The biggest game of the season ended in a mixed reaction for Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea fans alike. In normal circumstances a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge would have been widely accepted however under current circumstances, a win was considerably more important. The draw however puts us in good stead in the closing stages of the season leaving Wigan, Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Everton in the driving seat for us. We must win our remaining games reliant on these clubs to make the most of their Premier League status with the majority of these teams still in the relegation scrap.
The game began as the secondary feature of the day. What was widely spoken as the biggest game of the season was overshadowed by the news of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement from Manchester United and all media reaction turned to the Champions den. Spurs entered the game needing a win whereas Chelsea saw it as purely an opportunity they must not lose.
The early stages were utterly disappointing from Andre Villas-Boas’ men. Our midfield found themselves out-paced by a superb Chelsea line-up and a failure to get our wide players into the game left the young Lewis Holtby with the majority of the possession however was unable to really capitalise on the great space discovered in the centre of the park. Hugo Lloris found himself very active in the early stages as did our back two. The failure to push left Hugo to launch the ball forward only for the action to be repeated moments later.
The game then sparked into life on the tenth minute as Juan Mata delivered a corner from the far side, met by a climbing Gary Cahill who’s effort was latched onto by Oscar at the far post. The 1-0 lead however did not prevent a brief Spurs spell of possession as Lewis Holtby and Kyle Walker endured attacking spells with final shots poorly finished. Chelsea found themselves defending briefly with Gareth Bale failing to latch onto a long Tom Huddlestone ball.
Spurs’ break did happen on the 26th minute of time. Emmanuel Adebayor cleared a Chelsea corner only to find himself in possession after Scott Parker was fouled on the half way line. Adebayor took the ball and ran himself almost the entire length of the pitch towards the edge of the box where he struck an amazing curled effort into the far corner, only leaving the shell-shocked Petr Cech to watch in astonishment. The Chelsea defence failed to close down Adebayor thanks to a sparkling dummy run from Aaron Lennon to fool Azpliticueta to the far side.
Chelsea’s lead however returned just seven minutes later. Ramires jumped onto a Torres pass to push his way through Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen to toe-poke the ball underneath Hugo Lloris into the net. But as before, Tottenham did not sit back. The first half ended with Spurs enjoying possession, signifying the game was far from over at the Bridge.
The second half began quietly however Chelsea came very close to extending their lead. Eden Hazard played a magnificent acrobatic ball through to Juan Mata, whom was caught by the astonishing pace of Kyle Walker. Mata slipped the ball into Ramires who slipped on the left hand side of the box only for Dawson to collect the spoils. Ramires was left briefly injured after smacking his head onto the Stamford Bridge turf after the fall.
Andre Villas-Boas felt this was time for a change and on the 62nd minute introduced Gylfi Sigurdsson into the game even though the Spur fans disagreed with the replacement of Aaron, whom did not enjoy his game, failing to spark any real runs down the right hand side. Gylfi spent time adjusting to the fast paced Chelsea middle and linked well with Tom Huddlestone on occasion. Andre again introduced another sub. Clint Dempsey was brought on to replace the struggling Lewis Holtby, as much to the surprise of the Tottenham faithful, expecting Jermain Defoe to come on.
A mixture of Chelsea’s lack of concentration and AVB’s replacements however brought an amazing spell for the Lilywhites. With ten minutes remaining, Emmanuel Adebayor latched onto a Benoit Assou-Ekotto pass to skilfully set up Gylfi Sigurdsson in the Chelsea box whom finished calmly into the far corner. This sparked a Spurs spell as the following fans began to roar out our traditional anthem of “Oh when the Spurs.” Tottenham almost thought the game was won as Gareth Bale found himself outside the area with the ball set for a freekick, only for it to land with Cech. Moments later the referee closed the game leaving Spurs 5th and Chelsea 3rd with two games remaining.
Personally I was happy with the result. We were behind for a very long time in the second half and quite frankly, to see our second go in was enough. This game sets the Premier League closing weeks up nicely as we head to the Britannia Stadium on Sunday to face Tony Pulis’ men. Spurs are currently one point away from Arsenal in fourth and level on games.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our first match review and followed our Live coverage @TalkingTHFC. I do not own any of the above photos. Our next involvement on here is our Match Preview ahead of Sunday which you will find uploaded on Saturday.