Flicking through the morning papers after Fulham fought their way to another fully merited point against Chelsea last night was a very enjoyable experience indeed. The hacks had a few chuckles at the travelling support’s impressive range of ditties and there were more than a few compliments on how Martin Jol’s boys acquitted themselves on the pitch too.
Henry Winter, The Telegraph: ‘The main f-word was Fulham, Fulham. The visiting fans were terrific, in fine form throughout, beginning by mocking the Bridge announcer’s request for them to sit down by all standing up. They then serenaded the hosts’ interim first-team manager with “Rafa Benítez, he works where he wants”. The Fulham glee club then disagreed with a (fair) decision by Anthony Taylor with a chant of “We want Mark Clattenburg’.
Matt Dickinson, The Times: ‘Fulham might have snatched it. Giorgos Karagounis dropped a pass over the Chelsea defence for Riise to run on to, and it seemed the perfect counter-attack with Azpilicueta up the field. Riise has a left foot that can generate net-bulging power but, as the ball bounced invitingly, the best he could manage was a horrible duff. The ball trickled wide and, for the time being at least, Benítez had no need for ear plugs.’
Sam Wallace, The Independent: ‘In Dimitar Berbatov, they had the one man who occasionally raised the tone above the mundane … The moment when Oriol Romeu tried to bring him down with a rugby tackle around the Bulgarian’s waist was the acknowledgement that Chelsea struggled with the Fulham captain all night.’
Dominic Fifield, The Guardian: The Bulgarian oozed quality throughout. He played his part in all of Fulham’s forays upfield, even if it was the scuttling running of Kerim Frei in the latter stages that left Chelsea panicked. The Turkey international should become key to Jol’s side over the second half of the campaign and, if he does, this team can thrive’.
Victoria Lee, Daily Mirror: ‘The most ingenuity on display – apart from the sublime skill of Dimitar Berbatov – came from the visiting fans, with chants of “Rafa Benitez, he works where he wants” before, as the ground emptied early: “Is there a fire drill?”‘
Neil Ashton, Daily Mail:’In the past, a home game against Fulham was a routine win, another three points as Chelsea packed off their annoying little neighbours back to Putney. Not any longer.’
Tony Banks, Daily Express: ‘Torres turned in the box, and Aaron Hughes booted his shot off the line. Had it gone in, it would have been an injustice. Fulham had defended magnificently’.