Honours Even In West London After Poor Draw  (Sky Sports)

Fulham 0 Chelsea 0

Fulham v. Chelsea
Fulham 0-0 Chelsea
Barclaycard Premiership

Adrian Hill reports

Fulham and Chelsea huffed and puffed in the west London derby but to no avail. Loftus Road and
Sky Sports viewers saw a disappointing goalless draw.

Both sides failed to show a cutting edge up front, with Sky Sports statistics showing that only four of the 19 goal attempts made the target.

The best chances came in the first half with Fulham's Barry Hayles squandering a gaping opportunity when free inside the Chelsea area, blazing over the bar.

While Dutch winger Boudewijn Zenden was guilty of a real fluff two minutes earlier when put through by an astute pass from Frank Lampard, his left foot shot dribbling a distance wide of the far post from a decent angle.

Other than that there were a series of half chances and hopeful shots which rarely troubled the goalkeepers - Fulham's Edwin van der Sar was forced to block a Jesper Gronkjaer rasper from a difficult angle and was at full stretch on 84 minutes to stop a Robert Huth shot.but was otherwise pretty much a spectator.

Carlo Cudicini rarely got his hands warmed as Fulham were woeful in front of goal.

The home side were also hindered by a cool display from William Gallas and Premiership debutant Huth in central defence - the 18-year-old German giant looks quite a find for Claudio Ranieri.

The opening half-hour produced very little. The most glaring chance fell to Fulham as Sean Davis somehow managed to sneak into an offside position beyond the gaze of the assistant referee in the Chelsea area but failed to find the on-rushing Hayles in the six-yard box.

Two minutes later Sylvain Legwinski's volley rapped into Gallas' legs and the home fans groaned again.

This ushered in the best period of the match as Zenden and Hayles committed their howlers and Junichi Inamoto's excellent shot was just foiled by Cudicini.

The brighter finish to the half raised hopes for the second period but there was little of note to report.

Ranieri threw fit-again Eidur Gudjohnsen into the fray but he was given little change by Alain Goma, only an off-balance header coming his way which drifted harmlessly wide.

Gianfranco Zola, in vintage form so far this season, was hauled off after being anonymous but he was just one of many to flop in this tame derby.

Man of the Match: William Gallas - edges it in front of Robert Huth. Both were composed and strong - will Marcel Desailly get his place back?

Fulham (0) 0 Chelsea (0) 0
Van der Sar, Ouaddou, Knight, Goma, Wome, Legwinski, Davis, Inamoto (Boa Morte 62), Malbranque, Marlet, Hayles.
Subs Not Used: Herrera, Melville, Clark, Sava.
Booked: Ouaddou.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Huth, Gallas, Stanic, De Lucas, Lampard, Morris, Zenden (Gronkjaer 66), Hasselbaink, Zola (Gudjohnsen 74).
Subs Not Used: de Goey, Bogarde, Keenan.

Att: 16,503
Ref: P Durkin (Dorset).

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