Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spurs Make Chelsea Go all the Way!

What a marvellous game - the neutral will have been enthralled by it and Chelsea supporters will be delighted that they have an opportunity of a replay at WhiteHart lane on Monday week, 19th March. For Spurs although they would have taken that result before the game kicked off, there must be a feeling of disappointment at an opportunity missed.

They played magnificiently in the first half and had Chelsea all over the place and thoroughly deserved their 3-1 half-time lead. Considering the composition of the team, without Robinson, Chimbonda, King, Keane and Jenas, Spurs took the game to Chelsea and scored three great goals. Lennon's through ball gave Berbatov the opportunity for the first, then after Chelsea had equalised, his cross was deflected into his own goal by Essien. To put the icing on the cake for an excellent first half, Ghaly ran through the centre of the Chelsea defence to score the third.

In the second half Spurs had opportunities to add to their goal tally but first Lennon had a shot blocked by Cech when clean through and from the rebound Defoe misheaded from a cross with the goalkeeper out of position. A despairing lunge by Cole put off Defoe, and he could have been penalised for dangerous play.

The departure of Dimitar Berbatov who had given Spurs so much control after 65 minutes with an injury, was the start of the game turning Chelsea's way. Mido couldn't pick up where Berbatov left off and found it difficult to get into the game in a positive way. It was a loose ball from him, in midfield, that led to Chelsea's second goal and this created the momentum for their final surge.

Leenon was replaced by Malbranque and Gardner replaced Ghaly, further surrendering the initiative and Chelsea took their chance. Gardner failed to jump with Drogba who headed the ball across for the equaliser. But even after that Spurs could have won, Defoe hitting the bar with a thunderous shot in the 89th minute.

All the players, led by captain, Michael Dawson, gave everything, total commitment with Zokora and Tainio doing excellent work in central midfield. It was only as tiredness came on following their heavy schedule over recent weeks that Chelsea began to show greater control.

An opportunity missed? Only time will tell but it doesn't matter to Chelsea and their experienced players whether the game is home or away and they will be looking to ensure they don't get caught out again. In situations like this you usually only get one chance and you need to take it.

Spurs may have missed theirs.

Team: Cerny; Stalteri, Dawson (Captain), Rocha, Lee: Ghaly, Zokora, Tainio, Lennon, Berbatov, Defoe. Subs: Burch, Huddlestone, Gardner, Malbranque, Mido.


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