Report: Chelsea 2-1 Spurs
English League Cup
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink dished out another hefty dose of the Blues as that record continued at Stamford Bridge.
The Dutch hitman maintained his own record of scoring against us every time he pulls on a Chelsea shirt with his sixth and seventh goals against us in just four games.
In doing so, he handed Chelsea the initiative in this two-legged Worthington Cup semi-final but there was enough on show at the Bridge to leave us optimistic for the return in a fortnight's time - not least with an away goal up our sleeve after Les Ferdinand struck midway through the second half.
Les's fourth goal in two Worthington Cup games threatened to hand us the rewards this performance deserved only for it to be taken away thanks to a disputed free-kick 10 minutes later.
Hasselbaink's finely-crafted goal after 10 minutes was the difference between the sides in an evenly-contested first half in which we more than held our own in terms of possession.
Ferdinand had an early chance from a tight angle in the first minute saved by Cudicini's legs but after feeling each other out for 10 minutes, Hasselbaink struck.
Melchiot picked up the ball wide right, rolled it into Hasselbaink who fed Gudjohnsen, he weighted the perfect return pass and Hasselbaink made no mistake.
We soon picked ourselves up and Ferdinand capped a spell of possession with a spin away from Desailly and Terry and rasper wide.
Hasselbaink tested Keller with a 30-yard free-kick before we almost broke through. Davies reached Taricco's probing pass and fired across goal, no-one was there to apply the finishing touch and Ziege's return went the same way, this time deflected out for a corner.
Then disappointment for Steffen Freund on the half-hour mark. Snapping away typically in midfield, the German star twisted his knee as he challenged Frank Lampard and immediately signalled to the bench for help. He was stretchered off, replaced by Tim Sherwood.
Another dangerous Ziege cross and an alert Cudicini saving at the feet of Ferdinand just about capped the half.
We were soon on the front foot after the break as Taricco's shot from 20 yards just failed to bend in time to nestle into the corner.
Keller had to be on his toes to save at Hasselbaink's feet on the hour but then Ferdinand was sent clear on goal by Poyet only for Cudicini to read his intentions and smoother the ball.
The disappointment didn't last long though. Just two minutes later Ferdinand bore down on Cudicini again from Sherwood's astute pass and this time he made no mistake from close range.
But the mood changed back just 10 minutes later. Referee Alan Wiley awarded a free-kick for a disputed handball by Ledley King and Hasselbaink, 30 yards out, took aim, three steps and unleashed a rocket into the top corner.
Hearts were in mouths as Forsell tumbled over Keller's challenge in the box in the 82nd minute - no penalty - and King's outstretched leg denied Forsell in front of goal.
Sergei Rebrov entered the fray late on but we couldn't carve out another chance - that will have to wait until January 23. Make a date!