Fulham FC Vs. Chelsea FC: Cottagers Find The Front Foot, Mid-First Half

Chelsea had a promising chance in the 17th minute, with the rebound of a block Frank Lampard shot giving Ramires a chance to run onto an uncontested shot just inside the box. The Brazilian pulled the shot wide left, a shot that would have given Mark Schwarzer little time to react should it have been put on frame.

But the missed opportunity has proved a bit of a wake-up call for Fulham, who enjoyed their best spell of the match in the minutes that followed. Fulham was able to pack the Blues into their own end and, retaining possession, set up their attacking shape for the first time tonight. The swath seemed to culminated with a knuckling shot from 24 yards off Damien Duff's left foot, an attempt that Cech could only punch clear, unable to get a good read on the ball.

Any thought the shot would be the apex of Fulham's run proved wrong, with the Cottagers able to maintain their control of play into the 27th minute. Then, a set piece was easily caught by Cech, punted for Fernando Torres, with Chelsea gaining possession of the ball headed out of Fulham's back.

It was the first time since the beginning of the match that Torres had been relevant, though barely so. The Chelsea striker made little attempt to win Cech's ball, and when, two minutes later, a ball was crossed from the right, Torres was weak side of the play.

That cross led to Frank Lampard going four feet high of the crossbar from 15 yards. Though the shot wasn't close, it was still telling that Chelsea was able to generate space for Lampard in the middle of Fulham's box.

Still, the match at Craven Cottage remains scoreless: Fulham 0, Chelsea 0, now in the 30th minute.

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