Big-spending Chelsea stymied by Fulham

Sports Desk, Feb 3 (EFE).- Chelsea supporters will have to wait at least another week to see results from the 330 million euros ($356.7 million) the club spent in the winter transfer window, as promoted Fulham held the Blues 0-0 Friday at Stamford Bridge.

With only two wins in their last 12 Premier League matches, Chelsea are 9th in the table with 30 points, 9 away from the top four.

Fulham, meanwhile, rebounded from successive defeats to improve to 32 points, enough for sixth place.

Chelsea’s latest acquisition, World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez, started the game despite not having arrived in London until Tuesday, and the young Argentine midfielder impressed in his first outing for the team that paid a Premier League-record 107 million pounds ($131 million) for his services.

Fernandez narrowly missed with a blast from outside the area in the 71st minute after helping to create several scoring chances in the first half.

But the Blues continued to suffer from a lack of finishing up front.

Kai Havertz fired the ball straight at Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno in the 20th minute, failed to get off a shot on a tremendous opportunity at the half-hour and hit the cross-bar in the 44th minute.

The hosts had 67 percent possession and Fulham’s only serious threat of the opening period came in the 25th minute, when Andreas Pereira forced a good stop from Kepa, who likewise did well to deny Aleksandar Mitrovic with 20 minutes left in regulation.

Another of Chelsea’s new signings, David Datro Fofana, came on as a sub in the 75th minute and nearly scored five minutes later.

Leno rushed out to snag a cross and the Ivorian beat him to the ball, lofting a shot toward the net only for Fulham defender Tim Ream to make a tremendous goal-line stop.

Chelsea won a corner deep in stoppage time and Leno had to leap to punch away a strike from Raheem Sterling. EFE


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