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Premiership - Hull Home 7th February 2009 0-0


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Dogged Hull Deepen Scolari's Mire

By Alan McGuinness

The Chelsea fans massed inside Stamford Bridge made their feelings very clear after they saw their draw 0-0 with Hull City this afternoon. As the increasingly beleaguered Luiz Felipe Scolari got up out of his seat and made his way down the tunnel, he did so with a loud chorus of boos ringing in his ears.

The result means Chelsea slip into fourth place as a result of Aston Villa's 2-0 win away to Blackburn

Hull City came to Stamford Bridge and were far from overawed. Indeed, they can fell disappointed not to have snatched all three points.

The game saw Ricardo Quaresma make his full debut for the Blues after his deadline day loan move from Inter Milan. Henrique Hilario also filled in for the injured Petr Cech.

The first half saw Chelsea's best chances. John Terry had the first, somehow conspiring to fire over the bar from three yards after Michael Ballack's shot had been blocked.

Seven minutes later Geovanni had the Tigers' first shot on goal. The ex-Barcelona man curled the ball inches wide of the post from 20 yards out.

Quaresma looked lively on his debut, and it took an excellent saw from Hull's goalkeeper Duke to deny the Portuguese his first Chelsea goal.

Ballack then hit the side netting with a superb free kick from 25 yards out.

But Hull did look dangerous on the counter attack. Kevin Kilbane was desperately unlucky not to score for the away side just before the break, seeing his 40th minute header hit the post and stay out.

Some defensive indecisiveness on the part of Jose Bosingwa and John Obi Mikel presented Craig Fagan with a golden opportunity to give his side the lead, but he rather tamely chipped the ball straight at Hilario.

Quaresma's afternoon ended on 63 minutes when he was replaced by Didier Drogba. The home fans were not happy with the decision. A rendition of 'you don't know what you're doing' - a chant famously directed at Avram Grant during his Chelsea tenure - could be heard amongst some sections of the crowd.

Subsequent events bore out their frustrations. Chelsea looked less threatening with the departure of Quaresma, and Hull looked like the only side likely to score a goal.

Phil Brown's men were presented with another brilliant chance to take the lead, but again they didn't take it. This time Phil Marney was the culprit. He was played in by Geovanni but with only Hilario to beat he placed his shot wide.

Chelsea had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down minutes later. Kalou's speculative ball into the box appeared to strike Dawson but Lee Mason wasn't convinced and a penalty wasn't given.

Salomon Kalou had Chelsea's best chance to snatch victory, but like Fagan and Marney before him, he failed to find the net when faced with just the keeper to beat.

Ashbee had one last chance for Hull before the final whistle was blown, volleying wide from a Marney corner.

The final whistle brought with it a loud chorus of boos. Luiz Felipe Scolari's Chelsea continue to look stale and lacking in ideas. This is their fourth 0-0 draw of the season. He might have a World Cup to his name, but in the Premier League Scolari continues to look out of his depth.

Edited by Alan
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