COLE AND FERREIRA COMEBACK CONTINUES
Joe Cole and Paulo Ferreira both competed in the reserves' 1-1 draw with Fulham reserves in a practice match today.
Both players reflected the weather, as they each began brightly under the watchful gaze of Carlo Ancelotti.
After returning to a game situation on Friday afternoon in a training ground match, this was the first time the two faced outside opposition since injuring their cruciate ligaments. Ferreira played a full 90 minutes while Cole, who is slightly behind the right-back in his rehabilitation, came off after the hour mark.
Henrique Hilario found himself between the posts for the first half, behind a back line that included Jeffrey Bruma, Sam Hutchinson and Ben Gordon alongside Ferreira.
Cole played at the front of the midfield diamond and his spritely start culminated in several chances being created.
The best of these was Chelsea's finest chance of the half; one that Adam Phillip saw saved.
A clever and well-placed through ball from Cole released the striker into the box, but the subsequent shot was drilled along the floor, only for Fulham keeper David Stokedale to collect.
It was the most promising attempt from an otherwise uneventful half, despite Chelsea's dominance.
The second half began with a change between the posts as Hilario made way for Ross Turnbull.
Within 15 minutes of the restart he'd made strong consecutive saves denying two Fulham men, Michael Awezu and Simon Davies, from finding the net.
But minutes later, Fulham were in the lead. Awezu collected on the top of the box and, after feeling no pressure from Chelsea, launched a shot past Turnbull and into the bottom corner.
It only took another 10 minutes for Chelsea to equalise when substitute Nikki Ahamed broke from the right flank towards the centre, sending the ball rocketing off the post with the outside of his foot.
The Fulham keeper tried to snatch the ball but instead pushed it beyond his own line for a Chelsea goal, 1-1.
As the game drew to a close, Chelsea began to pressure further, with Fabio Borini, Daniel Philliskirk and Aliu Djalo all seeing chances denied. Overall it was a promising performance from the Blues in the practice match.