Tottenham won their first point of the season at the expense of Chelsea’s 100% record after drawing 1-1 at Stamford bridge with last years Champions league and Premiership runners-up.
Chelsea were on the attack for most of the match but Tottenham’s defence held strong and they always looked dangerous on the counter, largely due to David Bentley and an improved Luka Modric. Chelsea seemed under-par and appeared frustrated throughout most of the match as they chased an elusive second goal.
Their first came from a corner-kick, after Michael Essien went close; Gomes was beaten, alas, the bar denied Essien. Darren Bent failed to clear the corner and his horrible sliced clearence hit the knee of Belletti, who then saw the ball bounce into the net.
However Bent quickly made up for his blunder. Modric was dribbling to the Chelsea goal when Lampard ran out to tackle him. Lampard made contact with the ball, which flew back to the Chelsea box. Bent latched on and hit a wonderful, curling low shot under Petr Cech, who wasn’t off his line quick enough. A stroke of luck maybe?
Chelsea should really have been 3-0 up within half an hour. As earlier mentioned, Essien had hit the bar and Anelka wasted a great chance from 12 yards. Lampard also had a great chip saved by a back-peddling Gomes. New Chelsea gaffer Scolari will be relieved when Drogba comes back, as Anelka really didn’t play well as a lone striker. Kalou came off the bench later, but after being linked with fellow Londoners Arsenal, will he stay? It seems that Chelsea could really use transfer target Robinho at the minute.
The second half was releatively mediocre, with both sides struggling to launch any decent attacks. Spurs seemed happy with a point, and Chelsea seemed rather tired and woebegone. Ramos reshuffled the Spurs pack around the 60 minute mark with Lennon, Huddlestone and O’Hara coming on for Giovani, Gunter and Bentley. Chelsea also made some changes; Malouda, Kalou and Di Santo replaced J Cole, Belletti and Anelka but still a winner evaded them.
In fact Spurs looked like they could have snatched a winner on a couple of occasions. Huddlestone had a good shot blocked by (who else?) John Terry and David Bentley having a number of corners headed away. However Spurs weren’t after the 3 points and would have been very happy with the point they took away.
The biggest off the pitch talking point regarded, once again, sulky Bulgarian Dimitar Berbatov. Juande Ramos decided to leave him out of the Spurs squad entirely which increased speculation regarding his future. It is believed that Manchester United are about to offer Tottenham £26mil plus Frazier Campbell for Dimitar Berbatov. However Ramos needs to make his mind up quickly as the window closes tonight. Surely it’s better to take £26mil for a player you’re not prepared to play? Plus we could get more then the £30mil we wanted for Berba if we sell him to United for £26mil, and then sell Campbell to Hull for £7mil. Thats £3mil more then we wanted!
So Spurs have finally opened their 2008/2009 account. It took 3 games and all of August to do it but we finally got there. Come on you Spurs!
Att: 41, 790
Chelsea: Cech, Belletti (Kalou 75), Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Bosingwa, Essien, Lampard, Joe Cole (Malouda 65), Deco, Anelka (Di Santo 88).
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Bridge, Ferreira, Alex.
Booked: Deco, Joe Cole, Bosingwa.
Goals: Belletti 28.
Tottenham: Gomes, Zokora, Woodgate, King, Gunter (Huddlestone 62), Bentley (O’Hara 72), Jenas, Modric, Bale, Giovani (Lennon 59), Bent.
Subs Not Used: Cesar, Gilberto, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto.
Goals: Bent 45.
(my) MAN OF THE MATCH: HEURELHO GOMES (closely followed by John Terry and Didier Zokora)
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