The inability to hold on to what you have, again proved costly for Spurs at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea took the lead after a quatrer of an hour when Carrick payed a poor pass across in front of the defence and when it was intercepted it allowed the ball to be squared for Essien to score. Jermain Jenas scored when a free kick from Carick which was headed into his path by Dawson.
Having equalised on the stroke of half-time, Spurs held on during the second half with Robinson making a number of important saves and could even have gone ahead if Jenas had done better when through on goal. However, they looked to have secured what would have been considered a 'bonus' point in their quest for European football next season, only for Gallas to score a late winner in injury time, with a great shot, following a poor clearance from Stalteri.
Spurs, for the sixth time this season have conceded a late, late goal which has proved costly in both League and Cup competitions. Late goals at Grimsby and Leicester saw them depart the Cup competitions at the round of entry and the four League games have cost them a total of 6 points.
- Draw at home to West Ham - 1-1 (2 points lost)
- Defeat at Fulham 0-1 (1point dropped)
- Draw at Sunderland 1-1 (2 points lost)
- Defeat at Chelsea 1-2 (1 point lost)
If they had held on in those games, Spurs would be sitting very comfortably and securely in a Champions League place. There is a lack of concentration in those final moments, an inability to close a game down and play out the last minutes in a non-threatening part of the pitch.
Their poor record against Chelsea continues for another season and the defeat by another of the top sides is caused yet again by a mistake leading to a goal being conceded. Against Arsenal and United, mistakes by Robinson gave them vital goals and now Carrick with a careless pass and Stalteri, not for the first time recently, has made a poor clearance late on in the game and it has resulted in a goal being given away and points being dropped.
The players will have to stand up and show their worth from now to the end of the season, if Spurs are not to squander their best opportunity of European football for a long, long time - and I'm not just referring to a place in the Champions League competition, it will require a mammoth effort to avoid missing out on the UEFA Cup as well.
Ther MUST be a leader on the pitch who will take control and shake people up if they are not producing what is required. A critical few weeks lie ahead for Martin Jol and the players.