Premier League

December 22, 2011

Full-time

Tottenham Hotspur

1 - 1

Chelsea

Premier League

20:00 +00:00, December 22, 2011

White Hart Lane, England

Referee: Howard Webb

  •  

    It decides little in terms of how the season may end, and the top four race remains wide open.

  •  

    Terry, it has to be said, appeared to shrug off the pressure and criticism and put in a strong captain's performance.

  •  

    A draw is not a great injustice on a night where both teams could have won, although Chelsea will be more disappointed. Not only are they currently in greater need of the points than Spurs, they were the stronger side and exposed a naive streak within their rivals tonight.

  • 90'

    Full-time! Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Chelsea

  • 90'

    Walker's pass to Parker goes stray. Chelsea throw-in.

  • 90'

    Terry saves Chelsea! Tottenham carve the defence open and create a great chance for Adebayor to finish. The striker beat Cech with the shot but Terry was there to clear - superb defending. He may be lacking pace but he can still read the game like the best.

  • 90'

    Bale crosses towards Pavlyuchenko but the enigmatic Russian fails to meet it. You'd hardly know he was playing, this evening.

  • 90'

    3 minutes of added time to be played...

  • 90'

    Sandro currently down receiving treatment...

  • 89'

    Romeu close too! Pokes the lose ball just wide with the outside of his boot. A good effort that showed plenty of confidence, and perhaps deserved more.

  • 88'

    Credit to Terry where it's due - he's put in a good captain's performance tonight, showing great composure and doesn't seem under pressure.

  • 88'

    Minutes remaining...

  • 87'

    Mata curls the ball into the box beautifully, from a free-kick, and Ramires was unmarked and had both time and space to direct the ball goalwards but heads wide. Very poor from the Brazilian - that was the chance to win the game.

  • 87'

    Now Ramires goes close!

  • 86'

    Tottenham really piling on the pressure now! Gallas going close!

  • 85'

    What a save by Cech! Sandro's shot is deflected unpredictably and Cech just managed to palm the ball away - it was just within his reach.

  • 85'

    Walker again attacking and overlapping Cole...

  • 84'

    The finish is sliced wide but he was in a dangerous position - one of the few times Tottenham have threatened in this half.

  • 83'

    Bale now fires over after combining with Modric!

  • 82'

    Sturridge shoots - selfishly - from distance. Waste of possession for Chelsea, a routine save for Friedel.

  • 81'

    It's not unthinkable that, if Torres has enough composure, he can score if in some space given the dangerous, distracting runs Sturridge has been making all evening.

  • 80'

    Cole on his own wavelength there, curls a through-ball to no-one and out of play.

  • 79'

    Torres' first contribution is wasted. He crosses well for Sturridge but the young striker was offside so his header was of no consequence.

  • 78'

    After a productive first-half, Drogba was far more listless in the second. The change was understandable.

  • 78'

    That's something you can expect much more in January: Torres playing instead of Drogba.

  • 77'

    Drogba off, Torres on.

  • 77'

    Spurs fans enjoyed the challenge, however, and continue to boo Terry.

  • 77'

    Adebayor fouls Terry with what has to be said is quite a bad challenge. He's limping too, which is unusual for him.

  • 76'

    A great through ball from Romeu, and equally good finish from Mata. The forward, however, is well offside.

  • 75'

    Chelsea exchanging possession superbly now.

  • 74'

    Fernando Torres is getting warmed up. Moment of magic from him, perhaps (long overdue)?

  • 72'

    Well defender from Sandro, blokcing Mata's attempt to cross. Despite the tempo tonight, very few overlaps are emerging with both sides cancelling the other out. A moment of magic from Mata or Modric, or any other for that matter, seems most likely to win the game (or an individual error).

  • 71'

    Mata fails to connect to Ramires' cross ut it was a good chance if the ball had just been within reach.

  • 70'

    Meireles clears the ball for a Tottenham throw-in. The home side suddenly look lifted again but they lack any significant movement up front. They should really be looking to exploit Ferreira at right-back, and Bosingwa in the middle, because they actually currently don't look out of place at all.

  • 68'

    Sandro, of course, scored his only Tottenham goal in a defeat to Chelsea last season. They'd taken the lead in that game, too.

  • 67'

    Sandro heads over from Modric's corner! Should have done better - he was well placed and under little pressure. Goal-kick to Chelsea.

  • 66'

    ...and he's now Chelsea's most advanced player, chasing the ball in Tottenham's defence. Apparently he has a greater engine than he's given credit for.

  • 66'

    Mata showing a different quality just there - tracking back to tackle Walker..

  • 65'

    Which they do and Terry flicks the ball on towards the far post but its met by no-one and heads out for a goal-kick. Tottenham need to show something different if they're to avoid defeat tonight.

  • 65'

    Drogba fouled by Walker. An insignificant challenge but it was a foul, and Chelsea now have the chance to cross.

  • 64'

    Adebayor briefly resembled the petulant striker at the end of his spells at Arsenal and Manchester City there, showing his frustration at Pavlyuchenko's inability to anticipate a knockdown.

  • 63'

    Assou-Ekotto wastes possession by launching an optimistic long ball which poses little threat to Chelsea's back four.

  • 61'

    Adebayor heads wide from Walker's cross. Up the other end, however, Assou-Ekotto was accused of handball but any penalty would have been harsh.

  • 61'

    Chelsea are finding much more space in this half and seem to be the more confident of the two sides.

  • 60'

    Chelsea now stroking the ball around in midfield. Tottenham seem somewhat flat in this half, and certainly without urgency.

  • 59'

    Adebayor finds the back of the net but it's ruled out for offside and he appeared to use his arm, too. No complaints.

  • 58'

    Bale again fouled, by Ramires. The Brazilian has already been booked so perhaps the introduction of Lampard wouldn't now go amiss. That said, much of this game has surrounded pace so Chelsea would be sacrificing pass.

  • 57'

    Chelsea look to break again but Ramires seems bereft of invention, runs himself into a dead end and loses possession.

  • 55'

    Great confidence then from Sturridge! Launching a counter-attack he casually hits the ball beyond Ledley King, confident he can outsprint the defender. The result isn't as he wishes, but the intent is admirable.

  • 54'

    Poor and predictable in front of goal, even though Friedel should be credited for doing well there, both in presence and with the save. A lovely through ball towards Ramires which surely would have been converted by Mata, Sturridge or Drogba.

  • 54'

    Ramires wastes a great chance to put Chelsea in front!

  • 53'

    Drogba crosses towards Sturridge but the young striker - he may currently be playing as a wideman, but he'll be a striker in the long-term - glances wide. Goal-kick.

  • 52'

    Gallas intercepts well with Cole looking to break again down the left. Chelsea throw-in.

  • 51'

    Tottenham already look more balanced, if more predictable, in Van der Vaart's absence. Parker very much the base of the midfield once more.

  • 50'

    Little of note so far in this half. Both sides yet to settle.

  • 49'

    Will be interesting to see if the added presence of Pavlyuchenko - in addition to Adebayor - unsettles makeshift centre-back Bosingwa.

  • 48'

    Sturridge unnecessarily loses possession inside Spurs' penalty area after attempting a trick and the danger is gone.

  • 47'

    Drogba rises to meet the corner but heads over. Goal-kick.

  • 47'

    The striker's effort clips the wall before going out for a corner, though. Mata to take.

  • 46'

    Chelsea win an early free-kick. It's in Drogba territory, too.

  • 46'

    Spurs kick-off.

  •  

    Spurs set to go 4-4-2 for the second-half, then.

  •  

    Van der Vaart off, with a reported hamstring problem, and Pavlyuchenko on.

  •  

    Tottenham's midfield has appeared less balanced in Lennon's absence.

  •  

    The teams are re-emerging for the second-half, and it looks as though Van der Vaart has been replaced by Roman Pavlyuchenko...

  •  

    Feel free to tweet your thoughts on the game to @ESPNSOCCERNET

  •  

    Glenn Hoddle, ex-Spurs and England manager, on Kyle Walker: "He's got to play for England."

  •  


    Daniel Sturridge turns home the equaliser for Chelsea

  •  

    It hast to be said, however, that Chelsea's front three are looking more isolated than Adebayor is, and consequently Tottenham look favourites. However, Spurs have defended poorly and it'd be no great surprise if Chelsea successfully counter attacked during the second-half.

  •  

    Tonight's fixture is still very much wide open at half-time. Tottenham started superbly and, after going in front, threatened to control the game. Chelsea equalised, perhaps against the run of play, but since then the game's been far more even.

  • 45'

    Van der Vaart takes but it's headed clear. Half-time whistle is blown.

  • 45'

    Spurs, attempting a final attack before half-time, win a corner. Everyone has come forward for it.

  • 45'

    Mikel off, and replaced by the in-form (is there any other kind?) La Masia graduate, Oriol Romeu.

  • 45'

    Mikel's hurt and looks set to come off and be replaced (one of the few occasions when an injury may actually benefit a side).

  • 45'

    Adebayor does well to get a shot underway and test Cech but it's a good save. It's worth noting his prior touch was Carlton Cole-esque and he was fortunate to retain possession for the shot.

  • 45'

    Spurs upping the tempo again, clearly hoping to regain the lead before half-time.

  • 45'

    3 mins of added time to be played...

  • 43'

    Very poor from Modric. An inswinging cross barely reaches the area before Chelsea clear it. A complete waste.

  • 43'

    Modric standing over the resultant free-kick. He surely looked to curl the ball into Chelsea's box.

  • 42'

    A potentially dangerous tackle but there seemed no intent from the Brazilian. Regardless, Bale's clearly in some discomfort.

  • 42'

    Ramires booked for fouling Bale

  • 41'

    Until Sturridge loses control of the ball...

  • 40'

    Chelsea again exchanging possession at the back...

  • 39'

    Assou-Ekotto with a big challenge on Ferreira. It was essentially a collision, however, so hard to penalise. Spurs with the ball at the back.

  • 38'

    Truly exceptional touch from Bale! Walker's cross - again overhit - looked destined to result in a goal-kick but Bale's control was outstanding. He managed to keep the ball in and retain possession.

  • 37'

    Adebayor, who has already been cautioned, fouls Mikel with a challenge that was judged to be too high. Free-kick to Chelsea but the striker needs to be careful.

  • 36'

    Ramires fouls Bale near the half-way line. Little more than a foul, no bad intent and no-one's hurt. Spurs free-kick.

  • 35'

    Cech collects an ambitious pass from Van der Vaart, who was looking for Gareth Bale. Chelsea again patiently building from the back.

  • 35'

    As Spurs' back four are now doing. Tempo slowing now, somewhat.

  • 34'

    Chelsea's back four, and deep midfield triumvirate, not exchanging the possession with ease at the back.

  • 33'

    Walker really overhits a cross to the extent it resembles a shot. Chelsea goal-kick.

  • 32'

    Ferreira - a veteran of Portugal's Euro 2004 victory over England and Porto's Champions League triumph - goes to right-back, with Bosingwa staying in the middle...are you sure, Andre?

  • 32'

    Ivanovic off, Ferreira on.

  • 31'

    Drogba's control is poor and the ball's out for a Tottenham throw.

  • 31'

    Chelsea still playing with ten men.

  • 30'

    More worryingly, perhaps, is that Bosingwa has currently moved to centre-half.

  • 30'

    Ivanovic hasn't yet been subbed - he's getting treatment.

  • 29'

    Drogba's certainly currently in excellent form. He may well be playing for a new contract but many (this writer included) doubted his ability to continually play at that level.

  • 29'

    Chelsea now preparing a substitution. The ball's sent out of play.

  • 28'

    Great control by the big striker following a deep cross from Bosingwa! Chested superbly and volleyed with his left foot, but it hits the outside of the post and Tottenham escape.

  • 28'

    Drogba hits the post!

  • 27'

    Tottenham fans accuse Cole of diving after Adeabyor's challenge. In fairness, he did go down easily but contact was made nonetheless.

  • 26'

    Sturridge plays in Bosinga (whose name Glenn Hoddle ironically pronounced "Boswinga", before kick-off), but the defender sluggishly chases the overlap and Assou-Ekotto clears.

  • 25'

    Chelsea defending Tottenham's high tempo well. Lots of players pushing forward into Chelsea's half, however, and it wouldn't be a surprise if Tottenham's pressure forced the Blues to concede possession.

  • 23'

    Tottenham are furious! They're accusing Cole of handball but it overlooks the classy build-up Chelsea produced. A masterful touch from Drogba sends Cole down the left who sent in a dangerous cross for Sturridge to convert. A well placed cross, and a good run from Sturridge. 1-1.

  • 23'

    GOAL Sturridge scores!

  • 22'

    Modric now retreating to assist King and Gallas, with both full-backs staying wide. It seems he, Parker and Sandro are taking it in turns to be the ball player from the back.

  • 20'

    ...not that Drogba is concerned, of course. The Ivorian takes the break in play to change his boots.

  • 19'

    Adebayor simply heavy in the challenge on Meireles. Nothing particularly dirty about it, although the Portuguese is clearly in some discomfort...

  • 19'

    Adebayor booked.

  • 19'

    Foul committed by Adebayor on Meireles. Chelsea free-kick.

  • 18'

    Sturridge caught offside. Friedel to take the resultant free-kick.

  • 18'

    Chelsea now more patient in possession, exchanging the ball comfortably.

  • 16'

    Stat: 68% possession for Tottenham, 32% for Chelsea.

  • 15'

    Three Chelsea defenders on Bale and still he wins a corner. Admittedly he's a danger but he's not the only threat Spurs have, it makes little sense to gift so much space to Van der Vaart and Modric elsewhere.

  • 15'

    Terry again in possession, and again being booed. Will be some time, if ever, before his reputation recovers.

  • 14'

    Poor communication there from Spurs. A long ball towards Adebayor from Assou-Ekotto is nodded down to no-one with Walker looking to overlap and break.

  • 13'

    Sturridge clears.

  • 12'

    Van der Vaart curls the ball into the wall and it goes out for a corner.

  • 11'

    Tottenham given a free-kick on the edge of Chelsea's penalty box following the foul. A frantic start to tonight's game.

  • 11'

    Ivanovic booked for fouling Bale

  • 10'

    And how close it was! Mata's shot from outside the area is parried by Friedel to Sturridge, who is woefully wasteful in firing over the bar from close range with what looked like a simple finish.

  • 9'

    Chelsea now in possession and looking to respond...

  • 9'

    Spurs again look to build another attack and put Chelsea under further pressure. Keeping the ball and spreading it comfortably.

  • 8'

    Typical Tottenham goal! Bale breaks down the left and sends in a low cross which Adebayor taps in with ease! It can't be overlooked the Cech was particularly unauthoritative in deadling with the cross. A potential hangover from the Wigan mistake, perhaps?

  • 8'

    GOAL Adebayor scores!

  • 7'

    Spurs again showing the expansive play that has made them so entertaining to watch this season. Adebayor came wide to the left wing, Parker made a run forward and Modric and Bale combined to send the England midfielder through. Parker couldn't avoid giving away a goal-kick, but Chelsea have an early reminder of Spurs' flexibility.

  • 6'

    Modric through ball runs out for a goal-kick. Cech to take.

  • 5'

    Bale crosses by Terry clears with Adebayor lurking. Seems unaffected, though it's obviously early in the game.

  • 4'

    Modric with a masterful pass out wide from the outside of his boot. Shows Chelsea exactly why they were so keen on signing him during the summer.

  • 3'

    Tottenham's full-backs already pushing forward. Gallas and King remain at the back, supported by Parker.

  • 3'

    Corner cleared, Tottenham now in possession in their own half again.

  • 2'

    "Spurs go marching in" rings around White Hart Lane - typically great atmosphere there.

  • 2'

    Promising attack by Gareth Bale. A dangerous run into the penalty area before Terry blocks for a corner.

  • 2'

    King, playing his second game in succession, is now passing the ball along Spurs' back four.

  • 1'

    John Terry's first touch of the ball results in a chorus of boos. Adebayor's pressures Chelsea's back four but it's out for a goal-kick.

  • 1'

    Chelsea kick-off.

  •  

    Kick-off is moments away...

  •  

    The teams are walking out onto the pitch and John Terry is, unsurprisingly, getting booed already.

  •  

    It's been confirmed: Drogba starts.

  •  

    Of course, much of the subtext to this evening will surround Chelsea's captain, John Terry, who faces criminal charges over alleged racist abuse towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

  •  

    One of the biggest shocks of the evening is that Oriol Romeu - one of Chelsea's best players in recent weeks - is dropped to make way for Jon Obi-Mikel. Madness. Mikel hasn't looked like a good player since early 2007, when Jose Mourinho was still in charge.

  •  

    Either way, a central striker is likely to be flanked by Juan Manuel Mata - the star of Chelsea's season so far, and one of the Premier League's best imports in recent years - and Daniel Sturridge. The two will look to exploit any potential space left by Kyle Walker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto, two full-backs who like to get forward and potentially leave their centre-backs exposed.

  •  

    An early chance for Torres, perhaps?

  •  

    ...Although it has just emerged that Drogba is in some discomfort after hurting his knee during this evening's warm-up. The possibility remains that he may now not start afterall.

  •  

    Unsurprisingly, Didier Drogba - in one of his last games before joining up with the Ivory Coast for the African Cup of Nations - starts over Fernando Torres.

  •  

    Modric, if not in the middle, tends to occupy the left for Tottenham, which is Bale's favoured position. It raises the possibility that the Welshman could start on the right, but it's difficult to see manager Harry Redknapp being prepared to put Bale up against Ashley Cole.

  •  

    Tottenham will have Sandro and Scott Parker - against one of his former sides - anchoring a midfield behind Rafael van der Vaart and lone striker Emmanuel Adebayor. Bale and Modric are likely to be Spurs' wingers, although Modric is unlikely to be so in a traditional sense - expect to see him cutting inside all evening.

  •  

    Frank Lampard, a veteran of the fixture, has been left out of Chelsea's starting line-up. The game, of course, may well be lost or won in midfield.

  •  

    Following a late fitness test, it has been confirmed that Tottenham Hotspur and Wales winger Gareth Bale will start tonight. Jose Bosingwa will certainly have to be at his best...

  •  

    Andre Villas-Boas will be hoping to record another important victory to keep the Chelsea revival on course.

  •  

    Although not the most famous of London derbies, Spurs-Chelsea has long been a fiery fixture and you can read about some classic encounters here.

  •  

    Live commentary will appear here from 2000 GMT.