The New Year started in style at the Lane on Thursday afternoon as we put on a five-star show to defeat league leaders Chelsea in what was a truly sensational game of football.
In an eight-goal thriller, we came out on top thanks to a performance of passion and commitment which had Chelsea reeling at times and, although Jose Mourinho’s side created plenty of their own chances, they couldn’t cope with our attacking fluidity as we hit them with five fine goals.
Diego Costa put the visitors ahead before we hit back with a three-goal salvo prior to half-time, thanks to Harry Kane, Danny Rose and an Andros Townsend penalty. Another Kane goal extended our advantage while Chelsea hit back through Eden Hazard just after the hour.
Nacer Chadli added our fifth goal 12 minutes from time and although Chelsea surged forwards in the closing minutes, they only had John Terry’s close range goal to show for their efforts and we held firm through five minutes of stoppage time to record a fantastic victory.
Our starting line-up featured five players who came through our Academy in Rose, Townsend, Kane, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb and there was a cracking atmosphere inside the Lane at kick-off.
Just four minutes were on the clock when we had our first opportunity. Rose showed more strength than Costa out on the left flank, Bentaleb picked up the ball and laid it off to Chadli who strode forward and let fly from 25 yards but it was comfortable for Thibaut Courtois.
We had to make an early change when Mason picked up an injury, he was replaced by Mousa Dembele on 14 minutes, but that didn’t impact on our early endeavours as Chadli tested Courtois again two minutes later with a smart overhead kick that the Chelsea keeper saved well low down.
But, just as in the game at Stamford Bridge, we fell behind having started brightly. Hazard jinked down the right into the area, delivered a right-foot shot which hit the post, but fell nicely to Oscar who fired goalwards. His effort was missing the target but Costa was at the far post and he poked home from two yards out.
That lifted the visitors and they were enjoying some good possession, Oscar almost adding to their tally but he fired wide under pressure from Jan Vertonghen and Federico Fazio.
On the half hour mark though, we were level with a fine goal from the man in form, Kane. Vertonghen played the ball out wide to the striker on the left and there seemed little danger at all. But he drifted inside, evaded a couple of Chelsea challenges and unleashed a low powerful drive from 25 yards right into the bottom corner past Courtois’ despairing dive.
Hazard could have done better with a back header on 39 minutes after Willian’s shot looped up off Dembele, before the half ended with a quick-fire double to put us in command at the interval.
Right on the stroke of half-time, Christian Eriksen led a breakaway before slipping a delightful ball in to Chadli bursting from midfield. The Belgian’s shot went under Courtois and hit the post but rebounded straight to Rose who kept his composure to apply a tidy finish just inside the upright.
Then in stoppage time, Kane latched onto a loose ball inside the Chelsea box and poked it past Gary Cahill who upended him and referee Phil Dowd pointed to the spot. Up stepped Townsend who showed no nerves to drill into the right-hand corner, the final kick of a breathless first half.
There was no let up to the pace after the break as both sides continued to search for more goals, Chelsea going close on 50 minutes when half-time substitute Ramires broke forward and as the ball came loose it fell perfectly for Hazard who could only blaze over.
And then we scored again two minutes later! It was Chadli this time bursting down the left flank, he fizzed a ball in to Kane on the edge of the area and the frontman turned and sent a low curling shot through John Terry’s legs and out of the reach of Courtois’s dive to send the Lane into raptures.
But the visitors soon reduced the deficit to 4-2 on 61 minutes when Fazio lost possession to Hazard 40 yards from goal, he surged forwards and laid it wide to Fabregas, taking the Spaniard's return pass inside the area and drilling low into the far corner.
Chelsea were enjoying more of the ball as they poured forward at every opportunity but we certainly carried a threat on the break and almost added a fifth when Kane controlled a chip into the area, rounded Courtois and drilled across the face of the goal, but no-one was on hand to tap home.
Back came Chelsea and it needed a fine save from Lloris to deny Cesar Azpilicueta’s drive from an angle after Hazard’s neat flick but the end-to-end nature of the game just kept flowing and we were soon on the attack once more.
Substitute Paulinho did well to find Kane who in turn laid off to Chadli, he neatly turned inside his marker on the edge of the area and sent a delightful curling effort through Terry’s legs and into the far corner for 5-2.
Chelsea were never going to give up though and kept coming, Lloris saving from Fabregas’ far post header before Ramires just missed the target from a tight angle. And they added to their tally in the 87th minute when Hazard delivered a low cross which evaded everyone in the six-yard box and Terry tucked home at the far post.
There was more late pressure from the Blues, but we held firm and ensured a great start to 2015!
Spurs: Lloris, Walker, Fazio, Vertonghen, Rose (Davies 76), Mason (Dembele 14), Bentaleb, Townsend (Paulinho 66), Eriksen, Chadli, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Chiriches, Stambouli, Soldado.
Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Willian (Salah 72), Oscar (Ramires 46), Hazard, Costa. Substitutes (not used): Cech, Zouma, Drogba, Mikel, Remy.
Goals: Spurs – Kane 30, 52, Rose 45, Townsend 45+3 pen, Chadli 78; Chelsea – Costa 18, Hazard 61, Terry 87.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Bentaleb, Paulinho; Chelsea – Fabregas.
Referee: Phil Dowd.