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Chelsea 0-0 Spurs

Posted on 24 March 2012  - 17:06

It finished honours even at Stamford Bridge as the team secured a more than deserved point after a 0-0 draw on Saturday afternoon.

Chelsea 0-0 Spurs

It was not a game big on clear chances, but the best ones fell to the team in white shirts as opposed to blue.

Harry drafted William Gallas, Sandro and Emmanuel Adebayor back into the side following the 1-1 draw with Stoke on Wednesday in something of a 4-3-3 formation, with Gareth Bale and Rafa van der Vaart given licence to roam behind Emmanuel Adebayor.

The back four were very nearly carved open inside the first five minutes when Juan Mata advanced down the left and slotted in a teasin low ball that evaded Frank Lampard but looked inviting for Didier Drogba before he elected for a flick and Scott Parker was able to mop up with no little urgency.

Drogba then had another opportunity to muscle his way through when he chested a raking long ball into the danger area, but his footwork did not match that of his upper body and Brad Friedel was able to gather.

It was like both teams were content with some gentle sparring in the early stages in the hot early afternoon sun, with neither really raising the tempo as they sized each other up, seeking space to influence the game. Both keepers were pretty much redundant in the opening 20 minutes and, with the sun as it was, were both probably hoping for little in the way of high crosses.

A smart through ball in the direction of Mata from Drogba was the only minor alarm on 25 minutes, but Friedel was comfortably in position in time to deal with as the game continued at stalemate in the sun.

Lampard was claiming a penalty under a challenge from Younes Kaboul and William Gallas, but referee Mr Atkinson was having none of it. Bale then slammed a shot over the bar from distance.

Adebayor embarked on a dash on the counter-attack, making all the way to the line before dispatching a cross that cleared the head of Kyle Walker, who had made a storming run up the other flank.

Ashley Cole found himself in the clear to the left of the area on 37 minutes and a real problem looked in the offing until van der Vaart flung himself in the way of Cole's cross ball and enabled Friedel to smother the loose ball.

Bale then took the chance to surge forward and took on a shot that blazed over as opposed to slipping through to Adebayor, who was in a more threatening position.

The lead should have been seized right on half-time when Bale and Modric combined to centre for van der Vaart to shoot - his first and second attempts blocked on the line before Adebayor headed over. End of half and it could have been advantage Spurs.

Five minutes into the second half a long clearance from Petr Cech was helped on to Daniel Sturridge by Drogba and the young England striker lashed the ball across the face of goal.

Possession was king in the next phase of the game with the team keeping the ball and adopting a patient approach. It nearly paid off when Bale became more purposeful and strode forward and played in Walker, who then smashed into the side netting.

Chelsea, perhaps concerned at the growing impact of Bale, replaced Bosingwa with David Luiz at right back. It was down that flank at the other end that Ramires started to cause problems, claiming he was manhandled by Assou-Ekotto, but the penalty claim fell on deaf ears.

The home side started to get on top but the initiative was regained with big runs forward from both Adebayor and Kaboul.

Chelsea had a big chance with a free-kick 20 yards out from a central position. Mata shaped up and Friedel gave him a lot of goal to aim at by standing to his right. Mata accepted, went left and only the inside of the post denied him a goal.

There was a double change in the 76th minute, with Louis Saha and Jake Livermore replacing van der Vaart and Sandro. Straighaway from a Modric free-kick, Gallas headed over from a great position in front of goal.

On 79 minutes Adebayor was clean through, rounded Cech and aimed on goal, but Gary Cahill diverted behind. From the resulting corner Bale hit the bar with a power headed, before Adebayor headed the rebound over.

The team were on top as the clock edged towards the 90 minute mark, looking the most likely score and playing the classier football.

There were four minutes added on at the end and Bale embarked on a winding run into the area that was foiled at the last moment. He then struck a free kick that Cech just about managed to claw around the post.


Attendance: 41,830

Team: Brad Friedel, Kyle Walker, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Younes Kaboul, William Gallas, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Scott Parker, Sandro (Jake Livermore), Rafael van der Vaart (Louis Saha), Emmanuel Adebayor.

Subs: Carlo Cudicini, Niko Kranjcar, Danny Rose, Jermain Defoe, Ryan Nelsen.