Blues topple Whites again
Written By: Robert Halter
Chelsea looked to end a winless run, first losing a penalty shoot out in the Super Cup against Bayern Munich in Prague followed by a 1-0 defeat at Everton in the Premier League before Basel were 2-1 victors in the opening stages of the UEFA Champions League at Stamford Bridge but with the visit of West London rivals Fulham, it gave the Blues a chance to bounce back, who had won seven and lost none of the last fourteen Premiership derbies against the Whites. On five minutes, a floating ball from Branislav Ivanovic was hooked over by Samuel Eto’o as David Stockdale looked stranded in the Fulham goal. But it was the Cottagers who opened up the Blues defence on twelve minutes with a perfectly placed pass from Pajtim Kasami that put Darren Bent clear but when one on one with Petr Cech, it was the Blues shot stopper with an important block to keep out Bent’s low strike. Midway through the first half, Steve Sidwell intervened against his former club to divert an Eto’o shot behind for a corner. Two minutes before the break, Stockdale had to react from a ricochet and turn behind Ivanovic’s low drive, after Ashley Cole had opened up the Fulham defence. In the fifty second minute, Stockdale handed the initiative to Chelsea as the Cottagers keeper failed to hold onto Andre Schurrle’s strike and then spilled a follow up shot from Eto’o which handed the ball on a plate for Oscar to roll his effort into the net, as the Blues were gifted the advantage. On sixty three minutes, there was a change in Chelsea’s forward line with Eto’o replaced by Fernando Torres while Fulham made a switch by removing Damien Duff for Adel Taarabt and then the Whites later changed Alexander Kacaniklic for Buomesca Tue Na Bangna. The Blues made a further addition of Frank Lampard for Schurrle with just over ten minutes plus stoppage time remaining. In the eighty third minute, a flying save by Stockdale kept out Torres’s direct header from an Oscar corner but at the second time of asking, Lampard’s corner was headed back by Blues captain John Terry and it was left for John Obi Mikel to turn the ball in with his outstretched leg to net for the first time in the Premiership and only his third goal of his Chelsea career. A further change by Fulham saw Kasami replaced by Hugo Rodallega while the Blues brought on Kevin De Bruyne for Eden Hazard. In the eighty eighth minute from a tight angle, Kieran Richardson had a stab at goal but Cech sprung into action to push the ball over in the final piece of action.