Chelsea-Fulham: Chelsea Miss Chance to Become Champions
Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship (UWCC) saw another defence today, as the ultimate underdog champions Fulham took on second place Chelsea at Craven Cottage.
Prior to the match, Fulham had gone an unlikely eight games without defeat, while Chelsea had only won 13 of the last 24 points on offer, a poor run by their usual high standards.
Still, whatever the formbook suggested, Fulham were huge underdogs going into this match, especially considering Chelsea's fantastic recent away form.
As well as being a West London derby, this match also had an element of UWCC rivalry involved. If Fulham retained the title, they would set a new record for amount of successful defences of the title, breaking Chelsea's old record.
And, thanks to a late goal, that record was broken, and Fulham kept hold of the UWCC title.
The first goal came from Clint Dempsey shortly after Didier Drogba had wasted a good chance. Dempsey had time to control the ball within the Chelsea six-yard box, and flick it over Petr Cech to give Fulham the lead.
The equaliser came in the second half after a mix up between Mark Schwarzer and Aaron Hughes left Frank Lampard with an easy tap-in, and the England man doubled his tally with a stunning free-kick a few minutes later.
Chelsea, who had been the better team throughout the match, looked like holding on, but Drogba lost his man from a late corner, leaving Clint Dempsey to nod in his second of the match, and give Fulham a historic point.
The result means that Chelsea fall even further behind Liverpool in the title race, after the league leaders beat Newcastle 5-1.
Chelsea missed the chance to become the first ever two-time UWCC champions, while Fulham are now recognised as the longest reigning champions in UWCC history. Despite having drawn six of their seven games as defending champions, Fulham have also now equaled Tottenham's tally of points won as champions.
Amazingly, 64.3 percent of voters on the poll predicted that Chelsea wouldn't beat Fulham, so well done to all of you who chose that!
Fulham 2-1 Tottenham (Fulham become new champions)
Fulham 2-2 Chelsea
(Click here to see the complete history of Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship.)
Congratulations to Fulham for ending 2008 with the UWCC title, and they start 2009 in the same way. Their first title defence of the new year, and record breaking eighth overall, comes on January 3, as they take on Sheffield Wednesday in the first ever FA Cup UWCC tie. Can Sheffield Wednesday become the best team in the world?!
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