Michael Essien's first-half header was enough to give 10-men Chelsea a 1-0 victory over west London rivals Fulham and keep them top of the Barclays Premier League table.
Florent Malouda's pinpoint cross into the six-yard box was met firmly by the Ghanaian midfielder who planted the ball into the bottom corner.
Salomon Kalou wasted three gilt-edged chances to increase Chelsea's lead and the leaders had goalkeeper Petr Cech to thank late on when he tipped Clint Dempsey's 25-yard shot over the bar. Essien was sent off in the final minute of injury time for a lunge on Dempsey.
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.