Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea: Final score 2-4 as Blues win thrilling encounter

Shaun Botterill

Both sides came from behind in an exciting game at White Hart Lane, but it was Chelsea who prevailed thanks to Juan Mata.

It's often said that the perfect game of football would end 0-0, and Tottenham and Chelsea proved the inverse is equally true at White Hart Lane today as sloppy play from both sides resulted in an end-to-end encounter.

It didn't take Chelsea long to open the scoring as Gary Cahill showed that he can at least replace John Terry's effectiveness from set-pieces. Eden Hazard's corner was half-cleared by Wiliam Gallas to the edge of the area, where Cahill was lurking to smash a brilliant volley into the net.

It was a tight first-half which Chelsea edged thanks to Cahill's goal, with Spurs putting the away side under pressure but lacking a cutting edge, although Petr Cech was forced into a series of panicky clearances through Defoe's presence up front. Gareth Bale and Moussa Dembele's absences for Tottenham appeared to be telling.

In the second half, however, Tottenham redoubled their efforts and were rewarded, after Jan Vertonghen got on the end of a cross to the back post to pull the ball back for William Gallas to nod in, making amends for his earlier error. And it was not long before Spurs had taken the lead, the impressive Aaron Lennon finding Jermain Defoe in the area, who lashed past Cech from close range.

If Gallas had atoned for his initial error, however, he was soon to return to normal service. In a repeat of the first incident, Gallas was culpable for failing to fully clear a cross, allowing Juan Mata to pick up on the loose ball and fire past Brad Friedel. Three minutes later, Gallas was culpable again as he allowed Mata to waltz past him to collect Eden Hazard's fine pass and again finished with unerring composure.

That left Spurs needing to come back from behind once again - a feat that they looked unlikely to repeat. Mata almost completed his hat-trick shortly afterwards after escaping into space down the wing, but only chipping a tame shot into Friedel's arms.

Tottenham pressed for an equaliser, but Gylfi Sigurdsson could only enjoy two chances from range, one free-kick and one from open play, but sent both harmlessly over the bar, indicative of his underwhelming performance throughout the game.

In the end, it was Chelsea who put gloss on the scoreline, and Juan Mata was again the architect, dispossessing the ponderous Kyle Walker and setting Daniel Sturridge up with the simplest of finishes. A disappointing conclusion to the game for Andre Villas-Boas, but upon reflection, Spurs will take account of their absences and an appalling performance from Gallas as being decisive. For Chelsea, their run goes on, and is beginning to look more impressive with each passing week.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.