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Spurs 4 - 4 Chelsea


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Tottenham Hotspur 4 - 4 Chelsea FC

March 19 2008, Premier League, Gameweek 30, White Hart Lane, North London


Robbie Keane's stunning last-minute equaliser denied Chelsea three points in a stunning London derby at White Hart Lane.

Chelsea had taken the lead early on through Didier Drogba and were 3-1 up on the hour mark. However a stunning effort from Tom Huddlestone levelled matters to 3-3 following Dimitar Berbatov's looping header. Joe Cole looked to have settled things with 9 minutes remaining with a thunderous strike from 12 yards, only for Spurs skipper Keane to deny Chelsea the opportunity to go level on points with Arsenal ahead of their much-anticipated encounter on Sunday.

Avram Grant elected to rest Michael Ballack but reinstated Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Essien after the duo were relegated to the bench in their 1-0 victory over Sunderland at the weekend. Spurs fielded the same starting eleven that had beat Chelsea at Wembley in February, and video replays of their cup triumph over their London rivals were shown on the White Hart Lane televisions. However, Didier Drogba silenced the home crowd with just two minutes on the clock.

A surging run from Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien lead to a Chelsea freekick on the edge of the box, which Drogba powered into the wall. However, brilliant work by centre-half John Terry saw the Chelsea captain cross magnificently for Drogba to power home a thunderous header with Paul Robinson stranded. Their lead could have been doubled within four minutes, only for Joe Cole's effort to be deemed offside.

However Jonathon Woodgate restored parity when he headed home on twelve minutes. Jenas supplied the cross and his devilishly whipped freekick was met by Woodgate, who appeared to push his marker Terry to reach the ball first, though the Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini should have done better to deny the scorer of the winning goal in the League Cup Final.

Essien put Chelsea 2-1 ahead on twenty minutes when Joe Cole thread the ball through to Didier Drogba, whose clever flick gave Essien the time and space necessary to delicately lob the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper from 18 yards. A classy finish, Chelsea were almost 3-1 ahead thanks to equally astute footwork.

Kalou went inches wide following brilliant work by the outstanding Joe Cole and Drogba shot wastefully into the midriff of Robinson after Lampard had brilliantly robbed Jenas on the half-way line and found himself unmarked in the penalty area.

The half ended sourly when Ashley Cole dangerously tackled Alan Hutton. The England fullback was late and high and fortunate to escape with just a yellow card after he had chosen to ignore the instructions of referee Mike Riley.

Yet memories of Cole's childish behaviour were soon quashed as Joe Cole put Chelsea in the driving seat. Using his body strength, Cole turned his marker Pascal Chimbonda and powered home. The Spurs goalkeeper was unfortunate as the ball bounced off of his leg and looped into the goal, but the determination the England midfielder demonstrated was worthy of his goal.

Dimitar Berbatov restored hope for the home side when he headed home from 10 yards following a Tom Huddlestone corner and the Bulgarian looked to have earned his side a third goal when his pass found Robbie Keane, only to see the Irishman foiled by the brilliance of Italian Cudicini who pulled off an incredible point-blank save.

Yet it was another set-piece which proved Chelsea's undoing, as Robbie Keane's corner fell generously to Tom Huddlestone who sweetly struck the ball past Cudicini, despite the tight angle and the ball dropping on his unfavoured left foot. Chelsea looked to obtain the initiative again but Essien hit the base of the post with Robinson beaten following a breathtaking Chelsea counter.

Joe Cole was the shining light for Chelsea, and his 81st minute goal looked to have sealed the win for the title-chasing West London outfit. Beating Chimbonda once again, he emphatically beat Robinson from 12 yards with a stunning strike that silenced White Hart Lane.

But if Tottenham's three previous goals were totally unavoidable, their fourth was totally undefendable. A long clearance fortunately bounced off the rear of Ricardo Carvalho who could only watch on as his lack of judgement resulted in a beautiful curling effort from Keane lifting the roof off the stadium.

Berbatov looked certain to claim the match winner in stoppage time following neat work on the edge of the area only to see his strike sensationally saved by Cudicini who denied the Bulgarian with a world class save when one-on-one.

Match Fact : Under José Mourinho, Chelsea conceded 3 or more goals on just two occasions - in Avram Grant's tenure, this has occurred 3 times, and twice in the league.

Tottenham: Robinson (5), Hutton (6), Woodgate (7), King (6) (Bent (5)), Chimbonda (4), Lennon (5), Jenas (7) (Huddlestone (7)), Zokora (7), Malbranque (5), Berbatov (8), Keane (8).

Chelsea: Cudicini (7), Ferreira (5) (Shevchenko (6)), Carvalho (6), Terry (6), Ashley Cole (4), Essien (7), Makelele (7), Lampard (6), Joe Cole (9) (Ballack (6)), Drogba (7), Kalou (6) (Alex (5)).

Attendance: 36,178

Referee: Mike Riley

Man of the Match : Joe Cole


Edited by BlueLion
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Carlo totally saved us at towards the end, Berbatov could have wont it for them. And if we'd have lost...we would have never heard the end of it!

haha...Ashley got a 4. I really hope he plays better v. Arsenal though. If he was riled up at WHL, golly he'll hate it tomorrow.

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