Monday, September 20, 2004

Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham - Match Report

Chelsea failed to close the gap on leaders Arsenal as Tottenham continued their fine start to the season. Spurs gave a prodigious defensive display, with Nourredine Naybet and Ledley King outstanding at the back.

When Chelsea did breach the Spurs defence they were thwarted by Paul Robinson, who twice rushed out to deny Didier Drogba and Eidur Gudjohnsen.

But Chelsea keeper Petr Cech made the save of the game, somehow tipping over the bar a Robbie Keane header.

Having failed to score in their last two league games, Chelsea remain two points behind Arsenal at the top of the table.

Spurs continue to go from strength-to-strength under new manager Jacques Santini - and this was a performance of the highest order.

Jose Mourinho threw on Damien Duff and Mateja Kezman to try and snatch the elusive goal but by withdrawing Joe Cole, the Chelsea coach deprived his team of their most creative player.

Chelsea forced three corners in the opening two minutes, Gudjohnsen and Ricardo Carvalho going close with a couple of headers.

Robinson had misjudged the flight of Frank Lampard's corner for the Gudjohnsen chance but he was quickly to make amends.

Gudjohnsen released Drogba with a perceptive pass that cut out the Spurs defence only for Robinson to rush out to beat the Ivory Coast international to the ball.

Working behind Droga and Gudjohnsen, Cole enjoyed a productive game for Chelsea and time and again he threatened to unlock the Spurs defence.

The Chelsea midfielder nearly freed Gudjohnsen twice and Cole himself then weaved his way into the Spurs box with a penetrating run.

Spurs did manage to halt Cole run's but the ball ran to Tiago, who scuffed his shot.

Just before the interval, Robinson was quick off his line again to deny Drogba following an intricate Chelsea move and a fine Lampard pass.

Spurs were more timid as an attacking force in the opening half, their best outlet some forceful running from Thimothee Atouba.

Just after the interval Spurs had their first clear sight of goal when Keane was denied by Cech's reaction save after Carvalho misjudged a Simon Davies cross.

Chelsea's Czech goalkeeper also had to scamper across his line quickly to parry a Jamie Redknapp shot following a Spurs corner.

As Chelsea redoubled their attacking efforts, Robinson had to come to side's rescue again, pushing away a Lampard free-kick that the Spurs goalkeeper saw very late as it came to him through a crowded penalty area.

In a frantic finale, Gudjohnsen hit the post, although if the ball had gone in the goal would not have stood as Drogba was in an offside position.

And King made one final last-ditch clearance as Drogba bore down on goal to ensure Spurs claimed a thoroughly deserved point.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Bridge (Smertin 85), Tiago (Kezman 66), Lampard, Makelele, Cole (Duff 66), Drogba, Gudjohnsen.
Subs Not Used: Pidgeley, Gallas.

Booked: Smertin.

Tottenham: Robinson, Naybet, King, Edman, Pamarot, Atouba (Brown 74), Redknapp, Pedro Mendes, Davies, Defoe (Kanoute 86), Keane.
Subs Not Used: Keller, Mabizela, Gardner.

Booked: King, Redknapp.

Att: 42,246


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