Honours were shared at White Hart lane, as Chelsea rallied to claim a draw from this well fought London Derby. With the big teams in the Premier League all having unpredictable early season results, a point seems to be of slightly more value than in previous seasons.
The battle of the Portuguese managers did not disappoint and both can claim tactical victories separated by half-time. AVB confidently set Spurs out to attack, and they looked the better side for the first half. Jose made a couple of trademark changes at the break and The Blues stormed back into the game. Going down to Ten men after Fernanado Torres was unluckily given his marching orders, the away side retreated. A draw was a fair reflection of the game.
Chelsea’s 11 had that slightly worn look as Mourinho went for experience over experimentation. Older boys, Lampard, Terry, Cole , Ivanovich, Torres, Mikel and Cech all started. Ramires, Hazard, Oscar and Luis, all signed previous to this year completed the team. This meant that not a single new signing featured. Juan Mata at least made an appearance from the bench today, and after having a superb second half , hopefully normal service will soon be resumed for the Spaniard.
Tottenham came out the gates quickly, Dembele and Paulinho dominating the precedings in midfield. This surprised Mourinho, as Lampard and Mikel took a battering. Eriksen continued to adapt quickly to the EPL, his vision setting up the first goal for the home side. AVB’s ability to develop new talent also saw Townsend taunt the Blues defense.
Spurs took a deserved lead in the 19th minute as Sigurdsson finished off the sort of intricate passing move that has the North London faithful recollecting the Jimmy Greaves era.
Chelsea had no answer and in the end hung on to only be a single goal down at the break. With the water tight defense of the home side looking unbreachable, Mourinho had his work cut out.
Jose replaced Mikel with Mata for the second half. He decided an attacking change was the best defense against being overun in the middle of the park. It worked. Chelsea looked reinvigorated and soon were controlling the game.
Juan Mata added a new dimension to Chelsea’s forward play. I cannot believe that Mourinho won’t pencil him in to start.
John Terry equalized in the 64 minute, the Chelsea captain heading home from close range.
The Blues were now fully on the front foot.
The example was also being set by Feranado Torres. The Spaniard was on a mission. He had his best 45 mins in a Blue shirt and that included taking into account his sending off!!! The Torres of Anfield days had decided to make an appearance. His first touch and pace tortured Tottenham’s right side. Vertonghen was more than happy to see the back of him with 10 minutes remaining, when a soft yellow card was given to Torres, making that his second of the match.
Schurrle had earlier replaced Hazard and is beginning to look at home in a Blue.
After Torres’s dismissal, Chelsea had to try and settle for a point. Tottenham never really drove home the 1 man advantage and the final whistle saw both sets of fans applauding.
Spurs can certainly feel that this year they stand a good chance of Champions league qualification. This seasons managerial merry-go-round amongst the top clubs continues to favor the likes of Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool. That having been said, it means that the likes of Spurs need to be taking all 3 points from home games against the likes of Chelsea too really make this early advantage pay.
It is unusual to see the big 3 London teams atop the Premiership. Might be a little early to call the end of an era for the Mancs, but fun to think about it. They can always spend their afternoons shopping in the Trafford Centre…..” Theatre of Jeans”.