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Chelsea 2 - 0 Tottenham


BlueLion.

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Chelsea FC 2 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur

Saturday 12 January 2008, 15:00 KO, Premier League, Matchday 22, Stamford Bridge

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Juliano Belletti and Shaun Wright-Phillips scored spectacular goals as Chelsea registered their fourth Premier League win in five games.

With Arsenal dropping points at home to Birmingham City, it means Chelsea are now four points behind the Premier League leaders Manchester United, who dispatched Newcastle 6-0 at Old Trafford. The debut of new signing Nicolas Anelka was perhaps overshadowed by the brilliant displays of the two goal scorers but the Frenchman impressed as he was denied only by the crossbar in the dieing seconds of the match.

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For the visit of fellow Carling Cup semi-finalists Tottenham Hotspur, Avram Grant was relieved to see Czech Republic goalkeeper Petr Cech returned to the starting line-up. The Chelsea custodian had not featured through injury since the 4-4 draw with Aston-Villa and the defence was further bolstered with the return of Ashley Cole to the starting line-up. Belletti continued at right-back and with Essien and Mikel at the African Cup of Nations, Shaun Wright-Phillips continued in midfield alongside Claude Makelele and captain Michael Ballack. Pizarro was up front as Anelka was poised to make his debut for the Blues from the substitute bench.

The opening stages were fiercely contested as both teams looked for an early advantage. However, the defensive formation of Tottenham - opting to use two anchor midfielders - meant that Chelsea were unable to get a strangle hold on the match.

Yet the game burst into life when Belletti gave Chelsea the opener. The Brazilian was given licence to roam deep into the Tottenham half and with no pressure from the visitor's defence, he rifled the ball from with the outside of his boot from 30 yards. It was a truly spectacular goal which was almost a carbon copy of his first Chelsea goal, away to Wigan Athletic in November. Spurs were forced to drop their defensive approach to the game as they looked for an equaliser. However Tottenham's poor defending had cost them once again, as the simplest of passes from Ashley Cole left Belletti in acres of space.

A comedy moment followed when Kevin Price Boateng seemed to forget what sport he was playing as he wrestled Joe Cole to the ground. A perfectly legal tackle in rugby, he found his name in the referee's notebook. However Aaron Lennon found space down the Tottenham right and his cross to the far post saw Steed Malbranque unmarked, but his volleyed effort was directed too close to Cech and the goalkeeper managed to push the ball away to safety. It was a good save by the Chelsea goalkeeper who was attempting to regain match fitness after nearly three weeks out with injury.

Ballack was offside when he slotted home from Malouda's pass and the German international was well aware as he barely celebrated. But Chelsea were on top at half-time, as the score line suggested.

More of the same followed in the second period as both sides looked to carve out chances. However both defences were well-marshalled and Cech made some excellent catches from Tottenham corners, indicating that the Chelsea goalkeeper's confidence has not been dented following errors in his last few games for the club. Juande Ramos sensibly took Malbranque off as the Frenchman hacked down Malouda but not before he had illegally challenged Shaun Wright-Phillips with studs showing. Nevertheless, the French winger escaped rather fortunately with just a caution.

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Anelka was brought on for the injured Claudio Pizarro with half an hour remaining and almost scored with his first touch - Anelka received the ball inside the box after good play by Wright-Phillips as he cleverly back-heeled the ball back into the danger area. The French striker swivelled and his volley looked destined for the corner, but Radek Cerny produced a fine save to deny the £15 million January transfer from Bolton.

But it was Wright-Phillips who made the game safe with 80 minutes played as he hammered home a shot from the edge of the area. Joe Cole claimed the assist and there was still time for Anelka to have one last effort but his shot hit the crossbar before bouncing away. The striker was unlucky not to cap his debut with a goal, but showed signs of what a promising asset he may prove to be.

______________________________________

Match Fact : Tottenham have not beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the league since 1990 - two years prior to the Premier League's inception.

Chelsea: Cech (6), Belletti (8), Alex (6), Carvalho (6), A.Cole (7), Wright-Phillips (8) (Sidwell (6)), Makelele (7), Ballack (7), Malouda (6) (Bridge (6)), Joe Cole (6) (Sidwell (6)), Pizarro (6) (Anelka (7)).

Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Sahar.

Booked: Makelele, Ballack

Goals: Belletti 19, Wright-Phillips 80

Tottenham: Cerny, Chimbonda, Dawson, King, Lee, Lennon, O'Hara (Defoe 77), Boateng (Kaboul 84), Malbranque (Taarabt 59), Keane, Berbatov.

Subs Not Used: Robinson, Gunter.

Booked: Boateng, Malbranque, O'Hara, Lennon.

Attendance: 41,777

Referee: Alan Wiley

Man of the Match : Shaun Wright-Phillips

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Edited by BlueLion
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Hi

It was so hard to pick a best player as all over the pitch we were on top form , chec , belletti , alex , carvalio , borh coles , swp , maloude , swp , ballack , pizarro

ok we cant have 11 best , but i must say all players had a good day doing there jobs , we were so much stronger all over i could not see them scoring , and they are dangerous with there front line , so for me its belletti , alex , carvalio

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