Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Chelsea 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1

With roughly 10 minutes to go Sir Alex Ferguson left to beat the traffic. As far as he was concerned Tottenham Hotspur had done him a favour, holding chasing Chelsea to a draw and giving his side the opportunity to go eight points clear this afternoon.

Chelsea were not finished though and with a minute to go Salomon Kalou poked in the winner to leave the Manchester United manager cursing into his car radio.

That it appeared offside will only further infuriate United – and Spurs of course, who will now struggle to catch Manchester City in fourth.

Spurs had taken the lead through a spectacular Sandro strike but Carlo Ancelotti’s team equalised thanks to two errors, the first from Heurelho Gomes in spilling Frank Lampard’s shot, the second from the assistant for thinking the ball had rolled all the way over the line. United will have to finish this season the hard way.

The opening goal came against the run of play. In the build up Harry Redknapp had spent several minutes trying to get Sandro to be more tactically disciplined.

Chelsea were cutting through Spurs as the visitors failed to deal with Florent Malouda’s movement between the lines.

Redknapp sent a message via Aaron Lennon and Luka Modric to get Sandro to sit in front of the back four.

Just when you thought he had got his message across Sandro went sprinting forward again and scored. Gareth Bale took a throw from the left and Rafael van der Vaart deftly flicked the ball behind him. The

Brazilian had run forward and with the ball sitting up invitingly, he struck it cleanly into the top corner, Petr Cech not able to keep it out.

Chelsea swiftly resumed their surge on the Spurs goal. Only a superb save from Gomes had prevented Didier Drogba scoring with a dipping 35-yard free kick moments before Spurs took the lead, tipping the fast-moving ball on to the bar and he again denied Chelsea just after they had gone behind, pushing over Michael Essien’s header.

From the ensuing corner Drogba flicked to the far post where Fernando Torres could not keep a free header under control.

Carlo Ancelotti, as expected, went played Torres and Drogba together but, rather than go for the 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield that had not worked in the past, he went for a very fluid 4-3-3.

Drogba and Torres took turns to pull to the right while Malouda, playing slightly deeper, drifted inside from the left. Chelsea were dominating possession but had stopped creating chances when, with less than a minute to the break, they equalised.

Lampard tried his luck with a shot that, while he had to field it low, should have been straightforward for Gomes. In an echo of his error against Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, the Brazilian goalkeeper let the ball squirm between his legs.

The ball rolled towards the line but Gomes threw out and arm and dragged it back. Andre Marriner appeared to let the play go on and Gomes ran out to throw the ball to a team-mate. Mike Cairns, the assistant referee, had signalled for a goal, though.

A roar went up when the crowd realised that Marriner had belatedly awarded the goal and the Spurs players crowded the referee in protest.

With due cause, as the replays made clear. It was a tight thing but the whole ball had not crossed the line when Gomes dragged it back. Still, it was a terribly frail piece of goalkeeping.

Whether fuelled by outrage at the decision that gone against them or motivated by an irate Redknapp, Spurs started better in the second half, at least keeping the ball better than they had before the break.

Chelsea, though, still looked dangerous and Drogba tested Gomes with another long ranger drive that moved in the air. With neither side going to benefit greatly form a draw, both coaches tried to change things.

Ancelotti took off a subdued Essien and sent on Ramires and then took off Torres, sending on Salomon Kalou. The Spain striker had started brightly enough but his influence decreased, especially in contrast with the confident Drogba.

Redknapp, meanwhile, finally got faded up with the performance of an inhibited Roman Pavlyuchenko. On came Jermain Defoe.

Kalou should have scored with his first touch. Drogba sent in another vicious free kick and Gomes panicked. The crowd had goaded his every touch since his error and he was shaken.

He could only parry Drogba’s effort straight to Kalou who sent a wild shot over from close range. Chelsea then thought they should have a penalty, Ramires had a first shot blocked by Michael Dawson, picked up the rebound and passed to Malouda in the area.

Kaboul slid in despite being on the wrong side and the France midfielder went down. There was very little contact between both Kaboul and the ball and Kaboul and Malouda.

The home side kept pressing, with Ancelotti urging vocally on from the touchline. Nicolas Anelka, on for Malouda, drove in from the left and passed to Drogba whose clever flick allowed Lampard to shoot, errantly as it transpired, from 20 yards.

In his 500th appearance for the club, John Terry almost grabbed a late winner, side-footing goalwards from Drogba’s low free kick.

This time, though, Gomes was alert. He had little chance with the winner, though, as Anelka and Drogba created panic before the Ivorian’s pass found Kalou to poke the ball in.

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