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May 8, 2013
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 41581
E. Adebayor 26'
G. Sigurðsson 80'
What a game. It's been a surreal day in football, what with Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement early today. We were treated to a cracking game at Stamford Bridge too, where the result only raises more questions as to which two out of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham will qualify for the Champions League. Rafa Benitez's side twice took the lead and should have been out of sight at one point, but Spurs showed the resiliance which has typified their recent run of form to snatch a crucial point.
FULL-TIME: Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham
90' + 3'
After what seems like a age, the Welshman gets his effort up and over the wall but fails to find the direction or power he desired, allowing Cech to make a fairly comfortable save.
90' + 2'
90' + 1'
FREE KICK TO SPURS FIRMLY IN BALE TERRITORY
CHANCE! Nervy moments for Chelsea's defence as a cross is floated right across the box bypassing every Blues defender but no Spurs shirt was able to get on the end of it either. There will be four minutes of additional time.
Tottenham spring forward after Adebayor wins possession but Parker's cross from the right flank is floated straight into the arms of Petr Cech. Lots of tired legs on show as we head into the final few minutes of normal time.
Yellow CardGareth Bale
All the noise is coming from the away end at Stamford Bridge. Tottenham are firmly camped in the Chelsea half. The Blues have had chances to break on the visitors but haven't found the right ball at the right time so far.
Gareth Bale pulls the trigger from long range but the Chelsea fans can breathe a sigh of relief as they watch his effort fly over the bar. Spurs have the wind firmly in their sails and are pushing for a winner. Electric stuff at Stamford Bridge.
CONTROVERSY! Adebayor is found by Huddlestone from deep and is seemingly through on goal before an incorrect offside decision halts the move. Really unlucky for Spurs.
GOAL! EQUALISER! Tottenham are back on level terms! Adebayor does really well to flick Assou-Ekotto's pass into the path of the Iceland international, who finds the back of the net with a neat finish into the far bottom corner.
Yellow CardJan Vertonghen
Fernando Torres skips away from Jan Vertonghen and the Spurs defender rushes back at him in order to regain possession but only succeeds in giving away a free kick to the Blues.
Ewan Roberts reports: " Emmanuel Adebayor is doing his best impression of an actual, proper footballer tonight. He traps the ball instantly (no, that's not a joke), spins and releases Clint Dempsey, but the American's shot is well blocked. Tottenham are creating chances here."
Clint Dempsey, on as a substitute, finds a yard of space and has a quick shot after receiving the ball but Ivanovic does well to get tight to him and make a good block. The resulting corner is wasted by the visitors.
Time running out for Tottenham who are seriously lacking bite in the final third. Chelsea remain a very potent threat on the counterattack. You sense Tottenham fans expect Gareth Bale to somehow, once again, come to the rescue. Chelsea are doing a fine job in nullyfing the Welshman so far, though.
Tottenham finally garner some forward momentum but still fail to find any penetration in the Chelsea half despite the best efforts of Gareth Bale and Emmanuel Adebayor.
It's another disappointing delivery from the usually hyper-reliable Juan Mata. Another Chelsea attack fades away as he fails to pick out Torres with the Blues striker well placed and in space.
Chelsea earn a free kick in the attacking third but Juan Mata's delivery is sent in too high for Gary Cahill and Walker does well to deny Luiz another attempted cross from the other flank.
CHANCE! A much better delivery from Tom Huddlestone this time from a corner, he finds Jan Vertonghen running in at the back post but the Belgian tries an ambitious volley with his team-mate Holtby in a better position to convert.
MASSIVE CHANCE! It's a really unfortunate slip from Ramires! Juan Mata was played through on goal but decided to halt his run after pressure from Dawson and Walker, showing great awareness to pick out the unmarked Ramires to his left instead. Just as the Brazilian was about to strike from inside the box, he lost his footing and the chance was spurned.
Bale feeds Walker down the right and he goes to ground under a shoulder-charge from Hazard. Decent position for Spurs wide outside the Chelsea box but it comes to nothing.
GREAT CHANCE MISSED! Eden Hazard misses a easy chance,by his standards, after he done all the hard work! He raced into the box and was picked out by a inch-perfect pass from Mata, before he turned his defender to make space for a right-footed shot. Just when he looked like he'd score, he fired his effort high over the bar. Massive let off for the visitors.
CLOSE! Cesar Azpilicueta tries to bend a cross into Juan Mata at the back post from a deep position and almost inadvertently finds the top corner of Lloris' goal. Spurs' fans with their hearts in their mouths for a moment, there.
Another chance falls to Torres but Assou-Ekotto gets back well to put him off and deflect the striker's header from Hazard's cross behind for a goal kick.
Half a chance for Fernando Torres as he meets David Luiz's cross to the front post but he can only sweep his shot into the arms of Lloris while under pressure from Dawson.
Chelsea now piling forward looking for a third which might put Chelsea away. Fernando Torres earns the Blues a corner but Tottenham manage to clear the danger for the time being.
Great counterattack from Spurs as Walker, Adebayor and Bale storm up the pitch and earn a corner but Chelsea defend the resulting delivery with ease.
Vertonghen looks for a long diagonal pass for Aaron Lennon who darts inside but the Spurs wingers is flagged offside once he brings the ball under control.
Tottenham take the kick-off and we are underway for the second half!
Two of Chelsea's Brazilian contingent found the net either side of an Emmanuel Adebayor wonder goal to give Chelsea a crucial half-time lead over Tottenham. Rafa Benitez's side deserve their lead on the balance of play, in honesty, Spurs have been below their usual standards. But then again, you could have said the same thing against Southampton on Saturday, and we all know what happened there...
HALF-TIME: Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham
45' + 1'
Two minutes of time to be added on at the end of half.
Chelsea exert more pressure on Spurs as Oscar has got at goal from the edge of the box but Hugo Lloris is alert and makes a good save down low to his right-hand side.
It's poor play from Tom Huddlestone to gift the ball to Fernando Torres but Spurs recover and clear their lines before Assou-Ekotto again wins the ball back after losing it.
MASSIVE CHANCE! Walker does really well to combine with Adebayor and get himself into a shooting position inside the box but he miscues his shot and sends it wide of Cech's near post.
Spurs have already come from behind once tonight, can they do it for a second time?
GOAL! No mistake this time around, Ramires gives Chelsea the lead! Fernando Torres does superbly on the right flank, manouvering the ball left and right before slipping a through ball into the channel which Ramires flew on to before flashing a first-time shot past Lloris. Great goal from Rafa Benitez's side.
Yet another free kick for Chelsea, this time Aaron Lennon is punished for a foul in a deep position. Spurs are half asleep as the Blues play it quick but Ramires' long-range shot is wastefully hit over the bar.
Gareth Bales first proper involvement in the game. The Welshman shows great skill to burst into the Chelsea box but Gary Cahill bravely slides across and makes a fantastic block to deny Spurs.
Chelsea work the ball to Oscar inside the box, the Brazilian tries to make space for a cross but is well marshalled by Kyle Walker. Azpilicueta sends his long range header wide, after Hugo Lloris has come off his line to punch a cross.
Bit of a break in play as Scott Parker, who seems to be fashioning some pink boots tonights, goes down and stays down in the Chelsea half.
Spurs launch another counterattack, with Gareth Bale also involved on this occasion, but Cesar Azpilicueta does brilliantly to steal the ball from the Welshman.
You can really hear the Tottenham fans at Stamford Bridge now. Chelsea made a very bright start to this encounter but credit to Andre Villas-Boas' side, they have come right back into this one.
GOAL! What a goal from Emmanuel Adebayor to level the scores! The former Arsenal striker carried the ball from inside his own half without any pressure and once he had sauntered to the edge of the box he simply curled a delicious right-footed effort into the top corner with Cech rooted to his spot. Smashing goal, GAME ON!
Gareth Bale has drifted into a central role now but Tottenham have yet to get him involved in the game.
Chelsea win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal which David Luiz elects to have a go from. The Brazilian executes his now trademark technique but fires his side-footed effort straight into the Tottenham wall.
Eden Hazard tracks back well and denys Lewis Holtby the chance to get another shot off before kick-starting another Chelsea attack.
Tottenham are in disarray. Kyle Walker miscontrols a routine ball to him from Assou-Ekotto. A very nervy start from this visitors, this.
CHANCE! Another chance falls to Juan Mata inside the box! This time Cesar Azpilicueta delivers a low cross into the box but his Spanish international team-mate's first-time shot is fired over the bar.
Lewis Holtby skips away from Ramires and then manages to get a shot away at goal but the Germany international's effort rolls wide of Petr Cech's post.
Greg Stobart reports from Stamford Bridge: "The Chelsea fans are crowing after watching their team take another step towards a top four finish thanks to that Oscar goal. Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas was clearly furious with the visitors’ defending from the corner, with Michael Dawson losing the initial header before Oscar escaped from Scott Parker for an easy tap-in. Tottenham need to be wary of conceding another here because they could find themselves with no way back."
Bad decision-making from Emmanuel Adebayor as he elects to pass when through on goal. He looks like he lacked the confidence needed to shoot, allowing Cole to come in make the intervention.
GOAL! Ten minutes in and Chelsea have the lead! Oscar turns it in at the back post after Gary Cahill had flicked on Juan Mata's corner. Superb start from the Blues, and a goal which will be celebrated by Arsenal fans across London too.
Tom Huddlestone takes out Eden Hazard off the ball and gives away a free kick to the Blues in a deep position. Mata floats it in towards Branislav Ivanovic but Dawson manages to clear it for a corner.
CHANCE! Juan Mata fires a volley over the bar! After a couple of headers inside the Tottenham box the ball eventually came out to Fernando Torres, who stabbed the ball into the direction of Mata. The Spaniard was able to turn and fire a shot off but he could only send it over the bar.
Chelsea are caught offside again, this time Fernando Torres is caught straying past the last Spurs defender. This is a fine start from Rafa Benitez's side.
Juan Mata is flagged offside after he got on the end of a long diagonal from Ashley Cole. Replays show the Spaniard was comfortably onside, a let off for Spurs early on.
Our man at Stamford Bridge, Greg Stobart, reckons Tottenham have set up in a 4-3-3 formation early on with Gareth Bale operating on the left of the front three.
Chelsea take the kick-off and we are underway!
Right the players have emerged from the tunnel.You can really feel the sense of occasion at Stamford Bridge tonight.
Greg Stobart reports from Stramford Bridge: "This is one of the biggest games of the season, yet it has been completely overshadowed by news of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement. Even in the press room, the buzz is all about Fergie’s decision to step aside as journalists hastily finish pieces relating to the outgoing Manchester United manager ahead of kick-off here at Stamford Bridge."
Kick-off at Stamford Bridge is moments away...
Chelsea have won each of their last six home games in the Premier League.
Tottenham have never won a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge in 20 visits.
No player has scored more goals away from home this season in the Premier League than Gareth Bale.
Here's a few pre-match stats to whet your appetite ahead of the 19.45 BST kick-off...
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas makes his first return to Stamford Bridge since being sacked by the club last season, and he, like Benitez, has named three changes from the team he picked for their last fixture. Aaron Lennon, who had been tipped to miss out due to a knock, starts on the right, but Moussa Dembele has not even made it on to the bench as he recovers from an injury, with Scott Parker replacing him. Jermain Defoe, however, does take a place in the squad, but he is unable to start due to what is believed to be a hamstring strain and Emmanuel Adebayor takes his place, while Lewis Holtby comes in for Clint Dempsey.
Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez has recalled Belgian star Eden Hazard to his starting XI for the visit of Tottenham. Hazard replaces Victor Moses in attack, while Benitez has also made two other changes from the side which picked up a vital 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday. Frank Lampard and Demba Ba join Moses on the bench, while Gary Cahill and Fernando Torres come back into the team, with a win all but confirming a top four finish for Chelsea.
It's a massive night in west London for both sides, a win for the Blues virtually seals their place in next season's Champions League, while Spurs need a result to keep themselves in touching distance. Arsenal fans will be watching though their fingers, hoping Rafa Benitez's men can do them a favour by earning all three points.
Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Huddlestone, Parker, Holtby; Lennon, Adebayor, Bale. Subs: Friedel, Caulker, Naughton, Carroll, Dempsey, Sigurdsson, Defoe.
Chelsea: Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole; Ramires, David Luiz; Oscar, Mata, Hazard; Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Terry, Lampard, Ake, Moses, Benayoun, Ba.
First things first, here's your team news from Stamford Bridge...
I'm Hus Kerai and I'll be guiding you through tonight's action. You can get involved by sending in your thoughts and predictions to @HushKerai, the best of those will get a shout out on here!
Good evening ladies and gents! Welcome to Goal.com's coverage of Chelsea v Tottenham from Stamford Bridge LIVE!
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