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Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Saturday, 7 February 2009

Chelsea 0-0 Hull

By Nabil Hassan

Jose Boswinga and Kevin Kilbane
Chelsea have dropped 16 points at home this season

Chelsea's title hopes took a further dent as they dropped two more home points in the goalless draw with Hull.

Both sides had chances to win the game, with Blues captain John Terry missing an open goal from close range early on.

German midfielder Michael Ballack hit the outside of the post with a fine free-kick, while Hull's Kevin Kilbane hit the woodwork with a header.

The Tigers had the better of the second-half chances with Craig Fagan and Dean Marney both going close.

Chelsea now slip to fourth in the table behind Aston Villa, with Luiz Felipe Scolari's side four points behind leaders Manchester United having played two games more.

The Blues handed a debut to new loan signing Ricardo Quaresma but it was one of their stalwarts, Terry, who had the first chance of the game.

The England skipper blazed over from three yards out after Frank Lampard's inswinging free-kick had been headed into his path.

606: DEBATE
stol-chelseafc
Quaresma had a spell with Barcelona earlier in his career, but Hull also had a former Barca player in their ranks in Geovanni and the Brazilian fired a sublime half-volley inches wide of Henrique Hilario's goal, with Chelsea's stand-in keeper stranded.

Quaresma had a lively start to the game and saw a fine curling shot tipped around the post by Hull keeper Matt Duke.

Soon after, Ballack hit the outside of the post with a 25-yard free-kick as Chelsea continued to press.

But the visitors always looked dangerous on the break and Kevin Kilbane was unlucky to see his header from 12-yards hit the post.

Commendably, after the break, rather than sit back and plant men behind the ball, Hull went in search of the winner.

Brown happy to settle for draw

Fagan found himself one-on-one with Hilario but tamely chipped the ball into the hands of the Chelsea keeper.

Soon after, Marney latched on to a fine throughball from Geovanni but dragged his shot across the face of the goal and inches wide.

Didier Drogba was introduced but it was Salomon Kalou who had Chelsea's best chance of the second half.

The Blues forward found himself with just Duke to beat but from 18-yards out he shot tamely at the Hull keeper.

Referee Lee Mason also waved away penalty appeals from Chelsea when Andy Dawson appeared to handle the ball as their frustrations grew.

Chelsea lucky to escape with draw - Wilkins

Ian Ashbee had a late chance for Hull from a corner, but he fired wide from close range.

The final whistle brought a chorus of boos around Stamford Bridge as Chelsea were left to reflect on the 16 points they have dropped at home this season.

One banner unfurled by fans called for Scolari's sacking.

Hull are still without a win in nine league games, but this was a hugely encouraging point for Phil Brown's side and their performance was more reminiscent of their early season form when they won away at Tottenham and Arsenal.


Chelsea: Hilario, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Mikel (Belletti 57), Quaresma (Drogba 63), Ballack (Deco 73), Lampard, Kalou, Anelka.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Ivanovic, Di Santo, Stoch.

Booked: Mikel.

Hull: Duke, Ricketts, Turner, Zayatte, Dawson, Garcia, Ashbee, Marney, Kilbane, Geovanni (France 81), Fagan.
Subs Not Used: Myhill, Doyle, Barmby, Hughes, Halmosi, Manucho.

Booked: Ashbee, Garcia.

Att: 41,802

Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire)


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Hull's Michael Turner 7.74 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
Premier League as it happened
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
07 Feb 09 |  Football
Wilkins defends Scolari tactics
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League


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