On a very wet and windy night on the banks of the Thames, the visitors were the recipients of a doubtful penalty which saw Frank Lampard become the first midfielder to score 150 Premier League goals before Fulham’s leading top flight scorer Clint Dempsey headed home in the final ten minutes allowing his side to grab a share of the points.
After a fairly even 44 minutes, referee Mark Clattenburg awarded a very questionable penalty late in the first half when Danny Murphy went to ground with his challenge on Salomon Kalou. Although it did look clumsy, the midfielder had taken all ball with him as yet another match official has some questions to answer.
Despite the protests of the Fulham players, the decision stood and Lampard stepped up to finish emphatically past Mark Schwarzer’s outstretched right hand to give the visitors the lead at the break.
It was later revealed that Clattenburg did not award the penalty against Murphy but rather the player who apparently made contact with Kalou on the way through, which was Stephen Kelly, making the decision even more baffling.
Fulham had played well throughout and were the better of the sides going forward and that came shining through with less than ten minutes remaining when Dempsey got his header on target from Damien Duff's corner just outside the six-yard box with the ball bouncing over the goal line with the back post unmarked by the Blues defence.
There were plenty of chances throughout with the majority of the saves having to be made by Chelsea’s Petr Cech who did ever so well to force Kerim Fri’s low 26th minute effort and then coming up with a huge save to deny Moussa Dembele’s header before the Czech gloveman safely held Orlando Sa’s effort after Dempsey’s leveler.
TRIBAL ASKS: Not a bad result for Fulham who continue to stick around in mid-table but is that enough for Chelsea whose Champions League chances took another slight blow. Are they still a chance of pushing past Newcastle and Tottenham, and even Arsenal, to grab third or fourth?
Craven Cottage, London – 25,697
Yellow cards: FUL - Danny Murphy 63’
CHE - Raul Meireles 24’, Gary Cahill 41’, John Obi Mikel 58’