Something other than the football was the most interesting aspect of the second consecutive Chelsea match during their West London derby against Fulham. The crowd at Stamford Bridge remained dead quiet for the first 15 minutes of the match, then gave a standing ovation for Roberto di Matteo in the 16th minute. Rafael Benitez's side did nothing to change the minds of the irritated Chelsea supporters in a poor 0-0 draw.
Oriol Romeu and Ramires were Chelsea's central midfield partnership, while Ryan Bertrand started on the wing. Their creative output was what one might have expected before kickoff, which is to say very minimal.
It took until the 30th minute for either team to manage a real attempt, which tells the entire story of the match. That one came by way of Fernando Torres, who took a ball off his chest and turned to shoot, but delivered a weak effort towards Mark Schwarzer, who saved comfortably.
The best chances for either team came from John Arne Riise, the Fulham left back, who flubbed one and was denied by Petr Cech on another. In the 55th minute, he was played in on goal by Giorgos Karagounis, but scuffed his effort when he looked sure to hit the target. He tested Cech with a shot in the 75th minute, but the Chelsea keeper got down well to save at his near post.
Karim Frei, recently back at Fulham after a loan spell, came on as a substitute and looked dangerous in the final 15 minutes of the match. He had a penalty shout in the 81st minute when he went down under a challenge by Ramires after skinning two Chelsea defenders, but the referee waved play on. Ramires looked to make incidental contact while winning the ball, and the referee's decision ultimately appeared correct.
Chelsea were the aggressors in the closing minutes, but never really looked like scoring. With the final kick of the ball, Cesar Azpilicueta attempted a volley from just outside the penalty area after a corner kick deflected out to him, but he curled his shot inches wide of the far post.