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Spurs,

FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP
SATURDAY 28TH OCTOBER, 2000
CHELSEA 3 (2) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0 (0)

Chelsea scorers:-
Hasselbaink 13(pen), 87
Zola, 39

Referee:- S. Dunn

Attendance:- 34,966

Teams:-
Chelsea (3-5-2):- De Goey; Melchiot, Le Boeuf, Desailly; Ferrer, Dalla Bona, Poyet (sub Flo, 64), Wise, Babayaro; Zola (sub Jokanovic, 68), Hasselbaink

Subs not used:- Cudicini; Bogarde; Morris

Booked:- Le Boeuf, Babayaro

Spurs (4-4-2):- Sullivan; Carr, Vega, Perry, Young; Anderton, Freund (sub Davies, 79), Sherwood, Clemence; Ferdinand, Korsten (sub Doherty, 79)

Subs not used:- Walker; Thelwell, King

Booked:- Anderton, Sherwood, Carr

After dominating Chelsea until going behind to a needless penalty conceded by Ramon Vega, Spurs slumped to their fifth consecutive away league defeat, and back into the bottom half of the league. Sergei Rebrov's thigh strain kept him out of the side, and Willem Korsten got a deserved start, following his four goal display for the reserves this week. Korsten looked the most threatening attacker too, but in truth, Spurs retreated into their shell after a promising start. As anticipated, George Graham played a stock midfield, which played without width. Both Anderton and Sherwood's creative juices were squeezed out by the second half, which was played in a deluge of rain. Neither full back seemed to be allowed to get forward enough, and the statisticians can add yet another game to the long line since Spurs last managed a win against the opposition. (For the record it is 21 games, and ten and a half years. It is also 18 months since Spurs won an away game in London)

Korsten showed his ability on the ball, when he latched onto a glorious long ball from Anderton, and fired a left foot screamer at goal, which De Goey tipped over the bar, after just 4 minutes. Steffen Freund hit a shot wide from the resulting corner. Four minutes later, after a neat exchange with Ferdinand, Korsten was through again, but De Goey managed to save cleanly this time. Then Ramon Vega rose to a long ball through the middle, under challenge from Poyet. Vega's arms were flailing in the air, and he was fairly spotted by referee Dunn, as he handled. Hasselbaink gratefully accepted the chance to put his team ahead with aplomb, as he struck in Sullivan's right corner.

There were few chances thereafter, although both Vega and Clemence had half chances in the Chelsea area. Much of the play was in the middle, an at this stage, Spurs still looked comfortable. An equaliser would not have been an injustice. The best chance came as Desailly lost out to Les Ferdinand on the right bye line. Les cut the ball back for Korsten who miscued, and although Ferdinand picked up the loose ball, he was in an offside position.

Sadly, Chelsea increased their lead too easily, as Hasselbaink headed on a Wise cross from the left, and little Zola got in front of Young (replacing Thatcher) to head home. Zola got on the inside of Young soon after and sent a low ball to Poyet, whose shot was saved by Sullivan.

Spurs just couldn't get it together in the second half, and one wondered what benefit George's half time talk had been. Hasselbaink nearly scored with a cheeky back-heel from a right field cross, but it went straight to Sullivan. Anderton got booked for a foul on the right, and Sullivan could only punch Zola's free kick as far as Melchiot lurking beyond the back post. Sullivan was equal to the return shot.

Although not on top of their game, Chelsea were easily able to cause panic in the Spurs lines. Vega did well to win the ball off Poyet, and made a decent back pass to Sullivan. The goalkeeper's clearance was poor and went straight to the feet of Hasselbaink, who fortunately sent his shot wide.

Korsten was putting himself about a bit in the Chelsea area, and having given both Desailly and Le Boeuf the slip, then caused a degree of mayhem when he followed up a 50-50 ball, and caught De Goey in the head. Korsten was blameless, but the centre backs, especially Le Boeuf were theatrical. A little later Le Boeuf was sent sprawling by a fair Stephen Carr challenge, but went to great pains to let every one know how much his shoulder hurt him! Korsten forced another save from De Goey with a good long range shot through the defensive pack. Le Boeuf got in the ref's book for a foul on Korsten.

Stephen Carr was put under pressure by a poor Anderton pass, and lost out to Hasselbaink. To his credit, Carr chased back, and got in a superb saving tackle. If only the rest of the team showed the spirit of this man! Too often the ball would run into unoccupied territory on the left flank for Spurs, as Clemence seemed to be playing in a similar inside position to Anderton on the right. In fact, at times Steffen Freund was the one providing width on the right. Sherwood had a long range shot just over the bar, after Carr returned a poor Clemence cross into the danger zone. However, that was about it for Spurs. Graham introduced Davies and Doherty with just ten minutes to go. I would also like to make the point that Doherty has spent all season so far playing at the back for the reserves, and yet he appeared today as a substitute attacker. To my mind he also ran around pretty ineffectively too.

Melchiot headed against the post from a Wise cross, and then with three minutes left Hasselbaink wrapped it up with a superb solo effort, as he curled a right foot shot around the defence and inside the left post from fully 28 yards.

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