Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur


 

By Alex Byrom
Deputy Football Editor from Stamford Bridge

 

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech (above) made a rare save late on from Spurs' Rafael Van der Vaart

 

Chelsea and Tottenham played out a drab draw at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea remain five points behind in the race for the top four. 

In a match where the defences were solid, the strikers were ineffective, and the midfielders' struggled to break down the dogged defences. Chelsea will hope that Tottenham's poor run - no win in five games will continue as they also watched London rivals Arsenal thrash Aston Villa 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium. 

Chelsea edged the first half - Juan Mata striking the post; Tottenham were marginally better in the second half. Cech was in fine form, whilst Bale came close hitting the post. 

 

? DID YOU KNOW ?

Tottenham haven't won at Chelsea since a 2-1 win back in 1990.


Since interim boss Roberto di Mateo replaced Andre Villas-Boas earlier this month, the Blues have secured progress to the last eight of the Champions League against the odds and made the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

But their hopes of a top-four finish in the league look no brighter and here the hosts lacked any sort of attacking spark on a frustrating afternoon that saw both teams continually giving away possession.

Tottenham were not much better than Chelsea in a first half devoid of quality, but were stronger in the closing stages and showed enough to suggest they may have arrested their recent run of poor performances.

Despite Redknapp's vehement rejection this week of the idea that his side's form has anything to do with speculation linking him to the England job, there could be no denying that Tottenham's early season form had evaporated in the space of six short weeks.

They have still not won in the league since thumping Newcastle 5-0 on 11 February, a run that has ended their outside chances of winning the title, but this point at least makes them favourites to end the season as Champions League qualifiers.

Redknapp's side crafted the solitary chance of a turgid first half in stoppage time when Luka Modric found space inside the penalty area to pick out Rafael van der Vaart.

The Dutchman's first shot was well saved by Petr Cech - making his 250th Premier League appearance - before Ashley Cole made a fine block to keep out the forward's second effort.

Modric has been marginalised for much of Tottenham's slump by being deployed wide on the left, but here the Croatian played through the middle from the start, with Bale looking a threat on the wing.

Chelsea posed a serious threat just once in the second half when Mata floated a delicate free-kick against the post, before replacement David Luiz inadvertently took the rebound away from the waiting Didier Drogba.

Adebayor could then have put Spurs ahead when he raced clear of the defence to round Cech, but the impressive Cahill recovered well to block his shot.

Bale lost Luiz at a corner to hit the bar and then saw a low free-kick turned around the post by Cech as Chelsea held on for a point, but are running out of games in the race for fourth, whereas Spurs will be pleased especially with the easier run-in to come.

 

Saturday 24th March 2012

Barclays Premier League

Stamford Bridge

 

Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur                           KO 12:45pm               (HT 0-0)

 

Chelsea:  01. Cech- 6/10, 17. Bosingwa- 7.5/10 (David Luiz 64- 5/10), 24. Cahill- 8/10, 26. Terry (C)- 7.5/10, 03. Cole- 7.5/10, 05. Essien- 7/10 (Torres 75- 2/10), , 08. Lampard- 6/10, 10. Mata- 6/10, 07. Ramires- 7/10, 23. Sturridge- 5/10 (Kalou 89- 2.5/10), 11. Drogba- 6/10.

Subs not used:  22. Turnbull, 12. Mikel 15. Malouda, 16. Meireles 

Booked:     Essien (49)

 

Tottenham:  24. Friedel- 6/10, 28. Walker- 7.5/10, 04. Kaboul 8/10, 13. Gallas (C)- 7.5/10, 32. Assou-Ekotto- 5.5/10, 14. Modric- 6.5/10, 08. Parker- 7/10, 30. Sandro- 4/10 (Livermore 76- 3/10), 03. Bale- 5/10, 11. Van Der Vaart- 6.5/10 (Saha 76- 3.5/10), 10. Adebayor- 6/10.

Subs not used:  23. Cudicini, 33. Nelsen, 21. Kranjcar, 25. Rose, 18. Defoe

Booked:     Assou-Ekotto (65), Sandro (66)

 

My Man of the Match:     Younes Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur)- Rating 8/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:    Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur)- Rating 4/10

 

 

Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)- 7/10
Attendance: 41,830 

 

 

Match Facts

Possession: Chelsea- 45%           Tottenham Hotspur- 55%

Shots: Chelsea- 10           Tottenham Hotspur- 19

Shots on target: Chelsea- 5           Tottenham Hotspur- 7

Shots off target: Chelsea- 5           Tottenham Hotspur- 12

Corners: Chelsea- 6           Tottenham Hotspur- 5

Fouls: Chelsea- 9           Tottenham Hotspur- 11

Offside: Chelsea- 5           Tottenham Hotspur- 3

Assists: Chelsea- None           Tottenham Hotspur- None

 

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo

"To make the gap up, we would have to win all of them. It's going to be difficult but, from the day I was appointed, we always knew it was going to be a difficult task. There are still eight games to play and we will try to win as many as we can to try to get into fourth spot."

See full interview here

 

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp

"It's in our favour, Arsenal have got some tough games," insisted Redknapp.

"They've got Man City at home, Chelsea at home. It's all to play for still.

"We found ourselves suddenly from being 10 points clear to being behind Arsenal now. It can all change. We've got to keep picking up results."  

See full interview here

 

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