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By Football Talk.

Hull 1 – 1 Chelsea

Mouyokolo 30           Drogba 42

Chelsea failed to take full advantage of their game in hand by only managing to draw with lowly Hull at the KC Stadium. Even the return of Didier Drogba couldn’t help The Blues claim all three points, as Hull put in a spirited display to stifle the Premier League leaders. The draw extended Chelsea’s lead to two points over second placed Manchester United, but Carlo Ancelotti would have expected a maximum return from a game versus a club in the bottom three.

Match Report

Hull started well and put Chelsea under some early pressure with a couple of well taken set-pieces from Stephen Hunt. It didn’t take Chelsea long to get a foot-hold in the game and were soon creating chances of their own. Frank Lampard was first to test Hull goalkeeper Myhill with a trademark long-range effort which was well saved, with Nicolas Anelka fluffing the rebound. Next up was German midfielder Michael Ballack who sent a diving header straight at Myhill from an Ivanovic cross.

But Hull were causing problems themselves and Carvalho was forced to concede a corner following a dangerous free-kick. Hunt took the resulting corner and his cross was met by Mouyokolo to head past Cech to give Hull the lead after 30 minutes. Chelsea’s frailties at set-pieces was exposed once again.

With half-time only minutes away Chelsea won a free-kick on the edge of penalty area after Boateng brought down Anelka. Didier Drogba showed what Chelsea had been missing while he was away at the African Cup of Nations, as he bent the free-kick perfectly round the wall into Myhill’s bottom corner. Anthony Gardner then managed to waste a glorious opportunity to give Hull a half-time lead when he headed over from 8 yards while unmarked following another free-kick. The big defender should really have at least tested Cech.

Hull began the second half strongly and wasted another chance to take the lead. Terry gave away another free-kick in a dangerous position and this time Altidore headed wide. Chelsea were really struggling to deal with set-plays again today. Ivanovic and Drogba both tested Myhill before Carlo Ancelotti brought on Joe Cole for the disappointing Ballack.

Both sides pushed for the winner in the closing stages, but there was a lack of quality in the final ball, something we haven’t seen much from Chelsea this year. The final chance of the match went to Chelsea substitute Strurridge who saw his rasping left-foot volley well saved by Myhill in the closing minutes.

A point was not ideal for Chelsea as the Premier League leaders looked to extend their lead over Manchester United. But on another day it may have been worse as Hull could have snatched all three points themselves if they had taken advantage of some genorous Chelsea defending at set-pieces.

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