December 8 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce at White Hart Lane
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Premier League: Tottenham 1 Chelsea 1
Andre Villas-Boas and Jose Mourinho had to settle for a 1-1 draw in today’s London derby at White Hart Lane as John Terry cancelled out Gylfi Sigurdsson’s opener, while Fernando Torres was dismissed late on.
The pre-match build-up had been dominated by Villas-Boas’ meeting with his former boss and mentor Mourinho, and the match did not disappoint.
Spurs dominated the first half and deservedly went into the interval with a 1-0 lead through Sigurdsson’s 19th-minute strike, but Chelsea fought back strongly in the second period and levelled 20 minutes after the break as Terry headed home from half-time substitute Jan Mata’s free-kick.
The Blues’ efforts to come from behind and steal the victory were hampered as the dangerous Torres was sent off for two bookings – both for challenges on Jan Vertonghen – and in the end it was Spurs who were pushing for the winner, but the scores ended level.
Having made eight changes for the trip to Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, Villas-Boas reverted to the side that had started the last Premier League game at Cardiff.
Meanwhile, Mourinho made nine changes from the team that he had put out at Swindon in midweek, with David Luiz and Torres the only players to retain their places.
Chelsea nearly produced an early chance as Eden Hazard beat the offside trap and ran through onto Frank Lampard’s ball over the top, but the Belgian was unable to control it.
His countryman Vertonghen had the next attempt at the other end, heading wide from Christian Eriksen’s cross – but Spurs took the lead with the first effort on target.
The Dane turned away from Lampard to glide into space on the left before playing a square pass in to Roberto Soldado on the edge of the box. The Spaniard’s touch fell kindly for the incoming Sigurdsson, who survived a challenge from Terry before slotting past Petr Cech.
Spurs very nearly doubled their lead four minutes later as the impressive Andros Townsend twisted, turned and played the ball wide to Soldado, who delivered a low cross across the goalmouth. Paulinho seemed set to score at close range but Branislav Ivanovic slid in with a goal-saving challenge, diverting the ball over the bar.
Chelsea were lacking in ideas, trying their luck with a succession of long balls, but they increased the pressure in the closing stages of the half. Hazard’s shot was deflected away for a corner and Tottenham then had to defend a stream of set pieces.
Townsend’s display was marred slightly by a booking for simulation as the winger turned brilliantly away from Ashley Cole on the touchline and then fell over Lampard’s outstretched leg.
However, the lively winger was soon threatening again, receiving Kyle Walker’s audacious backheel and running at the backpedalling Terry before slipping the ball through to Paulinho, who beat Cech but hit the post.
The home side survived a late scare as Terry headed wide from Ramires’ cross, but there was no doubt who was the happier manager as the teams retired to their dressing rooms for the interval.
Mourinho responded with a half-time substitution, replacing John Obi Mikel with Mata, and Chelsea instantly looked much improved, creating an early opening as Torres got free on the right and put in a low cross which was too far in front of the sliding Oscar.
Torres then embarked on a run which took him inside and outside of Michael Dawson and through one-on-one with Hugo Lloris, but the Frenchman rushed off his line to prevent a classy individual goal.
Torres’ pace was presenting a real problem and, soon afterwards, the striker latched onto a ball over the top, chested the ball down and saw Mata take over to finish past Lloris – but the Spaniard had become involved from an offside position and the strike was rightly ruled out.
Lloris was called into action again before the hour-mark, saving Hazard’s low 20-yard effort, but he was powerless to stop the equaliser as Terry headed home from Mata’s free-kick.
There had been a dramatic shift from the first half, with Chelsea dominating in every department and Spurs struggling to keep the ball.
Villas-Boas cut a frustrated figure on the touchline as his side repeatedly gave the ball away – and Chelsea had a good chance to take the lead as substitute Andre Schurrle went through on one with Lloris, being denied by the goalkeeper and then Walker when the rebound fell for him.
Tottenham were hanging on – but the momentum shifted again in the 81st minute as the dangerous Torres was sent off for a second yellow card following an aerial challenge with Vertonghen, having previously been booked for raising his hands to the Belgian.
Suddenly Spurs were on the front foot and, having come off the bench, Jermain Defoe got a brief sight of goal, testing Cech with a low effort.
Sigurdsson nearly became a hero as his 25-yard volley whistled narrowly wide of the top left corner, but there was to be no winner.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Naughton, Paulinho, Dembele, Townsend (Chadli 62), Eriksen (Holtby 70), Sigurdsson, Soldado (Defoe 76)
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Mikel (Mata 45), Ramires, Lampard, Oscar (Azpilicueta 83), Hazard (Schurrle 69), Torres