Although coming back from behind to earn a draw at Stamford Bridge, Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League hopes have been handed a severe blow with only a point against Chelsea in their London derby. Chelsea definitely looked like a Champions League side at the start of the match, with Rafa Benitez’s side starting brightly. Juan Mata almost put the Blues in front in the seventh minute when Fernando Torres jabbed the ball to him on the edge of the Tottenham box, before Mata spun with the ball and firing a dipping volley just over the bar. Chelsea didn’t have to wait much longer for their first goal though, and they were up within ten minutes. Mata swung a corner, and an unmarked Gary Cahill flicked it on to the back post, where a waiting Oscar headed it into the back of the net.
Tottenham were in disarray, and Mata almost doubled Chelsea’s lead in the sixteenth minute, but he curled Cesar Azplilcueta’s low cross from the right over the bar. Amazingly, Tottenham managed to grab an equalizer out of nowhere in the twenty-fifth minute when Emmanuel Adebayor received the ball inside his own half on a Tottenham counter-attack. He took the ball into the Chelsea half, before beautifully curling a stunning shot around Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech into the top corner of the net from twenty-five yards out.
Chelsea were still dominant, and retook their lead in the thirty-sixth minute though Ramires. Torres did brilliantly down the right flank exchanging passes with Oscar, before cutting inside and slipping a brilliant through ball beyond Jan Vertonghen to the run of Ramires, who poked it past Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris into the back of the net from the right side of the box. Tottenham almost grabbed another equalizer, but Kyle Walker horribly mishit his effort wide of Cech’s post from twelve yards out. Tottenham could not find a equalizer though, and the first half ended 2-1.
The second half started with the flow of the match very open, and Chelsea almost took the lead in the fifty-fourth minute when Azpilicueta’s stray cross from the right flew towards the far post and drifted inches wide of the post. Three minutes later Eden Hazard missed a glorious opportunity to put the game beyond Tottenham’s reach after Mata picked out his run with an inch perfect through ball. Hazard took it to the left side of the box, looking like he would shoot with his left, before cutting it onto his right and blazing an effort inches over the crossbar when he looked sure to score.
Seconds later Ramires almost put Chelsea up when Mata played it to him on a counterattack, and while he was wide open on the edge of the box, Ramires slipped just as he was about to pull the trigger. Although Tottenham were lacking in the final third, they managed to find an equalizer in the seventy-ninth minute. Adebayor beautifully flicked the ball to Gylfi Sigurdsson on the right side of the Chelsea box, and Sigurdsson curled a shot around Cech into the corner of the net to give Tottenham an equalizer. Altough Tottenham pressed for a winner, they could not find one, and the match ended 2-2, keeping Chelsea in third place.
Man of the Match: Juan Mata