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Tottenham 2-1 CHELSEA: No More Room For Error

It should have been a title decider but as it turned out, it wasn’t – or at least not yet anyway. Mind you, if we put in another performance like that in any of our last 3 games and maybe this is the one we’ll be looking to when we’re talking about where it all went wrong.

And it did all go wrong, make no mistake about it. For a side who could have all but put the title to bed against Spurs we looked like we turned up in carpet slippers. Whilst Spurs were full of confidence after their win over Arsenal and City’s defeat earlier in the day, United’s win 20 seconds from time looked to have left us with stage fright.

Spurs started brighter than I’d hoped they would, although definitely went looking for a decision with one appeal after another in the opening minutes. Fortunately for them, Dowd caved in by the third appeal, giving them a penalty for handball against John Terry. We’ve seen Defoe miss these – or at least that’s what I was clinging to when he stepped up to the spot – typically yesterday wasn’t one of them occasions so we were a goal down inside 15 minutes.

We did manage to put a few passes together, and any real chances came from Malouda although they were few and far between and Gomes was up to any challenge, as was the linesman, ruling an equalizer out for offside. We didn’t offer anything resembling pressure though and it was Spurs creating all the chances to extend their lead. Our fortunes weren’t helped with Mikel limping off just after the half hour mark, to be replaced by Ballack, and as if the day hadn’t been bad enough by that point, Gareth Bale banging in a second for Spurs just before the break just about put the tin lid on it.

Still, we had another 45 minutes to turn the game round so all was no lost right? Wrong because in order to turn it around we’d have needed to come out fighting. Ancelotti had finally sussed Ferreira had been made a complete idiot of for the first 45 minutes and started the second half with the player who should have started the game anyway – Ivanovic. Joe Cole, whose lack of consistency was highlighted again yesterday made way for Anelka, although in all honesty, how Cole came off ahead of Deco is anyone’s guess.

With the subs already made though, Didier Drogba was seen limping about holding his groin before the whistle had even blown, with Carlo Ancelotti doing his best to ignore him. We were struggling enough with the eleven men we had, it’s not as if we could afford to go down to ten is it? Which was a shame really because clearly our captain didn’t agree. It was all getting a bit handbags-at-dawn and JT loves a bit of that, throwing himself in feet first. Unfortunately, Dowd wasn’t dishing out marks for artistic impression and dished out a couple of yellows followed by a red instead.

So, with the going getting tough and our senior players literally going, so were the three points that would have put the title race to bed – in spite of United’s win earlier. Fair enough Frank Lampard managed a late consolation but it was too little too late and if we have any aspirations at all for the title this season we’re going to have to do a lot better than this in our remaining three games.


SPURS: Gomes; Kaboul, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto; Bentley, Huddlestone, Modric, Bale; Pavlyuchenko (Crouch 90), Defoe (Gudjohnsen )

CHELSEA: Cech; Ferreira (Ivanovic ht), Alex, Terry, Zhirkov; Deco, Mikel (Ballack 33), Lampard; J Cole (Anelka ht) Drogba, Malouda



Blue is the colour is an honest insight to the World of Chelsea FC. Not always pretty, sometimes rather cynical, but always realistic.


April 2010
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