Tottenham and Chelsea meet for the first time since Andre Villas-Boas has taken over as Head Coach at White Hart Lane. This time last year he was managing Chelsea but was sacked in March. This game is the ‘big’ one for Villas-Boas as he looks to take revenge on his former employers and proving a point to them by overseeing a Tottenham success. Chelsea are currently top of the Premier League, they remain undefeated this season having dropped only two points in a scoreless draw against Queen’s Park Rangers at Loftus Road in mid-September. Chelsea will be without John Terry who starts his four match ban imposed by the Football Association for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand last season.
Tottenham’s Home League record against Chelsea (inc. PL)
P 64 W 24 D 18 L 22 For 103 Ag 93
Premier League Record at White Hart Lane
P 20 W 3 D 8 L 9 For 20 Ag 34
It is well documented that Spurs’ record against Chelsea in the Premier League era is poor, so I don’t intend to dwell on that and will focus on the recent years since November, 2006 which has seen Tottenham overcome their Chelsea hoodoo at the Lane.
Nov. 2006 PL Won 2 – 1 Dawson, Lennon
Chelsea took the lead after fifteen minutes but Michael Dawson equalised from a free-kick ten minutes later, his first Tottenham goal. Seven minutes into the second half, Aaron Lennon put Spurs ahead after good work on the left by Robbie Keane. John Terry was sent off with eighteen minutes remaining and Spurs held out for their first victory over Chelsea in nineteen years.
Mar. 2008 PL Draw 4 – 4 Woodgate, Berbatov, Huddlestone, Keane
Chelsea were ahead after three minutes through Drogba but Jonathan Woodgate equalised after twelve. Essien restored the visitors’ lead after twenty minutes and Joe Cole increased it early in the second half. Ten minutes later Dimitar Berbatov reduced the lead and Tom Huddlestone equalised with thirteen minutes left. Cole added his second, three minutes later to restore Chelsea’s advantage, only for Robbie Keane to score with two minutes left with a beautiful curled shot. With the match in added time, Berbatov missed an opportunity to snatch victory for Spurs.
Mar. 2009 PL Won 1 – 0 Modric
A well struck shot from Luka Modric, set up by Aaron Lennon, early in the second half gave Spurs the three points. It was a great team effort with Heurelho Gomes making a number of crucial saves as the game drew to a close.
Apr. 2010 PL Won 2 – 1 Defoe (pen), Bale
A week earlier Spurs had lost to Portsmouth in the FA Cup semi-final but had beaten Arsenal at the Lane three days later as their renewed drive for Champions League football got underway. Spurs had the perfect start with a Defoe penalty after fifteen minutes. They doubled their lead a minute from the interval through Gareth Bale who left his defender trailing before scoring past Cech. Chelsea’s goal came in the final minute from Frank Lampard.
Dec. 2010 PL Draw 1 – 1 Pavlyuchenko
Michael Dawson returned for this game, having been absent since September with injury. Roman Pavlyuchenko put Spurs ahead after fifteen minutes from a Jermain Defoe cross. Tottenham held the early ascendancy but in the second half the introduction of Didier Drogba gave the visitors some inspiration and he equalised with twenty minutes remaining, when Dawson slipped as he challenged and Gomes allowed a fierce drive which was straight at him, go into the net. Spurs avoided defeat in the final minute when Gomes redeemed himself by saving a Drogba penalty which he had conceded.
Dec. 2011 PL Draw 1- 1 Adebayor
Played on the Thursday before Christmas, Spurs started the better and went ahead through Emmanuel Adebayor. A loss of concentration defensively gifted the visitors a goal scored by Sturridge midway through the first half. This revitalised Chelsea and Spurs could never regain the control and momentum with which they had started the match. Spurs, though had a goal disallowed when Adebayor was incorrectly adjudged off-side and it took a last ditch goal line clearance by John Terry to deny Adebayor in the final moments of added time. Spurs remained in third place, two points above Chelsea.
It was Andre Villas-Boas‘ birthday earlier in the week and a win over Chelsea would be the perfect belated birthday present for him.