minutes played and the Germany international fizzed in a dangerous ball that Ramires managed to flick on, but only into the arms of Stockdale. The winger’s deliveries were becoming more threatening, though, and Stockdale had to be on hand to tip his corner away three minutes later. Eto’o latched onto a diagonal pass in the 26th minute after escaping the offside flag – the striker cut inside Riether before rifling in a powerful shot that was deflected behind for a corner by Duff. An ambitious effort from Sidwell shortly after was the first Fulham attempt for a while but, nonetheless, the Whites were doing well to contain their hosts in what was a well-balanced match. After Kasami was once again contentiously penalised on the edge of his own area, Oscar and Schurrle both stood over the dead ball. It was the Brazilian who stepped up, smashing his shot into the wall, with Stockdale then doing well to claim the loose ball and prevent a corner. The Blues were beginning to up the tempo slightly and it needed a fine block from Brede Hangeland to deny Ramires a clean strike on goal, with Eden Hazard then firing a well-struck volley wide following a Stockdale punch. Fantastic play by Parker in the middle of the field allowed him to dribble beyond Mikel with ease before finding Alexander Kacaniklic down the left. The Swede fed Duff who won a corner but the subsequent set-piece was well cleared by Schurrle. As we entered the final five minutes of the half Hazard was urged to shoot from the home crowd but his effort from 25 yards trickled harmlessly wide of Stockdale’s post, although they did find the beat the Fulham keeper seven minutes into the second half. Following some intricate play inside the area, the ball eventually broke to the advancing Schurrle and then Eto’o. Stockdale kept each of their efforts out but there was nothing he could do to prevent Oscar finding the back of the net after the loose ball fell extremely kindly for him six yards from goal. The Whites sought an equaliser immediately and Kasami’s lovely curling free-kick two minutes later was met by Sidwell, but our number seven couldn’t control his header which flew wide of the post. With 64 minutes gone Jose Mourinho made the game’s first substitution as Eto’o was withdrawn for Fernando Torres, whilst Fulham followed suit with Adel Taarabt taking the place of the tireless Duff. And it wasn’t long before Jol made another change, with Buomesca Tue Na Bangna handed a debut at his former club when he replaced Kacaniklic. Chelsea were seeing a lot more of the ball as the game entered the final quarter of an hour, but they continued to frustrate their fans as they failed to turn their possession into a second goal. They did almost grab that decisive goal that their supporters so craved on 82 minutes after Taarabt gave the ball away in midfield. Chelsea countered quickly but Amorebieta was on hand to block Ramires’ shot. They came even closer two minutes later when Torres connected brilliantly with Oscar’s corner, only to be denied by a fine sprawling save from Stockdale. Fulham’s respite was short-lived though, with Mikel ramming the ball home after John Terry had nodded down the subsequent corner. Both sides then made a further change, as Kevin De Bruyne replaced Hazard, and Hugo Rodallega came on for Kasami. Richardson almost halved the deficit in the 89th minute when his cross-cum-shot caught Cech by surprise, but the giant goalkeeper still got across well to palm the ball behind to maintain his side’s clean sheet with practically the final action of the game.

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Pubblicato il 15 ottobre 2013, in Football con tag , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Aggiungi il permalink ai segnalibri. Lascia un commento.

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