5th November, 2006
A day to remember for Tottenham as they brought to an end their length run without a win over Chelsea.
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Chelsea 1
Scorers: Dawson, Lennon
Team: Robinson; Chimbonda, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto; Ghaly, Jenas, Zokora, Lennon; Berbatov, Keane (Defoe)
What a match! What a performance! What a result!
Spurs thoroughly deserved to take the three points against Chelsea – the first time they have achieved that in a League game at White Hart Lane since Nico Claesen’s winner in August, 1987.
At last, three points from Chelsea – the jinx had been broken and also that of not defeating one of the top four clubs, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool or Chelsea. Spurs could now move on – they showed that they were capable of taking on and defeating the top sides. Previously, that season Spurs had kept their best displays for European games but they matched Chelsea, took all that they could through at them and returned it with interest and came out triumphant.
Both teams started brightly at a high tempo which was maintained throughout as the game flowed from end to end. Chelsea took a slight initiative after Pascal Chimbonda was injured and while he was off getting treatment, they started to exert more pressure. Spurs defended strongly but while Chimbonda was recovering, Robben broke clear and only a last ditch tackle prevented him from scoring. From the corner, Chelsea scored through a rare goal from Makelele struck from the edge of the box.Spurs took time to recover but they gradually started to exert more pressure and from a Jermaine Jenas free kick, Michael Dawson scored his first goal for Spurs. A deserved equaliser as Spurs showed they weren’t going to lie down for Chelsea.
After half time the game continued from end to end and with Robbie Keane taking up positions wide on the left he put in a cross which Aaron Lennon controlled and hit home to put Spurs ahead with over forty minutes remaining.
Two superb goals to put Spurs ahead and as Chelsea became more frantic John Terry was sent off for two bookings and played the last half hour with ten men.
Chelsea continued to build up the pressure but Spurs held firm and again Keane created havoc on the left creating an opening for Berbatov who missed his chance. While Chelsea attacked, Spurs still took the game to them and put them under pressure from set plays. Chelsea’s best chance came with minutes left when Robben’s shot hit the outside of the post. It would have been very harsh on Spurs if they had conceded so late on.
Spurs deserved to win and it was no backs to the wall performance – they competed with Chelsea throughout the game and created chances themselves. Chelsea played well but Spurs did better. There was a belief in the Spurs’ players that they could win and they were rewarded for all their hard work.
Graham Poll refereed very fairly – he wasn’t intimidated by Chelsea players pressurising him and he allowed the game to flow but booked players as was required.
Martin Jol had the team well prepared and motivated for the game and tactically they matched Chelsea and went on to record a great win.
Heroes – every one of them.