Chelsea are still waiting for their first goal under Rafael Benitez after drawing another blank to draw against Fulham at Stamford Bridge.
The Spaniard’s first game in charge after taking over the reins from Roberto Di Matteo ended in a stalemate with Manchester City on Sunday and the Blues once again failed in front of goal against their West London rivals.
Cottagers boss Martin Jol will be the happier of either managers as his side avoided a third consecutive Premier League defeat, but have one just once in their last nine games and slipped into the bottom half of the table.
Benitez’s debut in the dugout against City attracted the ire of home supporters, who chanted in support of predecessor Di Matteo, and he was again the subject of abuse from the stands.
It made for a hostile atmosphere on Kings Road as the hosts struggled to locate the fluency and attacking flair that saw them head the table during the early part of the campaign.
Fernando Torres’ scuffed effort from Cesar Azpilcueta’s cross proved to be the best opportunity of a colourless, incident free first half that saw the visitors barely threaten Petr Cech at the other end.
They did create one of the games few clear cut chances after the break but John Arne Riise failed make the right connection to take full advantage of Giorgos Karagounis’ superb through ball in the 56th minute.
Juan Mata was thrown on just past the hour but even he couldn’t provide the inspiration for the home side that would unlock a stern Fulham back line that repelled attack after attack in the second half.
Chelsea have now dropped seven points off the championship pace and Benitez now has the unenviable task of arresting six-game winless slump.