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Dempsey strike dents Chelsea's top four hopes

Fulham forward Clint Dempsey scored a late equaliser and his 16th Premier League goal of the season as Chelsea could only manage to secure a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage last night.

This West London derby had plenty at stake as interim manager Roberto di Matteo took his Chelsea side to their neighbours for the first time under his reign, and unfortunately for the Italian boss his team were unable to take all 3 points.

Arguably, Fulham were the better side for the majority of the first half, as Kerim Frei spurned a glorious opportunity to put the Cottagers in front after 31 minutes.

However, the deadlock would be broken on the cusp of half time, as Salomon Kalou fell under a Danny Murphy challenge.

Up stepped Frank Lampard, who rifled home past Mark Schwarzer for his 150th Premier League goal.

In the second half, Fulham were fired up and ready to battle back for an equaliser, as Norway international full back John Arne Riise went close.

With just a few minutes left on the clock, defender Aaron Hughes saw his header palmed away by Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech.

From the resulting inswinging corner Clint Dempsey would leap the highest to nod the ball home and earn Fulham a well deserved share of the spoils.

The result leaves Chelsea four points behind Arsenal - who are in 3rd place - whilst the Gunners have a game in hand. In addition, in the race for the 4th place spot, Newcastle are two points ahead with Spurs.

This weekend sees Chelsea travel to White Hart Lane for an all important crunch tie with Tottenham.