Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Fulham 0 - 2 Chelsea

A strange passion-less game saw plenty of huff and puff, but little real quality on show. Chelsea came to the bridge as a powerful, professional and somewhat cynical side and seemed to brush Fulham to one side without really excelling themselves.
The two goals came from top class centre forward play between Drogba and Anelka, each laying on a goal for the other, in stark contrast to the unusual front pairing for Fulham. Clint Dempsey was pushed up to the centre forward role to support Bobby Zamora in the enforced absence of AJ and it didn't really work. Dempsey rarely ran beyond Bobby, which is a shame as he won many headers ahead of Carvalho but there was nobody to pick up the flick ons. Despite this for a long time the high ball to BZ appeared to be Fulham's only attacking outlet.
Perhaps as a consequence of Dempsey's absence, but more likely reflective of Chelsea's strength in the area, Fulham were consistently second best in midfield. It didn't help that Zoltan Gera appeared unable to control any ball that came near him first time. Passes just kept bouncing off him and it wasn't long before the home crowd was on his back. When Roy finally hauled him off after 62 minutes it was more an act of charity to the player.
Fulham barely pestered Chelsea's goal and Chelsea didn't exactly pepper the Fulham goalmouth either. It was a strange kind of match. From where I was sat, the Fulham fans easily outsang the Chelsea mob, who never really got going until Anelka's goal in the 75th minute. Some people on the messageboards complained about fans singing about Frank Lampard's mum, but I didn't hear that down the front of the Hammy End. In fact Lampard was having a friendly bit of banter with those down by the corner over the 'Fat Frank' jibes, which was quite funny. Opposition players taking corners in front of the Hammy End don't half get a bit of stick at times. I'd dread having to take one there.
An injury to Danny Murphy towards the end of the game highlighted the lack of creativity in the middle - can Baird and Etuhu really push on a team behind by two goals? I guess that's why Jonathan Greening has now, finally, been signed up.
Attendance:  Me, Ish and Jarrod

PS - this is the 100th post of this blog. Blimey.

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