Blues shine bright on Spurs
Written By: Robert Halter
With Diego Costa serving a one match ban following his booking at Sunderland, Didier Drogba spearheaded the Blues attack as the league leaders tackled Spurs under the floodlights at Stamford Bridge beginning of December with one of the former Gunners, Cesc Fabrgeas in the Chelsea midfield renewing his rivalry with the Lilywhites. In the fourth minute from a Vlad Chiriches cross, both Jan Vertonghen and Gary Cahill had a clash of heads as the ball went out of play and both team medics had to check the opposing players. But three minutes later, Tottenham Hotspur were denied by the crossbar with a bullet header by Harry Kane that cannoned off the upright from a pin point right wing cross from Aaron Lennon. In the eleventh minute, after Cahill lost possession, Kane was again a whisker away from putting Spurs ahead, after his low drive went a fraction past the far post. On sixteen minutes, link up play between Willian and Drogba gave the ammunition for Fabregas to shoot but Hugo Lloris collected comfortably. But it signalled a Chelsea renaissance and as Drogba played in Eden Hazard with a one two combination, Lloris was unable to hold onto Hazard’s shot, as the ball tumbled into the right side of the net to give the Blues a nineteenth minute goal advantage. Three minutes later, the Blues went further ahead as Lloris’s poor goal kick fell to Hazard, who laid the ball off to Oscar, whose pass gave Drogba a clear run through on goal and his low effort found the centre of the target to put the Blues out of sight. It wasn’t until the thirty third minute that Spurs were on the ascendancy again but Ryan Mason’s tame strike was picked up by Thibaut Courtois from a well placed pass from Ben Davies. With two minutes of normal time left in the first half, Willian was unable to apply a finish, after Oscar cut in from the by line to carve an opening. Cahill could not resume at half time and was replaced by Kurt Zouma. Spurs then later made a double change of Nacer Chadli for Lennon and Paulinho for Mason. On sixty two minutes, Vertonghen’s rising header went over from a Christian Eriksen corner but Chelsea broke forward two minutes later as Fabregas played in Drogba, who failed to test Lloris and Drogba was soon replaced by Loic Remy. In the seventy third minute, Remy duly obliged as he latched onto a through ball from Cesar Azpilicueta, and after turning past a crest fallen Vertonghen , Remy drilled the ball into the bottom right corner. After Spurs replaced Erik Lamela for Roberto Soldado, in the final quarter of an hour of regular play, a goal hungry Chelsea chased a fourth, after a mazy run by Willian but Oscar miscued his shot wide of the mark. The final Blues change took place as Fabregas was taken off for John Obi Mikel. There was cause for concern near the end as Willian was left worse for wear after a head collision with Davies but Willian was soon back on his feet and as play resumed, Willian ran through and drove the ball into Lloris in the ninetieth minute. Deep into stoppage time, Courtois made his first meaningful save of the game as from an Eriksen free kick, the ball was set up for Chadli, whose curling strike required a full length diving save to his right from Courtois, after Chadli tried a shot from outside the box, having been fouled by Oscar to gain the advantage. But the 3-0 win over Spurs meant that Chelsea continued to top the charts with a six points gap from second placed, Manchester City, the only blemish was a one game ban at Newcastle United for Nemanja Matic, after he picked up a yellow card for an infringement on Kane.