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Kalou winner seals controversial Blues victory


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Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham

Saturday 30 April 2011 - Stamford Bridge

3303096614-30042011185050.jpg Frank Lampard and Salomon Kalou netted in contentious fashion as Chelsea came from behind to beat Tottenham to keep the Premier League title race alive.

With Manchester United not in action until Sunday afternoon in a top-of-the-table contest at the Emirates against Arsenal, the opportunity to close the gap on the league leaders to three points was duly taken by Carlo Ancelotti's charges - but it was not without difficulty or controversy that the Blues were able to tighten their grip on second place and put the pressure firmly on Sir Alex Ferguson's men.

After a disastrous winter capitulation that even now still looks to have undermined a shot at the Premier League crown, Ancelotti's men have still thrown themselves back into semi-contention with just three games remaining - and a clash with United at Old Trafford could potentially see Chelsea go full-circle and amend their mid-season self-destruction by improbably clawing back a eleven-point deficit.

Such talk is still premature, however, with the much-fancied Red Devils likely to put Arsenal firmly in their place this afternoon, but in a wonderfully unpredictable season, it may yet be unreasonable to absolutely write off any harbouring hopes Chelsea have of retaining their title - either way, they took a giant stride towards setting up a Judgement Day finale at Old Trafford next weekend thanks to a contentious brace of goals, including an 89th-minute winner from substitute Salomon Kalou in front of the Matthew Harding Stand.

Chelsea's plans were blown out of the water after a promising start when Brazilian midfielder Sandro hooked an unstoppable half-volley beyond Petr Cech from fully 35 yards - a true bolt from the blue - but Lampard levelled on the stroke of half-time when his shot was spilt seemingly over the line by Heurelho Gomes. The home fans behind the goal were predictably adamant that the ball had crossed the full width of the line but the Spurs players were understandably incensed as replays suggested the whole of the ball had not crossed the entirety of the line.

It would perhaps be an exaggeration to say Chelsea fans may have sympathised with their North London counterparts after the infamous Ghost Goal at Anfield just under six years ago, yet memories of Florent Malouda's goal-that-wasn't in the 2009 FA Cup final and Lampard's own effort for England in last summer's entirely forgettable World Cup suggest that Chelsea were owed one by the footballing Gods - or, more specifically, the officials.

But whilst the debate raged on whether the goal should have been given or not, Chelsea were able to compose themselves best after the break and they eventually got the winning goal their attacking endeavours had warranted when substitute Kalou prodded home a pass from Didier Drogba inside the penalty area - but further woe for Tottenham came when replays suggested that the Ivorian forward was marginally offside as he converted his 13th goal of a productive season in front of goal.

Chelsea signalled their intent with a barnstorming start that brought the best out of Gomes - first Drogba's magnificent free-kick from fully 30 yards was fingertipped onto the woodwork by the stretching Brazilian, before he made slightly more comfortable saves from Michael Essien and then Florent Malouda; the latter of whom should perhaps have done better when working a yard or two of space considering his recent goalscoring form.

Gomes was again to frustrate Chelsea when he palmed over an Essien header as Chelsea sought to exploit makeshift left-back Vedran Corluka. Drogba was enjoying a fully efficient afternoon in a less-familiar role - on the right-hand-side of a front two - but with a dynamic, ever-changing midfield quartet of Malouda, Lampard, Essien and Mikel all venturing forwards, containing the Chelsea engine was proving a difficult task for the Tottenham rearguard and Drogba was following suit with some impressive, confounding movement.

Under immense pressure, the only Spurs out-ball was Roman Pavlyuchenko, who had already flashed an effort well wide of Petr Cech's upright, but after some more desperate last-ditch defending, the visitors were able to open the scoring against the run of play through an unlikely source. Winning a throw-in, player of the year Gareth Bale found signing of the year Rafael van der Vaart, and the Dutchman teed up his team-mate, who spectacularly beat Cech from distance with a swerving effort that may or may not have just brushed the head of Luka Modric on the way through.

Tottenham had earned themselves a lead their attacking play did not at all warrant, and Harry Redknapp - knowing a win and only a win would be enough to continue his side's dogged pursuit of Manchester City for Champions League football next term - was demanding more defensive rigidity from his under-pressure back four.

Such is the life of a goalkeeper, that after a string of excellent saves, a mistake or two can absolutely crush any confidence you may have. Playing with a smile one moment, Heurelho Gomes, suddenly, was looking the liability he was when he first came to English football, as opposed to the shot-stopping supremo that had denied the Blues with a handful of fine saves. The first error nearly gifted Chelsea a goal - the second error certainly did. Or at least it appeared to. First he wondered off his line and was nowhere to be seen as Fernando Torres just failed to convert a Drogba flick-on from Malouda's corner. The second error, however, was a far more punitive howler.

Drogba won the ball out wide as the half drew to a close, and passed to Lampard. Sensing an opportunity, the England star hit a dipping effort goalwards that Gomes should have collected. Instead, the ball trickled through the Brazilian and seemingly over the line. The goal was given - perhaps wrongly - but even so, Chelsea had the equaliser they deserved after totally dominating the first half. Tottenham were understandably aggrieved, but it was their frustration which was eventually to get the better of them.

Chelsea came out for the second half a team full of purpose; revitalised by a fortuitous moment of embarrassingly poor goalkeeping and equally insufficient officiating. With the cry for goal-line technology again coming to the fore, Tottenham came out a side angered and frustrated - contrasting with Chelsea's composure and quiet confidence.

An early signal of intent saw Malouda bring a low stop from Gomes from a tight angle, and the goalkeeper then caught a Drogba cross to ironic jeers from the crowd. Ancelotti then brought on Ramires and with him a switch in the system, with 4-3-3 preferred to the 4-4-2 system which Chelsea were starting to show signs of warming to in the first period. Immediately, the pressure was cranked up as Drogba drifted out into the wide right position before reverting to the centre when the ineffective Torres was replaced by Kalou.

Such a change brought about angered cries from the Stamford Bridge faithful, who had cheered so vociferously when el Nino netted his first Blues goal last weekend. It was to be the switch that won the game, however. Chelsea were in the ascendancy and Kalou might have netted with his first touch as Gomes - evidently 'shitting it' - elected to push a dangerous Drogba effort right back into the path of the advancing Blues forwards. Such an opportunity came too soon, unfortunately, and the ball merely hit Kalou before he could adjust.

Moments later the referee was again at the centre of another questionable call, this time inside the area, as he clearly suggested Younes Kaboul had won the ball - as opposed to scything the Frenchman down ten yards out with just Gomes to beat, which replays indicated.

The Blues continued to up the pressure, and Lampard twice fired wide when well-placed before a superb chance fell to quintuple centurion and Chelsea captain John Terry. Winning a dangerous free-kick out wide, Drogba, instead of firing the ball in at pace, played a slide-rule pass to Terry's feet, but the Blues captain could only scuff the ball goalwards and Gomes collected. With that, the best chance of securing three points seemed to have evaporated.

However, there was to be a final - again contentious - say from the Chelsea strikeforce. Drogba burst into the area with just over the minute left, and though substitute Nicolas Anelka inadvertedly forced him wide, Drogba was able to cut inside and get a scuffed shot away. Instead, it formed the perfect pass to Kalou, who poked the ball into the bottom corner despite being half a yard offside when the ball was played to him. Chelsea had been given another one by the football powers above - a marked change from being done by incompetent officials and the general element of bad luck which plagued the side from a good portion of the season.

A fortuitous win, but a win nonetheless, means the title race still has a final straight to navigate for Manchester United - and Chelsea have the bit firmly between the teeth.


Chelsea (4-4-2) - Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry ©, Cole; Essien (Ramires 56), Mikel, Lampard, Malouda (Anelka 72); Torres (Kalou 62), Drogba.

Tottenham (4-4-1-1) - Gomes; Kaboul, Dawson ©, Gallas, Corluka (Pienaar 77); Lennon, Modric, Sandro, Bale; Van der Vaart (Jenas 84); Pavlyuchenko (Defoe 57).

The TalkChelsea.net man of the match was Chelsea's number 11, Didier Drogba- involved in everything good about the Blues, Drogba was a consistent thorn in the side for Tottenham wherever he was played. These two assists may well prove the cornerstone of an unlikely push for the title...

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I've not read anyone else's thoughts on the Gomez Adams the circus clown goal,but IMO that was definately a goal. The vast majority of that ball crossed the line,if we're going by the whole of the ball crossing the line then what if one milimetre of the ball hadn't crossed the line,it's just wrong.

Very silly rule,it should be the centre of the ball crossing the line,which in this case it more than did.

Can't believe people are saying this definately isn't a goal,yet the ghost goal against us people seemed not sure.

Definately a goal when I first saw it I thought what the hell is Harry moaning about and still do now,plus we should have had a peno and Kalou was offside very marginally but I thought strikers were to be given the benfit of the doubt in those positions anyway,in a rule brought in about 10 years ago.

Technically the last player to get the touch on the ball scores the goal,meaning Gomez is one of the premierships all time leading goal scorers by now.

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Nice account there.

About time we had some luck as well blue%20scalf.gif-and who better to get it against than the yids. Yes, the yids.

Saw a bird with Yiddo on the back of her shirt, and some were shouting ''Yid army''. A washed up nobody like Baddiel who was never a 'comedian' anyway, has tooo much time on his hands. I will call them the yids until they stop calling themselves the yids.

Isnt it homophobic of them to call us rent boys ?? What about the cottagers ? Sheepshaggers ? Munichs?

Baddiel is doing a bit of 'notice me', and is trying something else as attention seeking. He did more to ruin ''footy'' as he used to call it with that brummy cunt Skinner than any terrace chant..

Right just realised I'm ranting now -well done Alex young man !

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You gotta admit that Sando's goal was a cracker, one of the best in this season.

The yesterday's game proved me wrong, twice :lol: Firstly I said loud that Gomes would be world-class against us once again and then that Kalou and Anelka wouldn't be such a quality subs. Ooops. I am so happy to be so wrong :D

Brilliant reading Alex, to recap this win in the morning is always great :yes:

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I was quite alarmed in this game if I'm honest. Concern about Torres' role in the squad.. I just don't know how he's going to fit in now. Drogba is coming back to form so quickly & 4-3-3 seems to be the only thing that works. I think we all know what that mean.. Drogba will be sold. Shame turn of events.

Good report as usual %28Y%29.gif

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I forgot to mention one thing - I really love our sliding tackles, they are tough but almost always clean. Especially Lampard does it so well, but Terry, Ramires and even Torres, it is great to see it. At least me, I am enjoying it.

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Love reading your reports after important wins :D

Feel a bit sorry for Spurs, we'd be ranting mad if either of those had been given against us.

Mikel was our best player, but MOTM would be Sandro for me, he was exceptional, even without the goal.

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