Fulham Ties Chelsea: Dempsey Falters While Chelsea Continues To Struggle

Kent SommerContributor IIIFebruary 15, 2011

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 14:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea shows his frustration during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Chelsea at Craven Cottage on February 14, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Fulham and Chelsea battled to a scoreless draw on Monday night. 

A Fulham fan might argue that they held Chelsea to a scoreless draw and that they should have won the game. 

Clint Dempsey was awarded a penalty kick in stoppage time after a terrible foul by David Luis. It wasn't a terrible foul in the sense that it was dirty or hard, but it was just foolish considering the location in the box and the time when it occurred. 

Unfortunately for all Fulham fans, Dempsey missed the penalty. Dempsey looked tired prior to the penalty kick and one can't help but wonder if another player with fresh legs should have taken the kick.

Granted, the penalty was in the 93rd minute, so few players had fresh legs. Plus, Dempsey is on the team to take those shots for the team. But it did look like a tired effort, which is understandable considering Fulham spent most of the game chasing Chelsea. 

A Dempsey goal would have been a sweet upset of their London rivals, especially considering Fulham hardly had any possession and didn't deserve to win the game.

Yet, Fulham almost pulling off an upset isn't the biggest story from the game. 

A win would have been a great story, but a Fulham almost-win isn't as big as the continued struggles for Chelsea.

The Torres regime is off to a rough start. Not that Torres is necessarily to blame as Chelsea was struggling prior to his arrival, but he has yet to improve the situation.

Chelsea didn't need a tie on Monday, they needed a win. One point does nothing for Chelsea at the moment. They need three points in order to make up ground and move back into the top four. They especially need to win against teams in the lower half of the table, like Fulham.

Chelsea did dominate possession. Thus, one has to think that if they can maintain the possession and control the game, eventually their midfielders will be able to find the chemistry with Torres and the other forwards. 

Yet, Chelsea doesn't really have a few games to spare to find the chemistry. They need to make up points in the Premier League and the Champions League is up and running next week for Chelsea. 

Chelsea still can dominate and finish in the top four and make a legitimate run in the Champions League. On paper they are one of the best squads in the world. Yet one wouldn't have thought so on Monday night as they were less than impressive on the field and couldn't buy themselves a goal—despite their efforts to do so.