Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham: Late Sigurdsson strike keeps three-way fight for fourth alive

The Iceland international earns Spurs a point to leave them one point behind fourth-placed Arsenal and three back from the Blues in the race for Champions League football
Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a late equaliser to earn Tottenham a 2-2 draw at Chelsea and keep the three-way race for a place in next season’s Champions League in the balance.

Chelsea took an early lead when Oscar turned in a corner from close range at the back post before Spurs drew level through a superb 25-yard strike from Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Blues again went ahead six minutes before the break as Ramires broke through and produced a toe-poked finish into the bottom corner.

Rafa Benitez’s side had chances to seal the victory after the restart but Spurs substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the visitors’ second equaliser of the game 10 minutes from time with a curling low shot.

Both sides made three changes to the starting line-ups that won their weekend matches, with Fernando Torres selected as Chelsea’s lone striker and Frank Lampard dropping to the bench as he chases Bobby Tambling’s club scoring record.

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas was dealt a blow as Mousa Dembele missed out with a muscle injury with Scott Parker and Lewis Holtby coming into the side.

Chelsea had the first chance of the game when Juan Mata fired over the crossbar in the seventh minute, but they only had to wait three more minutes to break the deadlock.

Mata swung in a corner from the right that Gary Cahill flicked on as he nipped in front of Michael Dawson and Oscar was on hand to turn the ball home from close range.

First we had the simple, then the spectacular.

In the 26th minute, Tottenham cleared a Chelsea corner and Scott Parker played the ball to Adebayor deep in his own half. The Togolese striker, off form all season, ran at the Chelsea defence before curling a wonderful strike into the top corner past the statuesque Petr Cech.

Six minutes before half-time, Chelsea once again took the lead. Fernando Torres did well to escape from Spurs defenders on the right touchline and slipped in Ramires, who at full speed toe-poked an unstoppable finish into the far corner.

Chelsea started the second-half with more purpose than the visitors and should have extended their advantage. Eden Hazard fired over from a tight angle before Ramires slipped when he looked certain to score after being played in by Mata.

But Tottenham took control as the second-half wore on and Adebayor was again at the heart of the move as he produce a sublime first-time flick for substitute Sigurdsson to curl low into the corner from 12 yards.

The result means third-placed Chelsea are not yet assured of their place in the top four while qualification for the Champions League is out of Tottenham’s hands as they sit one point behind Arsenal with two matches to play.