An unsatisfactory result all round. Bit like a date with your sister. The end of Chelsea's title ambitions confirmed, another point in our pursuit of safety, but a big opportunity passed up to leap into 9th place, and all but banish our relegation fears. Awful game of football, dreadful penalty effort, and a rare chance to gloat over Chelsea till next season tossed away.
The big question, why did we suddenly go so flat? I had to do a quick name check of the numbers after 15 minutes to remind myself Dembele was on the park. We couldn't raise our game for the local derby, after a run of fine form, playing a settled side, and with Chelsea very much on the wobble? A strange night.
We looked heavy legged throughout, and Demspey's last minute penalty miss was all too predictable. Admirable though he's been this season, Clint plays on instinct and sheer bloody-minded guts. He goes hunting where the mud and bullets fly. Fulham's most trusted foot soldier. But he's no general. With Murphy the keeper may guess the direction - as Gomes did - but placement and power still ensures the ball hits the back of the net. Gera should have been directed to take the penalty, especially as he was fresh, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Clint won it initially so I guess had first refusal.
A win, however fantastic it would have been, was not merited from the timid display put in by the Whites. In fact, had Torres and co not been so woeful themselves around the box, we can count ourselves lucky to claim a point against the Champions. Rumours of a bug in the ranks only partially excuses the number of big players who did not turn up on the night for Hughes.
One felt sorry for AJ, who showed energy early on, but got completely isolated after half-time, especially when Duff went into his shell. Felt he was unlucky to be the first hauled off. Murphy was guilty on a number of occasions standing deep and laying the ball off straight to opponents feet while Schwarzer's kicking is becoming erratic. Set piece delivery also on the night very disappointing. Enough moaning from me, but hey, these ticket prices aint cheap!
Back four outstanding in protecting their goalkeeper, Torres, Anelka. Malouda, Drogba nullified by the heroic efforts of Hughes and Hangeland. Even more admirable when you hear Brede was playing with a temperature. Sidwell is still to have a bad game in the White shirt. As the game began to run away from us seeing him in the mix is always reassuring. Considering how hard we were working to close Chelsea off, I would have had Gera and Eidur on much earlier - and certainly ahead of Davies. Here were two energetic players of stature who might have sparked something - yet Hughes only gives them 10 minutes.
Maybe I'm being over-critical, still raw at that penalty miss. Torres alone cost more than the whole Fulham squad so we must all accept a point here is a fine result for Fulham FC. I just wish it could have been that little bit more. But that's how I felt in 1975, 1983 and 2010. It's what fans of Fulham FC are conditioned to.
Over to you dear readers for your mood and hopes for the run in. We'll be raising spirits later in the week as we get ourselves up for the Cup on Sunday. Whoever we face, let's make it a winning weekend - and hope our opponents arrive feeling tired! One thing remains constant from last night, you won't get many chances to score at Craven Cottage.
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