Fulham vs. Chelsea: Your Running Commentary

Dempsey (Getty Images)

Clint Dempsey is in fine form for Fulham, having scored four times in his last six matches. He'll try to add to that tally Monday afternoon as the Cottagers host Chelsea in a West London derby (2:55 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN3.com).

The match is notable for other reasons than just Dempsey being involved. It is also Fernando Torres' second game since joining Chelsea on transfer-deadline day, and he is getting the start in place of Didier Drogba atop the Blues' 4-2-3-1 formation. The Blues' other new signing, David Luiz, is starting aside John Terry in central defense.

With a victory, Fulham would vault into the top half of the Premier League table. Chelsea needs the three points in order to keep its thin hopes of another league title alive and also to keep pace with Tottenham in the race for a 2011-2012 UEFA Champions League berth.

If you will be watching the match, please feel free to share any thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below. Enjoy the action.

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147 Responses to Fulham vs. Chelsea: Your Running Commentary

  1. Lieutenant in Sam's Army says:

    Come on Fulham!

    He scores with his left! He scores with his right! That boy, Clint Dempsey, makes Drogba look shite!

  2. CILII_blog says:

    Hoping for a Clint Dempsey hat trick.

  3. tnnelson says:

    COYW!!!!

  4. Geoff Koch says:

    there was a piece on Clint and Fulham in the Times’ Goal blog today; link to goal.blogs.nytimes.com

  5. Michael Thomas says:

    I’m looking for a Torres goal and a Deuce goal.

  6. Marshall says:

    Anyone know of a feed for the U-17 MNT game vs. Cuba??

  7. rambo says:

    currently looking as well. If I find one I will post it

  8. Michael Thomas says:

    Chelsea’s midfield looks like they are being overrun. What happened to these guys?

    Hangelaand is a beast, what a player.

  9. Bootleg says:

    Great day to call in sick! C’mon Clint!

  10. Michael Thomas says:

    If Fulham could play with this level of defensive organization on the road, they would be a serious force.

  11. Michael Thomas says:

    Dembele rubs me the wrong way. Am I alone in this thinking?

  12. AD says:

    I don’t think he knows that there are other players on Fulham.

  13. jonk says:

    When he’s combining with his teammates he’s great, but yeah, I get what you mean.

  14. patrick says:

    yes. He’s been a great addition for Fulham, particularly with the absence of Zamora. He adds a little creativity, links well with Dempsey and puts in effort. He can be a bit selfish at times, but what good attacking player isnt?

  15. AME says:

    He seems like a young Dempsey to me. A lot of flash, just without the positive end results. Whether it be a misplaced pass or errant finish.

    I actually get them confused a little bit when they first get on the ball(also has to do with watching on grainy internet feed), until the final result of the possession comes. Positive=Clint had the ball, Negative=Dembele.

  16. Tim V. says:

    It’s not a feed, but ussoccer.com has a match tracker – US is up 1-0 after 30 minutes.

  17. Edwin in Los Angeles says:

    Guys lets make sure we don’t post anything verbatim, repalce the DOTS and DASHES and FMs and stuff by spelling them out, stupid bots are trolling sites looking for people to leave posts of feeds and shuting them down, lets keep feeds alive! I hope the FCC doesn’t come knocking down my door =(

  18. AD says:

    Torres is being so misused that I frankly have no idea why they bought him.

    They seem content to play long balls to him.

  19. Michael Thomas says:

    I’m at my family’s for a birthday, and my mother has an older TV. I cannot tell the difference until I get a glimpse of the numbers.

  20. Michael Thomas says:

    Being Spanish, I watch him more than a lot of people do, and he is definitely most effective when he gets the ball at his feet and is allowed to run at players.

    He is not a target forward, and he never has been. He is not Drogba.

  21. AME says:

    Torres has spoiled two great breakaway chances now. Must be nervous. Pressure to perform for the new club must be weighing on him.

  22. Nice ball from Luiz, Torres just blew it. Must feel like the weight of the world is on his shoulders now.

  23. donttreadonme says:

    Yeah, he looks awful. Fulham doesn’t look much better. Not the sort of game I was expecting at all. Pretty drab.

  24. Michael Thomas says:

    I think that is really the first that was actually a mistake on his part.

    He tried to chest it to himself and looks like he misjudged where it was falling.

    His confidence has to be shot after being subbed off in the last game after he was arguably their best player.

  25. tnnelson says:

    Dempsey is the only player who does something good with the ball in the final third. everyone else sends in some misplaced pass or tries to shoot from a terrible angle

  26. glaing says:

    Just saw the stat on ESPN2, Dempsey is behind Brian McBride by 2 goals for the Fulham career EPL scoring leader. Thought everyone would like to know, not sure I’ve seen that stat before.

  27. Michael Thomas says:

    I muted the game and turned on Kenny G. For 30 seconds or so, the passing was syncing up to the beat of Havana.

    Weird.

  28. wyofan says:

    Murphy appears to be trying to give the game away. That was his third horrid pass.

  29. OmarVizquel says:

    Looking forward to the day when watching our Yanks abroad in England doesn’t mean watching minnows like Fulham try to stave off relegation against Chelsea and Man U.

    Clint looks fine. He’s linking up well with his teammates and keeps the ball fairly well.

    Hangeland’s having a good game.

  30. AD says:

    The worst thing that Ancelloti could do right now is to sub Torres off again.

    He is destroying the guy’s confidence, especially after that shocking substitution last week.

  31. Michael Thomas says:

    Agreed.

    Torres has been everything you could hope for with his movement, positioning and pace. The final touch is a little off right now, but he is clearly incredibly skilled. Show some faith in the man.

  32. Ben says:

    You should be enjoying watching our boys right now. It wasn’t to long ago that you could only watch our goalies play in England other than a McBride, Bocanegra or Reyna.

    We actually have a good number of field players now getting good minutes.

  33. glaing says:

    Put Drogba on with him?

  34. Jack says:

    Is it just me or are the Fulham supporters singing the Torres bounce?

    Dempsey looks good, but Ancelloti just seems as though he doesn’t know what to do with Torres.

  35. OmarVizquel says:

    Trust me, I remember those days vividly. Sometimes, however, having to slog through Hull City, Fulham, Aris, etc. etc. games just bores me.

    Countries with much less soccer pedigree than the US boast nat’l team members at big, big teams. Guess I just want 1 or 2 of my own!

    (Sometimes I think I would love to see Dempsey go to a smaller league, but to a perennial Champions League team…but I digress.)

  36. AD says:

    I hope the switch would be Drogba for Anelka.

    I’m always confused how Anelka seems to escape blame for the offensive struggling.

    He is supposed to be supporting Torres and playing off him, but he spends half of his time around midfield trying to get the ball.

  37. AD says:

    Sounds like it lol

    And agreed. Ancelloti is misusing Torres. I cannot remember a pass going to his feet at this point. They must have watched how he plays you would think.

  38. Ben says:

    Giuseppe Rossi? :)

  39. montana matt says:

    England’s infatuation with Italian managers is bizarre. Squads under Mancini, Acellotti, and Capello can all be reliably counted on to play horrifically boring, football.

  40. montana matt says:

    Sorry, that was supposed to be in reference to Jack’s comment above about Acelloti not knowing what to do w Torres.

  41. Jack says:

    Hah, well that’s one way to taunt Chelsea.

    And Torres is out in favor of Drogba. Should be interesting to see if this changes things.

  42. AD says:

    I cannot agree with that decision at all.

    Ancelloti is destroying his own squad.

  43. Brian says:

    You kinda get the feeling Chelsea are going to get a goal at at any minute.

    Fulham look completely overmatched

  44. Predicto says:

    Fulham is not playing their normal passing game. They are very concerned about getting back behind the ball. Maybe for good reason, but they’re playing for a tie – no offence.

  45. Michael Thomas says:

    Agreed.

    His confidence has to be effectively ruined.

  46. Rory says:

    He said Americans, not Italians. :-)

  47. Jamoked says:

    Fulham would be up if Damien Duff were still alive.

  48. Jack says:

    Agree. Commentator called Chelsea’s situation an “embarrassment of riches” as far as forwards go. I think that it’s more of a case of spending a lot of money on new players who they don’t quite know how to use.

  49. AME says:

    Dempsey is alone up top now. Ball is not coming anywhere near him…

  50. Jack says:

    If Fulham were overmatched, they score would be a lot higher. They’re obviously playing for a tie, yes, but their defense has been pretty awesome. The scoreline is a combination of good defending and Chelsea seeming to think that the goal is somewhere around the field’s corners.

  51. Jack says:

    *the score

  52. Spectra says:

    Does anyone know if the Monday night feature game is anything like Monday Night Football?

  53. Michael Thomas says:

    Absolutely.

    I think it settles on the fact that there is so little connecting between the forwards and midfield. Anelka is supposed to be that player, but he clearly does not understand the role.

  54. Brian says:

    The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round…

  55. Michael Thomas says:

    Dempsey would have been the story of even greater legends had he scored that incredible goal.

  56. AME says:

    Super tight angle. At least he stung Czech’s hands.

  57. Brian says:

    He didn’t have much of a chance in my opinion, not much of an angle

  58. AD says:

    It feels good seeing Dempsey out-muscle Terry for that.

  59. AD says:

    Torres looked much better than Droga currently does.

  60. patrick says:

    while fulham might only be 3 points clear of the relegation zone, I’d remind you that this minnow beat some rather impressive teams last year in their run to the Europa finals. Fulham certainly isn’t a team that is fighting relegation year after year.

  61. Jack says:

    Fulham with some opportunities in the past few minutes. Still defending like bosses. Nice to see Dempsey own Terry, though.

  62. Illmatic74 says:

    Europa League next year for Chelsea?

  63. aristophanes says:

    HAHAHA demspey

  64. Brian says:

    Dempsey!!!!!!!

  65. AME says:

    CLINT!!!! Draws Penalty!

  66. Spectra says:

    PENALTY ON CLINT DEMPSEY

  67. AD says:

    CLINT DEMPSEY THE MOTHER F*$&#$ LEGEND

  68. Predicto says:

    NOOOOOOO YEESSSSS

  69. jon says:

    YEEEEESSSSSSs dempsey

  70. Brian says:

    Dempsey draws the penalty in stoppage!!!!

  71. Spectra says:

    Dempsey to take this

  72. Brian says:

    Come on Clint…..

  73. AD says:

    DEMPSEY NOOOOOOOOOOO

  74. Spectra says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  75. Brian says:

    Ah damn….Why did he go down the middle?

  76. aristophanes says:

    eh…. he didn’t deserve it but come on deuce!

  77. Brian says:

    Oh Clint

  78. jon says:

    ohhhhhh noooo

  79. Dainja says:

    THE LEGEND OF DEUCE GROWS!!!!!!!! draws a penalty!! Clint now has the craftiness and smarts to go with great skill. HE IS THE COMPLETE PLAYER! and he’s gonna take it too??? oh…………..no. dear no. i was just gonna hit send and…it got saved. SON OF A…they’ll probably never let him take one again. that wasn’t far wide enough.

  80. AD says:

    That is crap.

    That penalty should be retaken.

  81. bla bla says:

    clint misses no

  82. Old Pueblo FC says:

    Ouch. I feel sick after that miss.

  83. hoosh says:

    Freakin’ Petr Cech! Ruined Dempsey’s shining moment.

  84. AME says:

    dang….

  85. AD says:

    That makes me extremely upset.

    Drogba was 6 yards inside the 18 when Dempsey hit the ball.

  86. Peter says:

    Worst. game. ever.

  87. radi0head says:

    ah dempsey :(

  88. Rob says:

    That’s why Dempsey should not take PK’s… So frustrated

  89. NK says:

    I don’t think that was a penalty-hopefully this doesn’t hurt Dempsey’s confidence

  90. Seriously says:

    Demps was too tired to take that pen. But Drogba was encroaching on the thing like hell. Shoulda been retaken.

  91. Ben says:

    And that is why Clint doesn’t take penalties. My goodness that was a weak effort.

  92. RLW2020 says:

    sometime you bite the bar. sometimes the bar bites you.

  93. Phil says:

    unlucky deuce…. could have had the headlines for a week with that one.

  94. redskinsux says:

    Wow, Dempsey should’ve won the game for Fullham.

  95. ericJ says:

    I don’t think this will hurt his confidence because Dempsey always seemed like a very confident person anyways.

  96. AD says:

    Dempsey was exhausted, and I agree with McHanaBana that Droga running up with him (wtf?) could have thrown him off.

  97. Ben says:

    Okay kids, let that be a lesson for you. Placement over power for pens every time.

  98. Z-Lott says:

    I still feel proud of Deuce even though he missed the penalty… he played a good game. It’s a shame that he doesn’t get any support around him.

  99. Jack says:

    Unlucky for Dempsey. Taking a penalty in the 93rd minute in a game like that can’t be easy.

    And I highly doubt it’ll hurt his confidence. Dempsey has been around awhile.

  100. Michael Thomas says:

    I agree.

    Droga ran up like he was going to take the penalty itself.

    How that was not called back for encroachment is beyond me.

  101. DEMPSEY WHO?!? says:

    LMFAO YOU GUYS ARE A BUNCH OF WANKERS!!! DEMPSEYYYYYY HAHAHA SHANK!!

  102. Brian says:

    I’m thinking Gudjohnsen should of took the penalty. Should of had some fresh legs taking it.

  103. g-dub says:

    Clint we still love you.

    A pre-emptive eff to all the English media who will criticize the Deuce.

  104. NK says:

    I thought for sure when he won that that Davies would take it-isn’t he usually the guy who takes it when Murphy is not on the field? Help me out Fulham fans.

  105. Ben says:

    meh, he played okay. he obviously does a lot well, but there were 3 or 4 50-50 balls he didn’t even try on, which makes fans mental.

  106. Andy in Atlanta says:

    +1… he should have slid that into cechs lefthand corner with a side foot… or gone high and hard el centro

  107. Ben says:

    It wasn’t THAT poorly taken of a penalty…there are millions of penalties just like that have scored even when the keeper goes the right way, simply unfortunate in this situation…it could have been a better kick but it was by no means terrible.

  108. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Actually Gera…

  109. Chicago Josh says:

    Old superstition: he who draws the penalty DOES NOT take the penalty. Sorry, Duece.

  110. NK says:

    Ah ok. Wonder why he didn’t take it.

  111. Brett says:

    Fresh legs should have taken it. Dempsey was exhausted and Cech is no slouch. But I also strongly believe that if the guy who drew it wants it he should get it unless the manager says otherwise. Tough break for Demps. Cech guessed and still only pushed it back out.

  112. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Except he took the one he drew earlier in the season and converted it… albeit it was also not superb…

  113. Drew says:

    Yeah but if anybody other than Deuce takes it then we’d have had a meltdown on these boards. Unfortunate that he missed it after he did well to earn it(questionable or not)

  114. Edwin in Los Angeles says:

    Okay I didn’t watch the game, but from ESPN’s gamecast it looks like he pretty much went down the middle, but some of the peeps above are saying Drogba was pretty much 2 yards from Deuce by the time Clint took the shot, so shouldn’t it been retaken?

  115. Brian says:

    Yeah especially when he who draws the penalty is so tired that he can’t muster enough energy to take a sh*t

  116. CH says:

    it wasnt a penalty, justice was served, if your gonna call that a foul, then the foul against malouda was a pen also

  117. hudson says:

    Tough break for Dempsey after a great play. When it comes to PKs, it seems like going top shelf is always a better bet, because even if the keeper guess the right way to jump, he usually can’t stop it if it’s in the top half of the net. Of course, easier said than done.

  118. Rob says:

    Ok guys we need to take the good ol’ USA blinders off (stop making excuses for a beloved USMNT player)… That was a horrendous PK. He earned the penalty, but my god that was bad.

  119. Brian says:

    I wouldn’t say completely down the middle.

    If you were to say the left post (from Clint’s perspective) was 0 and the right post was 100, and the middle was 50. Then I’d say dempsey probably hit it at the 30 or 35

  120. Morning Train says:

    +1000000000000000000000000000000000000000

  121. Michael Thomas says:

    Absolutely. Drogba was even with Dempsey when he made contact with the ball.

  122. Rob says:

    I can only imagine the hate if it were Altidore (as a lot of vocal people seems to hate him)

  123. Jack says:

    Okay, he could have done better on the penalty. But honestly, penalties are kind of a crap shoot. A lot of it is based on luck, and a whole lot of people don’t make it. Unfortunate that he missed it, but he had a very good game altogether. We’ve seen many worse penalties this season–Cech was still only able to punch this one away.

    If the ref had been watching closely enough, I think it should have been retaken, anyway.

  124. NK says:

    I have to say that as a Midfielder today, Deuce was ok. Kind of like with the US team, when they moved him up to striker, he got more into the game. He was a big part of the game after they took off Johnson, and put him up front. Overall, I’d give him a 6 (would be 7.5 if he hadn’t missed the penalty).

  125. Brian says:

    I’m thinking it’s because Deuce took one recently against Stoke, and if I’m a Fulham player (not named Danny Murphy) then I don’t think I wanna try to convince Clint to let me take it.

  126. Jack says:

    Uh…from the angle I had on ESPN, Luiz caught all of Dempsey and none of the ball. It was a stupid play for him.

  127. Brian says:

    Dempsey’s didn’t really have either.

  128. Michael Thomas says:

    The real story of this game is how misused Torres is. These past two games have been a serious black eye to the season and coaching career of Ancelotti.

    Drogba was worse than Torres, and the Chelsea attack was non-existent after Torres was taken off.

  129. Paul C says:

    Terrible penalty.

    Down the middle and he converts, in the corner he converts. He put it right in the no-no spot 1/4 into the net.

    Terrible.

  130. RLW2020 says:

    ya it was a fine attempt the biggest problem was that Peter Cech is frigken 8 foot tall puma garding the net.

  131. mike says:

    Maybe Ancelotti should start David Luiz up top cause he seem to be there best attacking option lol.

  132. Advocate says:

    Heartbroken. Would have been a huge result for Fulham and Clint, but left to rue the missed opportunity. Ouch.

  133. ga-gone says:

    yep. Firstly i think research has shown the guy who was just fouled for the penalty is more likely to miss than someone else, secondly Dempsey was clearly drained. Cooler heads should have prevailed and Gudjohnsen or Gera probably should have taken it.

  134. Alex G says:

    How can u miss a penalty beign a pro footballer???, I can’t believe it, Palencia and Dempsey damn luck

  135. jonk says:

    Who had blinders on? All the comments are people saying it wasn’t a good penalty, that he was tired, that someone else should have taken it, etc. One person said they’ve seen those go in before (which is true, it happens all the time)

  136. Brian says:

    Fair enough. Obviously they were parking the bus for the draw. But for a good amount of time there Fulham couldn’t even complete one pass.

  137. Alex G says:

    What happened to Demps??

  138. BenH says:

    Altidore couldn’t draw a penalty against the sisters of the poor. His first touch would have betrayed him and it would have been goal kick.

  139. Sean says:

    I rate him quite highly. Works hard tracking back for the ball, is quality with it at his feet, and is only missing the final shot.

  140. Alex G says:

    Yes he was exhausted, what can be said when a pro soccer player misses a penalty??, it is a disgrace

  141. Mike says:

    Why in the name of God Almighty do you own a Kenny G record? And then admit to it? You don’t deserve your man card.

  142. away goals says:

    Interested in the source of your “research.”

  143. Rob says:

    They are making excuses. He was tired is a poor excuse. Drogba came in to early, etc all excuses. Those saying he shouldn’t have taken it, are probably right.

    And that post was aimed more at the posts above, mine just after the tired/ Drogba posts

  144. Brian says:

    That’s why Donovan takes penalties for the US.

    But I don’t think Donovan would have been able to draw that penalty.

  145. Rob says:

    Thanks for proving my point.