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Match Reports
Spurs v Chelsea, 27.08.05

My great thanks go to Declan Mulcahy for providing the match report for this game.

SATURDAY 27 AUGUST, 2005, 3:00pm
FA BARCLAYS PREMIERSHIP
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (0) 0 CHELSEA (1) 2

Scorers:-
Del Horno 39,
Duff 71

White Hart Lane, Attendance: 36,077

Referee: Mr Rob Styles (Hampshire), Assistants Mr Guy Beale (Somerset), Mr Bernard Baker (Hampshire), Fourth Official Mr Steve Tanner (Somerset)

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2):
Paul Robinson (Capt); Paul Stalteri, Michael Dawson, Anthony Gardner, Stephen Kelly; Teemu Tainio (Aaron Lennon 45), Michael Carrick, Edgar Davids, Andy Reid; Jerome Defoe, Ahmed Mido Hossam
Subs Not Used: Radek Cerny, Noureddine Naybet, Michael Brown, Robbie Keane
Booked: Anthony Gardner, Andy Reid, Edgar Davids
Sent Off: Ahmed Mido Hossam (25) (violent conduct)

Chelsea (4-5-1):
Petr Cech; Paulo Ferreira, William Gallas, John Terry (capt), Asier Del Horno; Joe Cole (Shaun Wright-Phillips 63), Michael Essien, Claude Makelele, Frank Lampard, Damien Duff (Robert Huth 89); Didier Drogba (Hernan Crespo 67)
Subs Not Used: Carlo Cudicini, Eidur Gudjohnsen
Booked: Michael Essien, Joe Cole, note while not shown in any official statistics it did appear that Didier Drogba and John Terry were both booked.

League Positions: TH: before 2nd, after 4th (provisional, could drop to 6th depending on the outcome of Sunday's games), C: before 1st, after 1st

TH: White shirts with navy sleeves, navy shorts, navy stockings, C: Blue shirts, blue shorts, blue stockings

Managers, TH: Martin Jol, C: Jose Mourinho

Paul Smith last missed a Spurs game against Manchester City at Maine Road in February 2001 when Spurs won 1-0 thanks to a Rebrov goal. Since then he has attended exactly 200 consecutive league and cup games - a magnificent run. He has provided a match report for each of these games for which he is a legend. He misses today's game because of a wedding and I have voluntered to be your humble scribe.

Chelsea have been an unlucky team for Spurs over the last two decades. Tottenham have not beaten Chelsea in a league game at White Hart Lane since Saturday 22 August 1987 when they won 1-0 thanks to a Nico Claesen goal. The last league win was at Stamford Bridge on Saturday 10 February 1990 when Spurs won 2-1 with goals from Howells and Lineker. In the thirty league games since then Spurs have drawn eleven times and lost nineteen. There has only been one FA Cup game during that period when Spurs lost heavily at White Hart Lane in the quarter final in 2002. There have been two league cup ties, In 1990-91 Spurs drew away in the quarter final and then lost at home. In 2001-02 in the semi final Spurs lost away 2-1 and then hammered Chelsea 5-1 at home to progress to the League Cup final. This is the only victory during this sorry chapter.

Both teams have made good starts to the season. Chelsea have won all three games and lead the premiership table. Spurs have won two and drawn one and are in second position. Neither side has conceded a goal, Spurs scoring four and Chelsea six. This then is the background to today's game.

Martin Jol made four changes from the Blackburn game. Michael Carrick, Edgar Davids and Jerome Defoe returned from the bench and Stephen Kelly was also introduced. Robbie Keane and Michael Brown dropped to the bench and Mendes and Edman were excluded altogether. Aaron Lennon was added to the substitutes. For Chelsea Frank Lampard was making his 150th consecutive premiership appearance, a Premiership record and it was Joe Cole's 100th Chelsea appearance.

The game started with a flurry of activity in the Chelsea half. Del Horno was injured defending a Gardner header. Mido made a break from the half way line but shot to the right of the goal. Then Chelsea needlessly conceded a corner and a Dawson free header flashed to the left of the goal. After eleven minutes Drogba was through on Robinson but was ruled offside.

The first moment of controversy came after nineteen minutes. Spurs were attacking and Essien brought down Davids just outside the penalty area. The crowd and the Spurs players appealed for a red card on the grounds that Essien was the last man. However the referee Mr Styles settled for a yellow card. Reid's free kick was blocked.

Chelsea broke immediately with Drogba going down the right. Gardner blocked him and received a yellow card for his pains.

After 24 minutes the controversial incident occurred which changed the game. Mido and Del Horno both jumped for a ball in the Chelsea half. While Mido had an arm raised he certainly did not deliberately elbow Del Horno. Mr Styles saw it differently and instantly pulled out his red card. The Spurs players vigourously protested Mido's innocence but Mr Styles would not be moved. Mido was mortified and walked off with his shirt covering his head.

A couple of minutes later Drogba was through in the Spurs penalty area but was well tackled by Dawson.

Davids and Essien were having a battle in midfield. After a tussle Mr Styles took Essien aside and presumably gave him a final warning after his earlier booking.

Chelsea opened the scoring after 39 minutes. Lampard took a corner from the right. A Chelsea player headed forward and Del Horno had an easy task, unmarked, to nod the ball over the line at the left hand post.

In the final minute of the first half Cech pushed a Carrick free kick wide.

Lennon replaced Tainio after the break. He was soon involved in the action shooting over the bar after a Spurs free kick.

Defoe was lucky not to be booked after following though on Ferreira. From the ensuing free kick Dawson defended strongly from Terry who had to leave the pitch for a couple of minutes with an injury.

Defoe put Lennon through in the penalty area but Terry made a good tackle. Cole was booked for a foul on Kelly before being replaced by Wright-Phillips. The latter gave Kelly a torrid time after coming on. Reid was then booked for dissent after failing to win a free kick.

Crespo replaced Drogba and almost immediately brought a fine reaction save out of Robinson. In an effort to draw level Jol moved Dawson up front for the final quarter of the game.

However the game slipped out of Spurs reach after 71 minutes when Wright-Phillips made a good break down the right. He crossed and Duff mishit the ball but succeeded in putting it in the right corner of the net, wrong footing Robinson. It was an untidy goal.

Spurs kept pressing forward and Dawson headed over from a free kick.

Chelsea had the final two efforts. After 80 minutes Robinson made a good diving save from a Crespo volley set up by Wright-Phillips. With a couple of minutes to go Essien and Crespo played a one-two to send Essien through but Essien shot wide under pressure from Stalteri's tackle.

The game as a spectacle was ruined by the controversial sending off of Mido. Realistically Spurs reduced to one striker and facing the best defence in the league were facing a huge task. I was surprised that Jol did not replace Defoe with Keane in the second half as Defoe faded towards the end.

Overall the result does not reflect Spurs prospects. Spurs played skilful passing football and never gave up. If they can add some luck to the skill and tenacity shown today they should have a good chance of qualifying for Europe this year.

Dawson was a towering presence at the front and the back and was my man of the match. Others who figured prominently were Robinson, Carrick and Davids. Lennon made a big impression after coming on in the second half. He was prepared to run at his man and based on this display may well win a place in the first team.

Chelsea stay on top of the Premiership. Spurs drop from second to fourth and could fall as low as sixth depending on the outcome of Sunday's matches.

There will now be a two week break from the Premiership for World Cup qualifying games. Spurs next game is on Saturday 10 September at home to Liverpool when your regular correspondent Paul Smith will return. Hopefully Spurs will have better luck.

This article is regarded as the copyright of the author - D.C.A. (Declan) Mulcahy. It may not be reproduced on any other website except Spurs Odyssey without express permission of the author.

Read a further report here

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