It was a tale of two halves in London as Tottenham Hotspur were the better side early but Chelsea came back in the second half to earn a 1-1 draw. Gylfi Sigurdsson put Spurs ahead early but John Terry pulled Chelsea back even midway through the second half. Fernando Torres was sent off late after picking up a questionable second yellow card.
The result moves Spurs to the top of the Premier League pending the rest of the weekend's result while the Blues move up to third for the moment.
Spurs opened the match on the ball with Chelsea apparently content to sit back and try to counter. It wasn't the most effective strategy overall and Jose Mourinho would make changes at the break to adjust, but other stuff happened first.
Tottenham went ahead in the 19th minute when Christian Eriksen made a great turn away from his marker and made a quick pass to Roberto Soldado. The Spaniard showed great vision to see a charging Gylfi Sigurdsson and somewhat ineffectively placed the ball back into space in front of the midfielder. Sigurdsson did his job though, beating out Branislav Ivanonic and placing the ball past Petr Cech.
Spurs wasted a chance to double their advantage in the 44th minute when Kyle Walker's run allowed him to find Paulinho who put his shot off the post. One minute later Chelsea nearly equalized when John Terry found space in front of the goal on a set piece but he couldn't get his header on target.
Mourinho made some changes at halftime, bringing Juan Mata on in place of John Obi Mikel. He also shifted Ramires off the right wing and into the central midfield. It was an interesting adjustment but it worked as Chelsea looked like a different squad in the second half and immediately began pressing Tottenham.
Fernando Torres got himself in trouble just six minutes into the second half, picking up a yellow for a rather violent scratching of Vertonghen's face after the defender took a bit of a dive. Vertonghen finally picked up a deserved yellow in the 64th minute after a hard foul of Ramires.
Chelsea's improved play and possession paid off in the 65th minute when Terry again found space on a set piece and this time he didn't miss. Juan Mata's free kick into the area was superb and the Blues' defender got away from both Vertonghen and Michael Dawson before beating Hugo Lloris to make it 1-1.
Lloris came up huge for Spurs in the 76th minute after Torres hit Andre Schürrle with an excellent pass and the German got past a defender in towards the top of the Spurs area. The French goalkeeper was right off his line though and closed down all of Schürrle's options quickly before blocking away his shot with a sliding save.
In the 81st minute those two earlier yellow cards for Torres and Vertonghen came into play. The pair went up to challenge for a ball and tangled before crashing to the pitch. While it didn't seem like a particularly rough challenge from either player, more of a 50/50 challenge, the referee and his assistant saw it differently. Torres was shown a second yellow card and sent off, leaving Chelsea to finish with only 10 men.
Despite the advantage, Spurs couldn't find the winner and the match ended in a draw.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Dawson, Naughton, Paulinho, Dembélé, Townsend (Chadli 63'), Sigurdsson, Eriksen (Holtby 70'), Soldado (Defoe 77').
Goals: Sigurdsson (19')
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Lampard, Obi Mikel (Mata 45'), Ramires, Oscar (Azpilicueta 83'), Hazard (Schürrle 69'), Torres.
Goals: Terry (65')