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Monday, 23 September, 2002, 20:57 GMT 21:57 UK
Chelsea earn derby draw
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink evades Sean Davis' challenge
Hasselbaink skips past Davis' challenge
Fulham 0-0 Chelsea

Fulham and Chelsea created a handful of chances between them but two excellent defensive units dominated as the west London derby finished goalless at Loftus Road.

Neither team surrendered their footballing principles, attacking with pace and invention as they sought to wrestle the initiative in a competitive derby.

But the committed nature of both sets of players combined with a packed midfield did not make for an open match and clear-cut chances were rare.

  Key moments
43 mins: Cudicini denies Inamoto
73 mins: Van der Sar saves from Gronkjaer
83 mins: Huth's shot is saved by Van der Sar
Flashes of inspiration were all too often nullified by a meaty tackle or a timely interception.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink again failed to score for Chelsea and has yet to get off the mark in the Premiership this season, although his team remain unbeaten and are now third in the table.

Fulham's strikers also found life difficult but played with real purpose, while boss Jean Tigana will be pleased with his team's solid defensive display.

Gianfranco Zola linked well with Hasselbaink to create the first scoring chance after 11 minutes, but blazed over the bar from the edge of the area.

Steve Marlet should have scored four minutes later, but having brilliantly drifted off Robert Huth's shoulder the Fulham striker headed Steed Malbranque's inviting cross wide.

Huth, making his first Premiership start in the absence of Marcel Desailly, could have broken the deadlock but completely scuffed his header from Zola's deep free-kick after finding space at the far post.

Boudewijn Zenden then shot across the face of goal and Hasselbaink headed over but first-half chances were at a premium for Chelsea.

Boudewijn Zenden holds off Sylvain Legwinski
Zenden evades Legwinski
Barry Hayles had a good chance to give Fulham a first-half lead but missed the target, while shortly before the break Carlo Cudicini saved well to deny Junichi Inamoto.

A penetrating cross from Enrique De Lucas presented Hasselbaink with an early headed chance in the second half, but the Dutch striker made a poor contact and his diving effort drifted wide.

Marlet then hooked the ball narrowly wide for Fulham from long range but, trying to work the ball through a congested midfield, both teams continued to cancel each other out.

Chelsea substitute Jesper Gronkjaer almost scored shortly after his introduction, but after cutting inside from the right his shot was saved by Edwin van der Sar.

And the Dutch goalkeeper again rescued his team after 83 minutes when he saved Huth's long-range daisy cutter.


Fulham: Van der Sar, Ouaddou, Knight, Goma, Wome, Legwinski, Davis, Inamoto (Boa Morte 62), Malbranque, Marlet, Hayles.
Subs Not Used: Herrera, Melville, Clark, Sava.

Booked: Ouaddou.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Huth, Gallas, Stanic, De Lucas, Lampard, Morris, Zenden (Gronkjaer 66), Hasselbaink, Zola (Gudjohnsen 74).
Subs Not Used: de Goey, Bogarde, Keenan.

Attendance: 16,503

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's David Oates
"There was plenty of huff and puff"
Fulham boss Jean Tigana
"We were strong defensively"
Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri
"It was a very intensive match"
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