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Post Match Reaction - Chelsea 2 Fulham 1

last updated Monday 22nd March 2004, 12:16 AM
Fulham Manager Chris Coleman
Fulham Manager Chris Coleman
Fulham Manager Chris Coleman cut adespondent figure after watching his side slip to a 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Despite the scoreline, Fulham never really threatened to take something from the game after appearing devoid of a cutting edge upfront.

Coleman conceded that his charges had not deserved to take anything from the visit to their West London neighbours.

"We got what we deserved, nothing," declared the Fulham chief.

"It was a lacklustre display.

"In the second half we had one shot at goal and that was not on target.

"We paid them too much respect. They are a good team but they did not deserve the respect we showed them.

"Offensively we were poor, we didn't create anything and were a yard short of where we were last week."

"I'm disappointed because I thought Chelsea were there for the taking," he said.

"We played our normal 4-3-3 but nothing happened for us up front and we defended badly for Chelsea's two goals.

"It is very disappointing because I thought that, by their standards, Chelsea were off the pace.

"We had 19 or 20 shots against Leeds last week but nothing like that this time. You know you are going to have to ride your luck here because they have talented players but we didn't give ourselves a real chance.

"Our away form is poor. Since we won at Manchester United we've drawn only two other games and that's got to improve before the end of the season.

"I'd be disappointed very much to see it all tail off."

Chelsea Manager Chelsea's Manager Claudio Ranieri admitted Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Arsenal was on his mind when he took off danger-man Damien Duff with more than 20 minutes to go in the 2-1 win over Fulham.

Duff hit the winner, his first Stamford Bridge goal since October - after which he suffered a string of injuries.

And Ranieri revealed: "I saw him having his calf massaged at half-time and immediately thought about Wednesday's game.

"Damien has been out a long time and I didn't want to take any risk. That was my thought when I took him off."

Chelsea fans were also incredulous when Ranieri - who revels in the nickname Tinkerman - earlier took off winger Jesper Gronkjaer after an outstanding first half display.

Ranieri said: "We needed to close up the midfield more because we were fighting a lot of Fulham players in there and I thought we needed Scott Parker."

Eidur Gudjohnsen's brilliant early goal sparked Chelsea and Duff's winner came on the half-hour after a Mark Pembridge equaliser from a free-kick.

Ranieri said: "We played well, we were focused and had many shots. The opponents were good but they only shot from their set-pieces.

"Eidur scored an amazing goal and I was pleased with three points. Damien made many possibilities for us in the second half and we were very dangerous but it was not an easy match."

Source PA Sport by Bill Pierce
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