Toothless Chelsea are held to goalless draw by local rivals Fulham as Todd Boehly’s army of January arrivals fail to make their mark on Stamford Bridge bows… with Blues still NINE points off top four

February 4, 2023

After sanctioning two record-breaking sprees, the January one taking the total spend past the half billion mark, penny for the full thoughts of Todd Boehly.

When the Chelsea co-owner, watching on at Stamford Bridge, flashed up on screen there was an indication in a small show of the same frustration felt by much of the Stamford Bridge crowd as he slipped back into his seat when another chance went begging…

Nights like this were meant to be a thing of the past and a Chelsea charge up the table was supposed to begin following their latest staggering transfer spend.

But there was no way past Fulham for Chelsea in their first post-window outing despite having far more to throw at their neighbours than just a few weeks ago.

When they met at Craven Cottage on a chastening night which summed up Graham Potter’s misfortune of the time, loan signing Joao Felix made an impressive debut before being sent off and Chelsea slumped to defeat.

Felix was not available for Friday night’s return West London derby serving the final game of his ban. But plenty of other new faces were for Chelsea. They started with £107m British record capture Enzo Fernandez, £88m Mykhailo Mudryk and £35m Benoit Badiashile.


Fellow new arrivals, £31m winger Noni Madueke and then £8m David Datro Fofana then came off the bench.
None of the quintet featured in the first game between the two sides. But still Chelsea were once again unable to crack Marco Silva’s impressive Fulham team, with the pre-match optimism being replaced by jeers at full-time as Chelsea were held.

Potter said: ‘New players are adapting to a new country and a new league. It’s not straightforward. When the price tag is what it is questions will be asked.’

As it stands, Fulham remain the best team in these parts and played with the confidence of a side with that status. This was no lucky point and they have now taken four off Chelsea this season.

Meanwhile, the ‘what a waste of money’ taunts that came from the away end with increasing frequency as this goalless draw wore on were almost inevitable.

So too will be the concerns about Chelsea’s lack of firepower.