Fulham stun Chelsea but face action after fans invade pitch

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The Independent Online

Fulham's joy at defeating Chelsea for the first time in 27 years is likely to be diluted this week when they are charged by the Football Association after their fans invaded the pitch and confronted rival supporters at Craven Cottage yesterday evening. A heavy fine can be expected and, possibly, the suspended sentence of a ground closure.

The FA is also likely to charge both clubs with failing to control their players after the referee Mike Dean was twice surrounded ­ once by each team.

The pitch invasion could have had serious consequences. When Dean blew the final whistle on Fulham's 1-0 victory ­ Luis Boa Morte being the goalscorer ­ home fans ran on to the pitch to celebrate. Ineffectual stewarding and an absence of admonishment on the public address led to them cavorting before the away fans. Inevitably someChelsea supporters reacted angrily and overwhelmed stewards trying to pen them in. For a few minutes there was a real danger of a pitch battle but, maybe, two decades of strong anti-hooliganism measures, and the gentrification of football, have changed attitudes. Scuffles broke out and at least one supporter was arrested but, fortunately, for most posturing was enough.

In their deliberations the FA may take into account the example set by the players. Dean was mobbed by Fulham players after Didier Drogba appeared to equalise shortly before the hour. The upshot was the "goal" was disallowed for handball. He was surrounded again in injury-time after dismissing William Gallas, Chelsea's third red card in six matches.

"If it was handball the decision is correct," Mourinho said, " but I promise you, the linesman did not see it, his view was the same as mine.

"They did not [change the decision] because of what they saw, but because of the pressure Fulham players put on them. They couldn't resist the pressure and that is a big problem. When Chelsea does this it is the end of the world, we are punished and the FA comes running after us. It is one measure for Chelsea and another for other teams. There is no doubt."

Mourinho had been angered before the game by newspaper stories linking him with a summer move to Internazionale. "The players know I am preparing for next season, they know I stay here, so I don't think they were affected but it is disrespectful," he said. "It is so easy to make a back page with a big lie."

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