Penalty hero Petr Cech rues latest Chelsea slip-up
Cech secures a draw for Chelsea but it is more dropped points for the champions
Chelsea keeper Petr Cech conceded a point was not enough in their quest to win the title despite his last-minute penalty save earning a draw at Fulham.
The Premier League defending champions now trail leaders Manchester United by 12 points with 12 games remaining.
After keeping out Clint Dempsey's spot-kick in the 0-0 draw, Cech said: "For the title, this point is too little.
"Mathematically it's not over, but we are quite far off because our rivals won games and we lost two points."
Despite Cech's save in the 93rd minute to
rescue a point,
with leaders United and second-placed Arsenal both winning at the weekend, Carlo Ancelotti's team remained in fifth place and face a monumental task to retain their crown.
We deserved to beat Fulham - Ancelotti
The Italian boss, whose side have already lost seven times this season, admitted the club's main mission was now geared towards qualifying for the Champions League by finishing in the top four.
Ancelotti said: "The most important thing is to finish in the top four. I think we will be able to do this if we play like we did tonight. I'm an optimist and there's good reason to have confidence.
"The football we showed tonight was good, and we have to continue it. I think that we deserved to win this game. We could lose it, but Petr Cech saved a penalty with a fantastic save."
Striker Fernando Torres was guilty of four missed chances as he again misfired in his second game for his new club since
moving from Liverpool
With Didier Drogba dropped to the bench, Ancelotti defended his decision to revert to a 4-3-3 formation with Nicholas Anelka and Florent Malouda supporting the Spaniard.
I don't know if Didier was happy, but every player knows every game is important. We wanted to rotate to maintain his condition and to give everyone great motivation
"Fernando played well," added Ancelotti. "He had some opportunities in the first half and I took him out just to use Didier fresh and with power.
"Every striker wants to score. I don't think he's frustrated because he needs time to play with us and, after one week, he was really better after that first performance.
"I don't know if Didier was happy, but every player knows every game is important. It doesn't matter. We wanted to rotate to maintain his condition and to give everyone great motivation."
Hughes admits to penalty nerves
Fulham boss Mark Hughes was unhappy to have been denied a victory that would have hoisted them into the top half of the table.
"Given the circumstances at the end, it's disappointment," the former Blues striker said. "We came up against a strong Chelsea side who posed questions of us in the second half, and we had to be strong and resilient.
"But it was a real opportunity to beat a very good side at the end. We've been playing well of late and showed real character to dig in and create chances at the other end."
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.