Monday 28 December 2009, 3:00pm at Stamford Bridge, London
Barclays Premier League
Drogba 73'
Fulham FC
Gera 4'

73' Goal

Didier Drogba

88' Yellow Card

Didier Drogba Card was given for a foul

63' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Branislav Ivanovic
Off:Paulo Ferreira

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Daniel Sturridge
Off:John Obi Mikel

83' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Ashley Cole
Off:Yuri Zhirkov

4' Goal

Zoltán Gera

56' Yellow Card

Chris Baird Card was given for a foul

65' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Dickson Etuhu
Off:John Pantsil

70' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Eddie Johnson
Off:Zoltán Gera

84' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Bjorn Helge Riise
Off:Damien Duff

Roy Hodgson was forced to make one change to his starting eleven for Monday afternoon's clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge following last weekend’s draw with Spurs at the Cottage.

Injury forced Brede Hangeland to miss Monday’s West London derby. Chris Smalling was selected alongside Aaron Hughes in central defence. It was Smalling's first Barclays Premier League start for the Whites following a number of notable performances this season in the UEFA Europa League.

Chelsea got the game underway but it was Hodgson's side that took the intiative after just four minutes of play when Zoltan Gera fired the ball past Cech to give the Whites an early lead.

Paul Konchesky created the opportunity for Gera from the left flank, breaching Chelsea’s defence with a well timed overlapping run down the wing. Fulham’s left back delivered a dangerous cross from the by-line which rebounded off Zamora to Gera, positioned with his back to goal on the six yard line. The Hungarian then produced a sublime overhead kick to beat Cech before celebrating in front of Fulham's ecstatic travelling suporters.

The home side's response was a sustained bout of pressure but for all their possession during the opening twenty minutes Fulham’s defence held firm. The home side’s greatest threat came in the form of Drogba, whose long range efforts from the left flank saw Schwarzer produce two fine saves early on.

As the half hour mark approached Ancelotti’s team looked to stamp their authority on the game with some quick, incisive passages of passing play through midfield. However, for all their impressive build up play Chelsea lacked a cutting edge in the final third. Fulham's defensive play was impressive. The Whites were well organised, calm under pressure and evidently more than comfortable throughout the first half.

The game was held up after 30 minutes when John Terry remained grounded after an aerial collision just as Chelsea appeared to be gathering momentum. When play resumed the balance of the play shifted back in Fulham’s favour.

Yet again Konchesky threatened from the left with two dangerous crosses in quick succession before Dempsey forced Cech into a fingertip save with an attempted lob over the keeper from 16 yards. Since Gera’s opener Dempsey’s effort was the best attempt on goal at both ends during the first half.

As half time approached Chelsea attacked from the flanks but Fulham retained their lead with some fine defensive play inside their own area. Chris Smalling made two fine clearances in the final minutes of the first half before John Pantsil denied Drogba with a superb last ditch sliding tackle.

During three minutes of added time Chelsea were awarded a succession of free kicks inside Fulham’s half but all deliveries into a congested penalty area were swiftly dealt with by Hodgson men as the Whites went into the break with a 1-0 lead after a fine first half performance.

Both teams remained unchanged for the second period and Hodgson’s team almost doubled their lead immediately following the restart. A poor back pass to Cech was intercepted by Zamora whose strike on goal was well saved by the keeper at close range.

At the other end Fulham’s central defensive pairing of Smalling and Hughes were outstanding as Chelsea attacked in waves. Ancelotti’s men delivered from the flanks into the danger zone at every opportunity and as the pressure mounted on Fulham, Hodgson’s defence stood tall.

Chris Baird was booked for a challenge on Mikel on 55 minutes before Lampard failed to find a finishing touch in front of goal as the ball rolled along Fulham’s goal line.

On the hour mark Schwarzer produced a world class save to deny Drogba’s goal bound strike from the right hand side of the area. The home crowd were growing increasing frustrated as Fulham’s lead remained intact thanks to several crucial block tackles inside the penalty area.

Both managers made defensive substitutions after 65 minutes. Ancelotti replaced Ferreira with Ivanovic whilst Hodgson introduced Etuhu for Pantsil (injured) with Baird switching to right back.

Further attacking changes for both sides followed with twenty minutes remaining. Sturridge replacing Mikel for the home side whilst Andy Johnson made a welcome return to action in place of Gera.

After 72 minutes Chelsea drew level through Drogba. A deep cross from the right-hand side found the striker at the far post and Drogba headed across goal and past Schwarzer.

Two minutes later Chelsea took a 2-1 lead when Smalling failed to keep a cross from agonisingly crossing the goal line. After defending so impressively for over 70 minutes it was a tough blow for the Whites to concede two goals in as many minutes.

The home side grew in confidence during the later stages of the game as Hodgson made a further attacking change, introducing Riise for Duff on the right flank. In the final minutes of play Riise played a superb cross in from the right but Cech was alert to the danger and saved on the six-yard line.

Fulham went in search of an equaliser in the final minutes of play but could not find a way past Chelsea’s back line and the home side retained their lead and took all three points from Monday afternoon’s West London derby at Stamford Bridge.

Fulham's final fixture of the year may have ended in defeat but 2009 has been the most successful year in the Club's history and Fulham's travelling supporters will be proud of Fulham's performance at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Monday 28 December 2009
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London
Attendance: 41,805

Referee: Andre Marriner


Line-up: Cech; Ferreira (Ivanovic 63'), Terry, Carvalho, Zhirkov (Cole 83'); Mikel (Sturridge 69'); Ballack, Lampard; Joe Cole; Drogba, Kalou

Unused substitutes: Hilário, Alex, Belletti, Kakuta


Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil (Etuhu 65'), Hughes, Smalling, Konchesky; Duff (Bjorn Helge Riise 84'), Murphy, Baird, Dempsey; Gera (Johnson 70'); Zamora

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Kallio, Greening, Nevland

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 20 45
2 Manchester United 19 40
3 Arsenal 18 38
4 Tottenham Hotspur 20 37
5 Aston Villa 19 35
6 Manchester City 18 32
7 Birmingham City 20 32
8 Liverpool 19 30
9 Fulham 19 27
10 Sunderland 20 23
11 Everton 19 22
12 Stoke City 19 21
13 Blackburn Rovers 20 21
14 Burnley 20 20
15 Wolverhampton Wanderers 19 19
16 Wigan Athletic 18 19
17 West Ham United 20 18
18 Bolton Wanderers 17 17
19 Hull City 19 17
20 Portsmouth 19 14
Chelsea (4-4-2 (Diamond))
  • 1Petr Cech
  • 19Paulo Ferreira
  • 26John Terry
  • 6Ricardo Carvalho
  • 18Yuri Zhirkov
  • 12John Obi Mikel
  • 13Michael Ballack
  • 8Frank Lampard
  • 10Joe Cole
  • 11Didier Drogba
  • 21Salomon Kalou
  • 40Henrique Hilário
  • 2Branislav Ivanovic
  • 3Ashley Cole
  • 33Alex
  • 35Juliano Belletti
  • 31Gaël Kakuta
  • 23Daniel Sturridge
Fulham (4-4-1-1)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 26Chris Smalling
  • 3Paul Konchesky
  • 16Damien Duff
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 6Chris Baird
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 25Bobby Zamora
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 33Toni Kallio
  • 17Bjorn Helge Riise
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 27Jonathan Greening
  • 10Erik Nevland
  • 21Eddie Johnson