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Report: Chelsea 4-0 Spurs

Posted on 14 March 2002  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

A Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink hat-trick proved the undoing of Spurs after what was a fairly even contest tipped heavily in Chelsea's favour with the sending-off of Mauricio Taricco.

At a goal down on the hour, Taricco's challenge on Graeme Le Saux proved to be a costly one and Hasselbaink added another two and Lampard topped up the score in the last minute.

Despite what the scoreline suggests, Spurs were very much in this game until the final third. They were unfortunate to fall behind after 23 minutes when, if anything, enjoying the better of possession.

Although seeing plenty of the ball, chances we very few and far between and, sadly, Hasselbaink did have his clinical head on and punished Spurs from virtually every opportunity that came his way.

The only changes from Sunday's team were Ben Thatcher returning to defence along with Mauricio Taricco. Simon Davies switched to midfield to replace the injured Darren Anderton, while Thatcher swapped places with Anthony Gardner who reverted to the bench.

Chelsea's starting line-up was unchanged, the only change being Mario Stanic replacing Jokanovic on the bench.

The game began with a predictably high tempo and Thatcher won the ball from Gronkjaer with a barnstorming and totally legal challenge early on.

The first significant chance of the match came on four minutes when Davies freed Ferdinand down the right. Les advanced and cut the ball back across goal and Sheringham was denied by a last-ditch challenge.

Straight away Hasselbaink stormed up the other end and fired an effort into the side netting with an effort that looked goalbound.

Spurs were asking the more taxing questions and probed to good effect. Les was causing Desailly all sorts of problems with his power play, while Teddy looked to have a decent penalty call.

On 15 minutes Chelsea spurned a good chance to go ahead after a period of Spurs pressure. A superb angled ball by Petit gave Gudjohnsen a run on goal but, like his strike partner, he found the outside of the post.

Ziege then just failed to find the head of Les with an inswinging free-kick from the right. A long ball from the German moments later found Teddy in the area and he was muscled off the ball but managed to stick a foot on the ball to prod it to Davies who nearly slid through with a jinking run.

But, in the next movement of the match, Hasselbaink picked up the ball to the left of the Spurs area, took aim and curled a spectacular curling effort past Sullivan for his 25th goal of the season in the 23rd minute.

Harsh on Spurs, however, who did not deserve to be behind. But Chelsea had a spring in their step and Gudjohnsen had an effort cleared off the line after rounding Sullivan.

Spurs had a great chance to level when, after a period of possession, Poyet chipped the ball into the path of Les in the area. Les headed back instead of turning on goal, but the oncoming players did not quite read his thoughts.

Ziege's free-kick from all of 35 yards then flashed wide as Spurs continued to show the greater attacking intent. Chelsea's plan appeared to be attempting to pick Spurs off on the break.

The boys continued to press and a volleyed Ziege cross was intercepted just before Davies could connect. Davies was seconds later denied by the advancing Cudicini.

Soon after Hasselbaink was given the opportunity for another curler from a similar position after Sherwood was dispossessed. Thankfully this one went wide.

Ferdinand was next in goalmouth action, challenging Cudicini following a powerful high ball in from Sherwood.

Spurs went in at the interval a goal down, a scoreline that certainly did not reflect their performance or contribution to the game.

Perry replaced Richards at the break, while Chelsea started the second half with a burst, Hasselbaink breaking through and Sullivan saved smartly at his feet.

Poyet came close to levelling the match when a superb pass from Ledley was laid off in his direction and from all of 35 yards he only just cleared the crossbar.

Spurs were continuing pretty much where they left off in the first half, having most of the ball but not quite able to break down a stubborn Chelsea rearguard.

The game had its first flashpoint on the hour when Taricco made a late challenge on Le Saux. There was a bit of jostling between the players before referee Alan Wiley elected to hand Taricco a straight red card. It was the 5th red card in six matches between Spurs and Chelsea.

It appeared a harsh decision and out of context with a game that until then had been played in a calm, professional manner.

Spurs went to a four at the back, with Ledley now operating down the right. Anthony Gardner also entered the fray in place of Thatcher.

It looked like it was going to be a tall order for Spurs to salvage something from the game and it was made harder when Gronkjaer sped down the right and dispatched a pinpoint cross onto the head of Hasselbaink. The Dutchman's header gave Sullivan no chance.

In a position of strenth, Chelsea introduced Zola for Gudjohnsen to great acclaim as the home side set about picking holes in an understrength Spurs. Petit came close to increasing the advantage 15 minutes from time before Ferdinand overstepped a Ziege ball in a threatening position.

With ten minutes remaining Hasselbaink put a shine on the scoreline when he stumbled past two defenders and unleashed another of his trademark curlers from the left that again flew beyond Sullivan's outstretched hand to complete his hat-trick.

Sergei Rebrov, who was waiting to come on for a few minutes, immediately replaced Ferdinand and shortly afterwards the threat of Hasselbaink was removed - he was replaced by Forsell.

As much a they battled, Spurs could not find the killer pass or a way breaching the blue wall and the home side enjoyed a second win over us in the space of a few days.

To add insult to injury, Frank Lampard added a fourth following a goalmouth scramble in the final minute.

Not too many will be sorry that Chelsea is off the menu for the rest of the season.