LONDON — Clint Dempsey scored his 22nd goal of the season for Fulham to clinch a 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Monday and prevent its west London rival from climbing into the Champions League places.
The United Sates attacking midfielder headed the equalizer in the 82nd minute from Damien Duff's corner, with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill's back helping the ball into the net.
"When you've got Clint in the team you know you've got a chance," Fulham captain Danny Murphy said.
Sixteen of Dempsey's goals have come in the Premier League, having also scored a double on Saturday against Bolton.
"He is always dangerous in the box if you get the delivery," Fulham manager Martin Jol said.
Chelsea had been on course for a third successive league win after Frank Lampard scored from the penalty spot on the stroke of halftime for his 150th league goal.Comment on this story
But the draw means the Blues not only missed out on fourth place, but allowed Newcastle to move above them into fifth after having beaten Bolton earlier Monday. Tottenham remains fourth on goal difference despite losing to Norwich.
In a test of its endurance entering the home straight, Chelsea started a run of six games in 18 days on Saturday by beating Wigan.
Chelsea meets Tottenham in the FA Cup semifinals on Sunday, then takes on Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals.
Winning the European Cup for the first time could be Chelsea's only way into the competition next season, with the team having been out of the top four in the league for two months.