Dempsey keeps heat on Scolari

Fulham 2 Chelsea 2

Luiz Felipe Scolari walked off the pitch at Craven Cottage yesterday wagging a finger in the face of his goalkeeper Petr Cech and demanding to know how his team had thrown away victory in the last minute. Chelsea's carelessness is proving expensive in the title race and Scolari admitted that he wanted an explanation from his goalkeeper as to why Clint Dempsey was allowed to head in from a corner in stoppage time.

It was Dempsey's second goal of the game and the second that was gifted by chaos in the defence of Scolari's team who failed to put anyone on the line as Simon Davies' corner came over. "I asked Petr about the positions for marking players," Scolari said. "He's the captain for marking in this area. I give him the power to say what he wants in that area. There was one player free in the middle of the area. In the last minute. That's incredible."

Even more incredible was how Chelsea conspired to lose this game after dominating a match in which two goals from Frank Lampard (right) gave them the lead until the last minute. Dempsey had put Fulham ahead but Lampard almost carried Chelsea over the line on his own. This was the England midfielder at his very best, making tackles, initiating moves, scoring goals and, probably if they asked him, driving the team bus home as well. If only his team-mates had risen to the challenge.

After an error by John Obi Mikel, who was defending a Davies' free-kick, allowed Dempsey to score in the 10th minute, Scolari said that he took his side to task at half-time for their sloppiness.

"Every player knows who to mark when we start a game," Scolari said. "It's my job now to ask what happened in this situation. I'm not telling you who was supposed to mark him [Dempsey]. We spoke at half-time, who was supposed to be marking who and who was supposed to be covering. After every goal, we try to make sure that doesn't happen again. But, at the corner, we made another mistake."

The mistake means that as Liverpool tore apart Newcastle, Chelsea could only manage a single point – their third draw in their last four league matches. They are only three points behind the leaders Liverpool but they are struggling to generate much momentum and the seeds of discontent among the supporters are evident. Some of them sang: "You don't know what you're doing", when Scolari substituted Joe Cole for Salomon Kalou, although Chelsea's second goal came soon after.

In Florent Malouda and Alex da Costa, Scolari can be fairly certain that he does not have a couple of bravehearts capable of dragging his side through the tough winter months. Malouda substituted himself on 30 minutes, walking around the pitch and down the tunnel complaining of a hamstring problem. Alex also came off before half-time. He was replaced by the excellent Ricardo Carvalho whose first appearance since 29 October was a source of comfort for Chelsea.

With the suspended John Terry in the stands, it fell upon Lampard to do the hard work, barracked, as he was throughout by the Fulham fans, for being a "fat bastard". For a "fat bastard" Lampard really gets about the pitch well.

There was a wonderful moment during a lull in play when, as the level of abuse rose, Lampard smiled at the home fans, puffed out his cheeks and stuck out his belly. The Fulham fans with a sense of humour applauded, although incredibly there were some halfwits who, having dished it out, then took offence.

Scolari dropped Nicolas Anelka and Michael Ballack to the bench, then brought on Anelka for Malouda, and his team dominated most of the game. They simply could not finish Fulham off. Mark Schwarzer stopped shots from Lampard, Anelka and Joe Cole although he was at fault for the Chelsea equaliser. The goalkeeper collided with Aaron Hughes and when the ball dropped loose it was Lampard who finished.

Dempsey had given Fulham the lead when he chested down Davies' free-kick and flicked it in from close range. On 50 minutes, having equalised, Lampard then gave Chelsea the lead with a free-kick that went through the Fulham wall after Carvalho broke away from the knot of defenders to create space. Dempsey's late second goal was a well-placed header from Davies' corner and Chelsea did not have a man guarding the post.

Lampard looked as if he might score the winner at the end with a shot that the Chelsea man seemed to claim was stopped by a Fulham hand. Was that why Scolari confronted the referee Andre Marriner before he turned his attention to Cech? "No, I was telling him he was the best referee we've had," said Scolari. "Really, I was. This referee and linesmen, if they made a mistake it was one mistake, maximum."

On the first anniversary of Roy Hodgson taking over at Fulham it was fitting that his team gave him the performance he deserved. Hodgson has been a revelation at the club, who reach halfway in the season in eighth position. As for Scolari, the jury is still out especially for the Chelsea fans who booed him yesterday.

Goals: Dempsey (10) 1-0; Lampard (50) 1-1; Lampard (72) 1-2; Dempsey (90) 2-2. Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Paintsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Dempsey, Murphy (Baird, 90), Etuhu (Andreason, 78), Davies; Zamora (Nevland, 78), Johnson. Substitutes not used: Zuberbuhler (gk), Gray, Stoor, Kallio. Chelsea (4-1-4-1): Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Alex (Carvalho, 37), A Cole; Mikel; J Cole (Kalou, 72), Deco, Lampard, Malouda (Anelka, 30); Drogba. Substitutes not used: Cudicini (gk), Ballack, Ferreira, Belletti. Referee: A Marriner (West Midlands). Booked: Chelsea Drogba, Bosingwa. Man of the match: Lampard. Attendance: 25,462.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Emily McDowell Card that reads:
artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvBadalamenti on board for third series
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
football
Sport
Ben Stokes celebrates with his team mates after bowling Brendon McCullum
sportEngland vs New Zealand report
News
Amal Clooney has joined the legal team defending 'The Hooden Men'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine