Chelsea (Away)
Premier League

Sunday 31st August 2008


Two losses to start off with is not the start Tottenham supporters were looking for.  Facing Chelsea on the back of those two games and with the Pensioners being 100% without a goal conceded is not what we would really have wanted in our third match.

The lack of potency upfront means that Spurs will struggle, especially as Chelsea haven't lost at home for a million years.  Having added Deco to the Blues squad, new boss Phil Scolari will be hoping that Robinho will soon join him, but it might be after Sunday's match, so that is something to be grateful for.

The Tottenham defence looks shaky in front of Heurelho Gomes and the midfield looks light-weight, so the proposed signing of Veloso from Sporting Lisbon might stiffen things up a bit, but that is for the future.  What we need now, is the existing midfield to work hard and use the ball well when we have it.  The Chelsea full backs will try and push on and it will require Lennon and Bentley to track back, but more importantly to push on and restrict the home team's defenders the opportunity to get forward.

With defender Jose Bosingwa settling in well at full back and with Shevchenko, Wright-Phillips and Makelele all having gone, the side will be a different proposition from last season.  With Tottenham having earned a late point at the Lane and beaten Chelsea in the League Cup final, they will be looking for revenge too.  It might be a more fluent side to watch than under the previous regimes at the club, who seemed happy to grind out wins without using the side's abilities to the maximum.

Spurs will need to apply the same tactics that have been used on them in the first two games, with plenty of effort put in to close down the Chelsea men on the ball and off it.  I am not sure the team is ready to do this across the pitch, with our previous at the Bridge leading me to think that we will not return with anything ... it might be a question of how many unfortunately.

PREDICTION : -  Chelsea  3   Tottenham Hotspur   0

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.


CHELSEA :  -  Didier Drogba (knee); - (-); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Alan Hutton (foot); - (-); - (-); 


Setanta Sports 1 -  - (live coverage)
Sky Sports 1 -  Football First  -  Saturday 20.25
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.35 - 23.35 (highlights)
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
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If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
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Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
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Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Chelsea   1   Tottenham Hotspur    1      (Half-time score : 1-1)

Premier League
Venue : -  Stamford Bridge
Sunday 31st August 2008
Kick Off :  13.30 p.m.
Crowd :   41,790
Referee :  Howard Webb (Yorkshire)
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Warm, sunny
Teams : - 
Chelsea :

  1  Cech

  3  A. Cole
26  Terry (c)
  6  Carvalho
17  Bosingwa     

35  Belletti (21  Kalou 76)
  5  Essien
10  J. Cole      (15  Malouda 66     )
  8  Lampard
20  Deco

39  Anelka (  9  Di Santo 89)

Unused subs: 
23  Cudicini
33  Alex
18  Bridge
19  Ferreira

Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

16  Gunter (  6  Huddlestone 62)
26  King
39  Woodgate
  3  Bale

  5  Bentley (24  O'Hara 72)
  8  Jenas
14  Modric
17  Dos Santos (
  7  Lennon 59)
  4  Zokora

10  Bent

Unused subs: 
21  Sanchez
32  Assou-Ekotto
20  Dawson
11  Gilberto

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  

Belletti 27

Tottenham Hotspur

Bent 45

Cards : -  

Deco (foul) 10
J. Cole (foul) 45
Bosingwa (foul) 86  


Tottenham Hotspur 




Match Report : -  
Few things are certain in life, but the likelihood of Tottenham Hotspur doing anything that you think they will remains one of life's great surprises.  With the early season form and history not favouring them, they managed to leave Stamford Bridge with a point from a 1-1 draw against Chelsea. 

With Berbatov giving Spurs a taste of what the future will be like without him, the side lined up once more with only Darren Bent up front and a five man midfield given the job of supporting him and stopping the Chelsea midfield dominating the match.  It was added to by the selection of Chris Gunter at right back and Didier Zokora's move back to his midfield role, where he put in a fine performance.

When the play started, Lampost hit a shot well off target before hitting Zokora with a late tackle, which all normal players would have been given a yellow card for.  Gomes made a fine backwards leap to tip the ball over the bar, when Lampost chipped him from outside the area.

Spurs hit back in the fifth minute, with a neat bit of skill by Luka Modric, who slipped the ball between Ashley Cole's legs, fed Gareth Bale and the ball was moved through Giovani to draw the ball back for Darren Bent, but his shot was touched wide off a defender's leg.  Deco was the first into the ref's notebook, after he fouled Giovani, who got past him.

Nicolas Anelka had a chance in the 20th minute, when the ball dropped to him from a corner, but he failed to get his effort on target and it was the French forward, five minutes later, who nipped between King and Woodgate, but with only Gomes to beat, he thrashed at the ball and it flew over the top.  A minute later, Chelsea came even closer to scoring.  After walking through two Spurs challenges, Michael Essien smashed a shot that bounced back off the bar and it was cleared by Jonathan Woodgate for a corner, but complaints were made to the officials that there was an offside when Essien shot.

From that contested corner, the first goal came.  It came in low and Bent went to clear it, but only succeeded in slicing the ball, straight onto Belletti, who the loose ball hit on it's way into the net to make it 1-0 to the home side.

When Zokora was hacked down by Joe Cole, it was a second yellow card for Chelsea and a minute after that, in added time at the end of the first half, the scores were levelled by an opportunistic Darren Bent strike.  Modric was competing for the ball with Lampost, who managed to deflect the ball into the path of Bent, who took the ball and slipped it through Cech's legs to make the half-time score 1-1.

After the break, the early chance again came to Chelsea and Ashley Cole struck a low ball across the face of goal with pace, Deco hit a shot wide and Lampard tried his one-trick chip that went over. Amongst this Carvalho was forced to mis-kick a Bale cross that could have gone anywhere, but went off for a corner.  While Tottenham had their fair share of possession after the hour mark, they failed to do much with it and left the ball for Cech and his defenders to pick off from crosses.

It is interesting what Chelsea get away with, as Modric was "eased" off the ball with John Terry's chest and arm and what Bosingwa must have felt after getting a caution for his foul on Bale, which was deserved but a lesser offence than his captain's, albeit a cynical trip on Bale as he burst past him.  On the ball, Anelka hit one wide and then Tottenham played some good possession football, but failed to find the killer pass at the end of it.  With time going over the 90 minutes, Lampost crumpled far too easily as Woodgate challenged him and Essien was well-positioned, but hit his shot wide.

At the end of the game, a draw was probably the right result.  Spurs had defended in numbers for a lot of the second half, which is a tactic that has often allowed the other side to build pressure and score a late winner.  As it was, Woodgate's towering performance was enough to keep Chelsea at bay and the players put in a good amount of effort to thwart Chelsea's attacking intent.

Is this the start of a recovery of form ?  Is this the first of a new standard of performance in what must soon be the post-Berbatov era ?  Has Ramos got plans to change the way we play when Pavlyuchenko is available and any of the new players who will be coming in over the next 48 hours ?  I hope so.

By the time we play Villa, it could be a very different looking team that takes to the field in lilywhite shirts.





Reaction : -



Read Wyart Lane's match report of Chelsea match at the Times Fanzine Fanzone by clicking here.


Other scores this weekend :
Arsenal 3 Newcastle United 0 Saturday
Bolton Wanderers 0 West Bromwich Albion 0 Saturday
Everton 0 Portsmouth 3 Saturday
Hull City 0 Wigan Athletic 5 Saturday
Middlesbrough 2 Stoke City 1 Saturday
West Ham United 4 Blackburn Rovers 1 Saturday
Aston Villa 0 Liverpool 0 Sunday
Sunderland 0 Manchester City 3 Sunday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 3 2 1 0 6 1 7 +5
2 Liverpool 3 2 1 0 3 1 7 +2
3 Manchester City 3 2 0 1 8 4 6 +4
4 Arsenal 3 2 0 1 4 1 6 +3
5 West Ham United 3 2 0 1 6 5 6 +1
6 Middlesbrough 3 2 0 1 5 4 6 +1
7 Aston Villa 3 1 1 1 6 5 4 +1
8 Bolton Wanderers 3 1 1 1 3 2 4 +1
9 Manchester United 2 1 1 0 2 1 4 +1
10 Newcastle United 3 1 1 1 2 4 4 -2
11 Blackburn Rovers 3 1 1 1 5 7 4 -2
12 Hull City 3 1 1 1 3 7 4 -4
13 Wigan Athletic 3 1 0 2 6 3 3 +3
14 Fulham 2 1 0 1 2 2 3 0
15 Stoke City 3 1 0 2 4 5 3 -1
16 Everton 3 1 0 2 4 6 3 -2
17 Portsmouth 3 1 0 2 3 5 3 -2
18 Sunderland 3 1 0 2 2 5 3 -3
19 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 0 1 2 3 5 1 -2
20 West Bromwich Albion 3 0 1 2 1 3 1 -2


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