MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 26: Antonio Valencia of Manchester United takes on Kerim Frei of Fulham during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham at Old Trafford on March 26, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Premier League, Week 30: Manchester United Defeat Fulham 1-0

Manchester United controlled the entirety of their game against Fulham, but the focus will be a botched penalty no-call by Michael Oliver.

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Chelsea Vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 2012 Premier League: Fulltime, Both Sides Hit Woodwork In Scoreless Match

At halftime both managers must have told their players to be a bit better, because the second half featured much more action than the first half. Both teams hit the bar and missed very good chances, though the best went to Emmanuel Adebayor. He was set up by a great chipped pass from Luka Modric over the Chelsea defence, which he controlled and went past Petr Cech. The touch, though, took him wide, and his shot wasn't powerful enough, and Gary Cahill made a superb block to deny the shot going into the empty Chelsea net. From that corner, Gareth Bale hit the bar, before Adebayor headed over from 2 yards out.

Spurs were the better team in the second half, with Bale slipping in Kyle Walker on the right, who's shot swerved into the side netting. Chelsea, though, had their moments, and Juan Mata hit the post with a fantastic free kick, with Brad Friedel stranded. Didier Drogba set up Daniel Sturridge with a header, but the Englishman, who had an awful game, shanked his shot well wide of Brad Friedel's post. Both Fernando Torres and Louis Saha came on, but neither had a major impact on the game.

In stoppage time, Gareth Bale drove at David Luiz, who had come at right back, and got past him, but his shot was blocked again by the outstanding Gary Cahill. Spurs had one more chance after David Luiz fouled Adebayor in the last minute of injury time. Gareth Bale's free kick dipped just before it reached Cech, forcing the Chelsea keeper to parry wide.

Spurs will be happier with the draw, as it holds their lead over Chelsea for 4th place to 5 points, and, having gotten one of their few remaining hard games out of the way, they should be favourites to finish in the Champions League places.


Chelsea Vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 2012 Premier League: Halftime, Scoreless Game Lacks Quality

This writer predicted lots of goals on the basis of Gareth Bale going up against Daniel Sturridge and Jose Bosingwa, and Didier Drogba bullying William Gallas and Younes Kaboul. Instead, Ramires has played on the right of Chelsea's midfield, successfully neutralizing Gareth Bale. Harry Redknapp's tactics seem to consist of telling his attacking players to have free roles, or "F[redacted] Run About A Bit". For most of the first half, while attacking, they haven't had a right winger, and haven't threatened Petr Cech.

Chelsea haven't been better; the one moment of incident coming when Frank Lampard ran onto Juan Mata's throughball, but failed to control it and collided with Gallas in the penalty box. Martin Atkinson, sensibly, didn't give a penalty.

The passing from both teams has been dreadful, with final balls from Adebayor, Sturridge and Mata all lacking quality. The one time Spurs did get their final ball right, they should've scored. In the final seconds of the first half, Gareth Bale slipped Luka Modric in to the byline, who cut back for van der Vaart in the middle. With the whole goal open, the Dutchman shot straight at Petr Cech, and then Ashley Cole blocked the follow up, before Adebayor headed over. It was the most exciting part of a first half that has been tense and lacking in quality. Spurs have defended fairly well, as have Chelsea, but both teams will want an improvement in the second half.


Chelsea Vs. Tottenham, 2012 Premier League: Lineups

Both teams are coming off of disappointing results midweek; Chelsea lead Manchester City before succumbing to a 2-1 loss, while Tottenham needed a late equaliser from Rafael van der Vaart to gain a point out of what should've been a home banker against Stoke. With Arsenal playing later, a Tottenham win would see them move back into 3rd place for the time being, while a Chelsea win would bring them to 2 points behind Tottenham in the race for 4th.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Cole, Terry, Cahill, Bosingwa; Ramires, Essien; Mata, Lampard, Sturridge; Drogba
Subs: Turnbull, Luiz, Mikel, Torres, Malouda, Meireles, Kalou

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-1-1): Friedel; Assou-Ekotto, Gallas, Kaboul, Walker; Bale, Parker, Sandro, Modric; van der Vaart; Adebayor
Subs: Cudicini, Saha, Defoe, Kranjcar, Livermore, Rose, Nelsen

Harry Redknapp names two more defensive minded midfielders in Sandro and Scott Parker, apparently giving Rafael van der Vaart a free role. Luka Modric will come inside, allowing Kyle Walker to get forward, and Juan Mata doesn't defend that well on the left side. Chelsea are putting Daniel Sturridge and Jose Bosingwa up against Gareth Bale, assuming that Bale is told to be a left winger and not a playmaker. Didier Drogba starts over Fernando Torres, and Spurs have shown problems dealing with physical strikers this seasons. There's bound to be goals in this one.

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