Spurs battle back at the Blues
Written By: Robert Halter
The chase for Champions League places were on the line as Chelsea looked to build on their 1-0 away win at Manchester United and maintain their three points advantage over Tottenham Hotspur in the night time showdown during May in London’s SW6 as Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas made his first appearance at the Blues since leaving the club but the Lilywhites had not won at Stamford Bridge since 1990. On six minutes, a knock down by Fernando Torres provided the platform for Juan Mata but on the turn his shot flew over the bar. But it was Chelsea that struck first on ten minutes when Mata’s corner was headed on by Gary Cahill and from close range Oscar nodded the ball in. Four minutes later, Spurs responded but Lewis Holtby’s low drive failed to find the target as his strike drifted past the right post. On the quarter of the hour mark a well placed pass from Cesar Azpilicueta was blazed over by Mata as the Blues pressed forward again. In quite spectacular fashion, Tottenham drew level on twenty six minutes when from inside his own half, Emmanuel Adebayor took strides towards the opposing area before bending an unstoppable shot past a stranded Petr Cech into the right side of the net. Adebayor could have added to his total in the thirty sixth minute but with his outstretched leg he shot high and wide from Jan Vertonghen’s ball over the top. Three minutes later, Chelsea were back in front as Torres created the space for Ramires to drill his shot into the bottom right corner past a helpless Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal. In the forty second minute, a touch back by Adebayor gave Kyle Walker a shooting chance but his tamely hit effort drifted past the right post. The Blues responded within two minutes but Lloris grabbed hold of Oscar’s strike from outside the box following a cross by Eden Hazard. Eight minutes into the second half, a soaring strike from Azpilicueta went narrowly over the top left corner as the Blues threatened again. Chelsea went even closer in the fifty fifth minute but Hazard couldn’t find the finishing touch, after firing over from a tight angle in the Spurs penalty area. After an hour, Tottenham made their first change replacing Aaron Lennon for Gylfi Sigurdsson before making another switch by bringing on Clint Dempsey for Holtby. But Chelsea responded as Victor Moses replaced Hazard. However in the eightieth minute, Spurs drew level again as Benoit Assou-Ekotto laid the ball onto Adebayour, who back heeled the ball to Sigurdsson, who curled the ball low into the far side of the net. A further Chelsea substitution gave Yossi Benayoun a brief appearance in favour of Oscar but after surviving a Gareth Bale free kick near the end following a foul on him by Ashley Cole, the Blues had to settle for a point against their rivals from North London.