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Monday, 1 April, 2002, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Ipswich spurn chance
Mikael Forssell (left) made a rare start for Chelsea
Ipswich 0-0 Chelsea
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Ipswich missed the opportunity to gain three crucial points in their fight against relegation as they drew with Chelsea at Portman Road.

The Tractor Boys won a first-half penalty, but Marcus Bent's spot-kick was brilliantly saved by Chelsea keeper Carlo Cudicini.

Ipswich boss George Burley will be rueing his side's failure to win all three points.

We showed a lot of the battling qualities which are needed if we are to stay up
George Burley

Town now face a formidable run-in, with games against Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United still to come.

The home side started the game full of endeavour and enthusiasm. Bent, who has scored 10 goals since moving to Ipswich in November, went close after five minutes with a curling shot from the right.

Chelsea started with Gianfranco Zola in an unaccustomed role on the left side of midfield, and Mikael Forssell alongside Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink up front.

Frank Lampard and Eidur Gudjohnsen were rested and the unfamiliar Blues side was subdued for much of the first half.

Ipswich boss George Burley reflects on his side's goalless draw
Burley was left frustrated with only a point

Ipswich were awarded their penalty after 33 minutes. Bent flicked the ball to his strike partner Alun Armstrong, who went down in the area after a shove in the back from John Terry.

Bent struck his penalty firmly but it was superbly tipped over the crossbar by Cudicini.

Chelsea then had an excellent chance on the stroke of half-time. Zola sent a tantalising cross into the area, but Mario Stanic contrived to miss the target from six yards.

We will continue to fight to finish in fourth place but when we don't win it's a bad result for us
Blues boss Cludio Ranieri

The visitors started to control the game in the second half.

With 30 minutes to go, they brought on Dutch winger Boudewijn Zenden for his first appearance since 23 January.

He was soon joined by Gudjohnsen and Lampard. The changes gave the Blues added potency, but they were unable to make a breakthrough.

Ipswich: Marshall, Wilnis, McGreal, Venus, Hreidarsson, George (Clapham 84), Holland, Tommy Miller, Peralta (Darren Bent 70), Armstrong (Stewart 70), Marcus Bent.
Subs Not Used: Sereni, Bramble.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Terry, Desailly, Le Saux, Stanic (Zenden 60), Jokanovic, Dalla Bona (Lampard 66), Zola, Hasselbaink, Forssell (Gudjohnsen 66).
Subs Not Used: de Goey, Ferrer.

Att: 28,053

Referee: E Wolstenholme (Blackburn).

BBC Sport's Mike Sewell
"George Burley could ask no more of his players"
Ipswich keeper Andy Marshall
"We can take a lot of positives from the performance"
See also:

01 Apr 02 |  Eng Prem
Arsenal take over at top
01 Apr 02 |  Eng Prem
Boro see off Rams
01 Apr 02 |  Eng Prem
Everton leave Bolton struggling
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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