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Honours even in Xmas cracker

Posted on 22 December 2011  - 12:00

A gripping derby against Chelsea somehow finished 1-1 at White Hart Lane on Thursday night.

A gripping derby against Chelsea somehow finished 1-1 at White Hart Lane on Thursday night.

The teams were like two heavyweight boxers slugging it out in the final 10 minutes of this top-of-the-table clash in the Premier League.

And we almost found the knockout blow in added time.

In the final move of the match, Luka Modric found Roman Pavlychenko on the right touchline, he helped the ball onto Gareth Bale, who sped towards the Chelsea penalty area.

Bale weighted his pass to perfection to Emmanuel Adebayor who beat the advancing Petr Cech, only to see John Terry slide in behind his goalkeeper and divert the ball wide.

Chelsea also had a golden chance in the closing stages but it ended a point apiece after Daniel Sturridge levelled Adebayor's opener in the first half.

Harry Redknapp made one change to the line-up that beat Sunderland on Sunday.

Ledley King, Gareth Bale and Emmanuel Adebayor all made it with Bale coming in for injured Aaron Lennon. Jermain Defoe was also sidelined with a hamstring problem.

We started well and Bale was immediately to the fore with a diagonal run and shot blocked by Terry. The defender was there again to clear a fantastic Bale cross, but could do nothing when the Welsh star next darted down the left.

Sandro snapped into a 50-50 withmSturridge, Bale picked up the pieces and tore past Branislav Ivanovic and Jose Bosingwa before firing in a low cross that Adebayor showed great desire to turn home as Petr Cech slid out. The perfect start.

Sturridge missed a great chance to level three minutes later when he followed in Brad Friedel's save from Juan Mata, but planted the rebound over from eight yards.

However, the striker quickly made amends. Didier Drogba turned the ball wide to Ashley Cole, Rafa van der Vaart's attempted clearance struck the full-back who then crossed for Sturridge to tap home from close range, 23 minutes on the clock.

Drogba struck the post from close range as the visitors enjoyed their best spell of the half.

Chelsea lost Ivanovic to injury, replaced by Paulo Ferreira and although the game remained of the highest quality, the next chance didn't arrive until added time when Cech got down well to his left to deny Adebayor.

Mikel then limped off, replaced by Oriol Romeu.

Harry made a switch at half-time as Sunday's match-winner Roman Pavlyuchenko came on for van der Vaart and we reverted to a 4-4-2 system, with Luka Modric moving to the right.

Chelsea started the second half well and created three quickfire chances, Sturridge glanced Drogba's cross wide, Friedel saved well one-on-one from Ramires and then Terry's header from Mata's corner was directed straight at the keeper.

We then hit back. Adebayor headed Walker's cross wide and Sandro rose to meet Modric's corner but couldn't direct his header on goal.

After a quiet spell, the game exploded in the last 10 minutes.

Pavlyuchenko and Modric opened it up for Bale to fire wide from 20 yards with seven minutes left, Cech somehow reached up to claw Sandro's deflected shot away and William Gallas flicked Bale's cross wide at the near post.

At the other end, Ramires inexplicably missed the target with a free header from eight yards from Mata's free-kick and Romeu drilled inches wide.

Into added time and we managed to carve out that final chance.

The stadium seemed to hold its breath for a second as Adebayor approached the ball and he did everythig right, but couldn't have bargained for Terry to be there to rescue his side.

Spurs (4-2-3-1): Friedel; Walker, Gallas, King, Assou-Ekotto; Parker, Sandro; Van der Vaart (Pavlyuchenko, 46), Modric, Bale; Adebayor. Subs: Gomes, Bassong, Kaboul, Rose, Kranjcar, Livermore, Pavlyuchenko.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Boswinga, Ivanovic (Ferreira, 34), Terry, Cole; Ramires, Mikel (Romeu, 45+3), Meireles; Sturridge, Drogba (Torres, 77), Mata. Subs: Turnbull, Lampard, Malouda, Kalou.

Goals: Spurs - Adebayor (7); Chelsea - Sturridge (23).

Attendance: 36,141.

Refere: Mr H Webb.