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Spurs v Chelsea, 16.09.01

FA BARCLAYCARD PREMIERSHIP
SUNDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER, 2001
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 (0) CHELSEA 3 (1)

Spurs scorer:-
Sheringham (2), 66, 90

Chelsea scorers:-
Hasselbaink (2), 45, 81(pen)
Desailly, 90

Referee:- S. Dunn

Attendance:- 36,037

Teams:-
Spurs (3-5-2):- Sullivan; Perry, Bunjevcevic (sub Thelwell, 58), King; Taricco, Anderton, Freund (sub Rebrov, 84), Davies, Ziege; Sheringham (Capt), Ferdinand

Subs not used:- Keller; Leonhardsen, Etherington

Booked:- Ferdinand, Freund (Dissent)

Chelsea (4-4-2):- De Goey; Melchiot, Terry (sub Gallas, 44), Desailly (Capt), Le Saux; Zenden (sub Jokanovic, 81), Lampard, Petit, Gronkjaer; Zola (sub Gudjohnsen, 87), Hasselbaink

Subs not used:- Bosnich; Morris

Booked:- Desailly, Gronkjaer, Le Saux, Lampard

Sent off:- Lampard (2nd red card, 90

I can't remember feeling so angry about an incident in a game of football. The pivotal incident came after 77 minute when referee Steve Dunn (who had done a good job until this moment) adjudged that Hasselbaink had been fouled within the Spurs area, and gave the crucial penalty that put Chelsea back into the lead after Teddy Sheringham had equalised Hasselbaink's first goal on the stroke of half time. My recollection is that Hasselbaink did have Ledley King and substitute Alton Thelwell bearing down on him from behind as he entered the area, but that he had lost the ball and then went down and stayed down dramatically until the penalty was awarded. I dare say the replays will show he got a nudge from behind. Some say that Hasselbaink stubbed his own foot and tripped, but he stayed down, and for that gets the cheat award in my book. Thereafter, Spurs lost some composure, and although they again dramatically equalised in the 90th minute, Desailly clinched the winner in stoppage time from a needless corner. So, so frustrating!

Chelsea fans gloat over the quarter century of games since we beat them, and only one drawn game in the last 11 clashes, but Spurs deserved something out of this game more than they have in any against this opposition in recent years. Yes, too many errors were made in the middle, as some passes fell short or went astray, but on the other hand Spurs took much of the initiative with shared possession, and the more threatening chances on goal. In the opening stages, Spurs utilised Ziege to the full, as he got an early cross in from and Anderton ball, but Chelsea cleverly switched Zenden and Gronkjaer, which pinned Ziege down more in his own half as the game proceeded. Ledley King was tracking Zola into deep positions, and went on a fine early run, thanks to one of those Sheringham flicks that paid off.

Another fine Spurs move from the back led to Ferdinand heading another Ziege cross wide. Davies was playing particularly well, showing much grit and determination in the tackle, and flair on the ball. John Terry had to be replaced before half time, and probably had never recovered from a head blow which came from Davies (who could not be criticised as Terry was trying to head a ball about thigh high at the time).

Chelsea's first real chance came after 20 minutes, when Zola cut the ball back for Jimmy-Floyd on the edge of the box, only for the Dutchman to fire straight at Sullivan. Christian Ziege is deployed at many corners and dead ball situations, and is also preferred to Steffen Freund for long throws. One such throw reached Anderton from a Sheringham header, but De Goey was equal to the long range shot. Soon after Gronkjaer was switched to the right, he sent a threatening ball into the area, and Hasselbaink went down, to no avail this time as far as the penalty appeals went.

Spurs were holding their own, whilst there were few direct threats to either keeper, but Les Ferdinand tried a first time shot running onto an Anderton long ball, hitting the ball dismally wide. The best bit of football in that first half came when Perry superbly beat Hasselbaink in the tackle, retained the ball, and then sent Davies clear down the line. Davies' cross was just to high for Sheringham to make decent contact.

A Ziege throw was headed on by Ledley King, but Ferdinand's shot was deflected for a corner, and then on the stroke of half time came a killer blow against Spurs. Le Saux's shot seemed to be blocked and was going weakly towards Sullivan on the right side of the six yard area. Lampard was sharp and best Sullivan to the ball, sending a lofted ball to the back post, where Hasselbaink swooped mercilessly to head home. It was cruel blow at such a time, and only a foretelling of worse to come.

Two minutes after the break, and Spurs had another fine move through Anderton and Ferdinand, who set up Sheringham for a fine 20 yard dipping shot that rebounded cruelly off the bar, with De Goey well beaten. Minutes later, Teddy was the provider with a long ball from the left, that Davies headed wide from the edge of the box. The Spurs injury jinx continued with Bunjevcevic having to give in to a head injury, being replaced by Alton Thelwell, who acquitted himself well against such opposition.

A deserved equaliser came for Tottenham after 66 minutes, through a fine move. Perry's long ball was headed on by Ferdinand, and flicked by Davies into the path of Captain Teddy Sheringham. Ted's first shot was well saved by De Goey, but only parried, and Teddy was the first on the scene to finish off. Spurs then enjoyed considerable pressure, and another Ziege throw was headed on by Ferdinand to Anderton who hit wide from outside the area. Chelsea were starting to get physical, as Le Saux and Lampard were added to the referee's list of miscreants for desperate fouls.

Then came that controversial penalty incident. I am writing this report before the benefit of any replays, so put myself on the line here, but Ginola used to get booked for far less obvious dives, and I was convinced that when Dunn blew his whistle, he was going to put Hasselbaink into his book. There was delay, as he consulted his linesman, but the decision stood, and then the agony was prolonged for the home fans, as Hasselbaink nonchalantly took little run-up, Sullivan dived to his right to push the ball onto the post, only for it to rebound across the goal, and only cross the line after hitting the other post. Justice was not done!

As I said earlier, Spurs did lose most of their composure, but somehow they conjured up another equaliser, when Les Ferdinand cut the ball back from the bye line for Teddy to finish with his right foot at the near post, scoring his 100th all time goal for Spurs. It looked as if Spurs would at least get a point, but there was more drama to come. Perry got angry with Lampard as he went flailing in the box, after another penalty. Lampard retaliated and raised his arm to Perry, getting a second yellow, only after the referee consulted his assistant. Surely this was a straight red card offence? Then, in the dying moments Ziege gave away a needless corner (in fairness he obviously did not get a call from the keeper), which was taken by Petit, flicked on by Gudjohnsen, and headed home from close range by Chelsea captain Desailly to complete another day of misery for Spurs against Chelsea.

Brian Judson's Preview for this game can still be read here
Declan Mulcahy's Last Five Stats for this game can still be read here
Check the current team appearances, cards and scorers in all competitions

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