Saturday 20 March 2004, 3:00pm at Stamford Bridge, London
Barclays Premier League
Chelsea
2
Gudjohnsen 6'; Duff 30'
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Pembridge 18'
Fulham succumb to a narrow defeat to West London rivals Chelsea in a gripping derby match at Stamford Bridge.

6' Goal

Eidur Gudjohnsen

30' Goal

Damien Duff

83' Yellow Card

Scott Parker Card was given for a foul

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Scott Parker
Off:Jesper Grönkjaer

70' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Joe Cole
Off:Damien Duff

18' Goal

Mark Pembridge

48' Yellow Card

Sylvain Legwinski Card was given for a foul

66' Yellow Card

Luis Boa Morte Card was given for a foul

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Collins John
Off:Mark Pembridge

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Brian McBride
Off:Barry Hayles

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Claudio Ranieri, clearly revelling in his nickname of The Tinkerman, took off his two best players in the second half of Chelsea's win over neighbours Fulham at Stamford Bridge and the home faithful can only hope he is saving them for the Champions League double-header with Arsenal. 

With injury-plagued Damien Duff's goal proving decisive, Chelsea hung on to all three points in a miserable second period and clung to the coat-tails of the Gunners in the Premiership title race. 

Now they have their latest chance to finally beat Arsene Wenger's team at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the Champions League quarter finals onWednesday and they could well need, on this form, the wing flair of dazzling Dane Jesper Gronkjaer who was also taken off against Fulham after an outstanding first half display.

 But most of all they will need Duff, now back at full strength after a long injury lay-off, and 'rested' again from the 69th minute when Joe Cole tookover. Sylvain Wiltord and Luis Boa Morte were both booked for crude fouls as Fulham fought tooth and nail to test their more illustrious near-and-dear but playedwith only Barry Hayles up front for too long and lacked real ambition. 

They barely tested Chelsea's third choice keeper Marco Ambrosio and looked as if they would soon buckle in the face of Chelsea's early power-show. 

Fulham fans must have feared the worse when after six minutes the determined Eidur Gudjohnsen let fly from at least 25 yards and left Edwin van der Sar helpless with a fast rising left-foot drive. 

The blonde Icelander, now with 12 goals this term, hit another effort just as hard two minutes later when John Terry headed on Gronkjaer's cross following a mistake by Zat Knight but this one flew over the bar. 

And for a spell it was the signal for Fulham to get their act together. They somehow drew inspiration from Hayles' unselfish running and a Sean Davis long-shot that spiralled way too high. 

And when Lampard fouled Davis just outside the area, Mark Pembridge stepped up to hit a powerful free kick from a central position which took a deflection off Gronkjaer in the wall and was enough to beat Ambrosio's flailing left arm as itsailed home for an 18th minute equaliser. 

It was the first goal this season for Wales star Pembridge and despite the deflection, he is sure to claim it, especially considering he has had to endureyet another injury-bedevilled campaign. 

Chelsea set about regaining their advantage but when Hernan Crespo played a fine ball in to set up Gudjohnsen, Ian Pearce launched into a superbly-timed tackle to save the day before blocking a dangerous Duff cross just a minute later. 

Curiously, van der Sar seemed to give up all too easily when a Gronkjaer cross from the left flashed past him but there was nobody up on the far post to touch it home. 

The keeper looked better on 27 minutes, going down well to block Duff's low, angled drive. But before he could regain his balance, he had another shot - this time by Lampard - to deal with and he could only beat it out. 

Chelsea's luck was to seethe loose ball cannon off a defender and straight to Duff who comfortably placed it into an unguarded corner of the net for 2-1. 

They might have added to it before the break with the lively Gronkjaer going close several times and terrorising each Fulham flank in turn.  Naturally Claudio Ranieri took him off for the second half. The manager also removed Duff from the fray with 20 minutes to go but not before he colluded in at least three plausible opportunities to clinch the issue that should have been firmly in Chelsea's grasp long before. 

But all fell to midfield partner Geremi who promptly missed them all, including the one he shovelled straight and lamely into van der Sar's arms fromthe Irishman's delightful through ball. Lampard also blazed way over when another Duff set-up looked perfect for him but the winger, much missed during his injury break, had already done enoughto prove he is a must against Arsenal in the next few weeks.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 20 March 2004
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London
Attendance: 41,169

Referee: Neale Barry

Chelsea

Line-up: Ambrosio; Gallas, Terry, Desailly, Bridge; Grönkjaer (Parker 45'), Geremi, Lampard, Duff (Joe Cole 70'); Crespo, Gudjohnsen

Unused substitutes: Sullivan, Huth, Mutu

Fulham

Line-up: Van der Sar; Volz, Knight, Pearce, Bocanegra; Malbranque, Legwinski, Davis, Pembridge (John 62'), Boa Morte; Hayles (McBride 77')

Unused substitutes: Beasant, Djetou, Goma

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 29 73
2 Chelsea 29 64
3 Manchester United 29 61
4 Liverpool 29 45
5 Newcastle United 29 45
6 Charlton Athletic 29 43
7 Birmingham City 29 42
8 Aston Villa 29 40
9 Fulham 29 39
10 Middlesbrough 29 37
11 Tottenham Hotspur 29 37
12 Southampton 28 36
13 Bolton Wanderers 29 34
14 Everton 29 33
15 Blackburn Rovers 29 31
16 Manchester City 28 30
17 Leicester City 29 27
18 Portsmouth 28 24
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 24
20 Leeds United 28 22
Chelsea (4-4-2)
  • Marco Ambrosio
  • 3William Gallas
  • 26John Terry
  • Marcel Desailly
  • 18Wayne Bridge
  • Jesper Grönkjaer
  • 14Geremi
  • 8Frank Lampard
  • 16Damien Duff
  • Hernán Crespo
  • 22Eidur Gudjohnsen
Substitutes
  • 1Neil Sullivan
  • 4Robert Huth
  • 10Joe Cole
  • 28Scott Parker
  • Adrian Mutu
Fulham (4-5-1)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 35Ian Pearce
  • 34Carlos Bocanegra
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 5Sylvain Legwinski
  • 23Sean Davis
  • 7Mark Pembridge
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 15Barry Hayles
Substitutes
  • 21Dave Beasant
  • 17Martin Djetou
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 8Brian McBride
  • 17Collins John