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Spurs 1-5 Chelsea - Final dream shattered

Posted on 15 April 2012  - 21:17

Our dream of reaching the FA Cup Final was shattered again at Wembley on Sunday.

Spurs 1-5 Chelsea - Final dream shattered

Things just didn't go our way as Chelsea ran out 5-1 winners in the semi-final.

The Blues opened the scoring when we were on top at the end of the first half and then doubled their lead in controversial circumstances four minutes into the second half as Juan Mata's shot was adjudged to have crossed the line by referee Martin Atkinson.

There were hopes of a revival as Gareth Bale tapped into an empty net for 2-1 in the 56th minute but once Ramires restored Chelsea's two-goal cushion with 13 minutes left, we were fighting a losing battle.

Late goals from Frank Lampard and substitute Florent Malouda only rubbed salt into the wounds.

Harry Redknapp made three changes to the team that lost out to Norwich City on Easter Monday.

Carlo Cudicini returned in goal - he's played all of our FA Cup ties this season - William Gallas partnered Ledley King in central defence and Scott Parker recovered from hamstring trouble to face his former club.

Chelsea edged the early exchanges but once we got into our stride, we started to dictate.

Aaron Lennon's effort deflected just wide and Ashley Cole denied Emmanuel Adebayor in front of goal.

Chelsea's threat came on the counter and we were thankful to see Mata take an heavy touch from Salomon Kalou's pass when he was through on Cudicini.

Our best chances arrived late in the half as first John Terry cleared van der Vaart's header off the line and then the Dutchman's cross somehow evaded Adebayor and struck the post with Petr Cech rooted to his goalline.

Three minutes later, and just two minute before the break, Drogba brought down Terry's long ball, turned William Gallas and smashed into the top corner, a real hammer blow before half-time.

We were looking for a bright start to get back into the game but instead were soon reeling from Chelsea's second goal on 49 minutes.

Nevertheless, we regrouped and got back into the game when Adebayor latched onto Parker's pass and was brought down by Cech, but advantage was played and Gareth Bale rolled into an empty net.

King headed van der Vaart's corner just wide and then Jermain Defoe was brought on as we went for broke.

Unfortunately, as the manager later pointed out, that left us too open and Chelsea capitalised with the key third goal in the 77th minute. Chelsea then took advantage of the open spaces to added two further goals.

We now have to call on the spirit of 2010, when we suffered the same semi-final agony against Portsmouth at Wembley but recovered to beat Arsenal and Chelsea in the space of four days on the way to qualifying for the Champions League.

Spurs (4-4-1-1): Cudicini; Walker, Gallas, King, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Modric, Parker (Sandro, 93), Bale; Van der Vaart (Defoe, 75); Adebayor. Subs: Friedel, Nelsen, Rose, Giovani, Livermore.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Bosingwa, Luiz (Cahill, 59), Terry, Cole; Ramires (Malouda, 82), Lampard, Mikel; Mata, Drogba (Torres, 84), Kalou. Subs: Turnbull, Essien, Meireles, Sturridge.

Goals: Spurs - Bale (56); Chelsea - Drogba (43), Mata (49), Ramires (77), Lampard (81), Malouda (94).

Attendance: 85,731.

Referee: Mr M Atkinson.