By CHRIS TUPLING
STATS European Football Writer=
LONDON (SE) – Boaz Myhill produced a superb exhibition of
goalkeeping as Chelsea missed a glorious chance to go four
points clear at the top of the Premier League, held 1-1 at Hull.
Chelsea’s failure to overcome a team in the bottom three means
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are now only two points ahead of
defending champions Manchester United.
Hull’s unexpected point still leaves them in the relegations
places but it gives them fresh hope of avoiding the drop.
Chelsea can have no complaints because apart from Myhill’s
heroics, Hull missed several clear chances to have further
It all looked good for Chelsea before the match with Didier
Drogba returning from the Africa Cup of Nations to lead the
attack for the first time in 2010.
But after Nicholas Anelka and Michael Ballack had missed early
chances for Chelsea it was Hull who took the lead on the half
Stephen Hunt, subject of a failed Wolves bid on transfer
deadline day, took a corner and Steven Mouyokolo headed in his
first goal for Hull in his fifth start.
Chelsaa were stunned into retaliation and Drogba duly scored his
20th goal of the season after 42 minutes, curling in a free kick
after Anelka had been fouled.
Anthony Gardner, scorer of a bizarre own goal in Hull’s last
game against Wolves, should have restored the Yorkshire club’s
lead but missed a header from six yards as Chelsea looked
John Terry, captain of England at the moment, was booked for a
foul soon after the break before Jozy Altidore again missed for
Hull from close range. The rest of the match belonged to Myhill
who earlier this season produced a magnificent display to deny
Time and again Chelsea broke through only to be denied by
Myhill’s incredible display of reflex goalkeeping.
His best came in the 55th minute when he kept out Drogba and
Terry with a double save and there was another memorable effort
near the end to deny substitute Dean Sturridge a late winner.
In the end Chelsea had to be content with a draw as Myhill got a
standing ovation from relieved Hull fans but the result throws
the title race wide open.
Hull manager Phil Brown said:" I don’t think it was a fluke or
that we were unduly lucky. You do need a bit of luck against
teams like Chelsea but I thought we were full value for a draw.
’ We got a goal from a corner and I felt comfortable with the
way we played until the equaliser..
Myhill produced some great saves but it was not a one-man
performance. The whole team gave me everything."
Disappointed Ancelotti said:" We were not at our best. We took
control in the second half but did not take our chances. The
Hull goalkeeper was very good but we should have beaten him more
than one time."