White Hart Lane
Sat 20 Oct 2012 12:45 (Attendance: 36,060)
The interruptions in our fixture list are now over for 2012, and it's a major match to resume the league campaign. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton prepare the way to White Hart Lane…
This is Chelsea's second successive away trip with a Saturday 12.45pm kick off, and both have been in north London. The Blues triumphed 2-1 at the Emirates with a dominant performance and decisive moments of flair.
Arsenal had not lost at home since succumbing 1-2 to Wigan in April. Spurs are undefeated at White Hart Lane since that same month, when Norwich won by an identical scoreline.
Leaders Chelsea have so far dropped just two points from a possible 21. Along with Manchester City, four points behind, the Blues are the only Barclays Premier League clubs yet to taste defeat. Spurs, though, have not lost at home in local derbies since 2007.
Roberto Di Matteo will have to negotiate this traditionally feisty derby and the ensuing three domestic fixtures without captain and leader John Terry as a result of the player's decision not to appeal the FA's recent judgment, fine and four-match suspension.
The other games JT will miss are Manchester United in the league and Capital One Cup, both at home, and Swansea away. The central defender remains available for the Blues' vital Champions League visit to the Ukraine to play Shakhtar, second-placed in Group E and could return to domestic action for the visit of Liverpool on Sunday 11 November.
Terry has of course retired from international football, but many of his teammates remain heavily engaged with their country - just six first-teamers reported for training at Cobham until midweek.
However, during the previous break there were just three. This time Juan Mata and Cesar Azpilicueta were omitted by Spain and Daniel Sturridge was regaining fitness, while Ryan Bertrand and Frank returned early through illness and injury respectively.
None the less, league matches following the FIFA-imposed interludes are always a test, with preparation reduced to a minimum and players often enduring long journeys and tiring match schedules.
Last season in the four games played after interruptions in August, October, November and February (an England match rescheduled from August), Chelsea won one (Everton at home), drew one (Stoke away), and lost two - Liverpool at the Bridge and West Brom at the Hawthorns, both upsets.
Nor will the workload ease up. This season there are further fixed international dates in mid-November before another visit to West Brom, early February ahead of the arrival of Wigan, and towards the end of March prior to the trip to Southampton.
Tottenham are similarly affected; symbolically, Chelsea's Eden Hazard replaced Spurs man Mousa Dembele at half time for Belgium against Scotland. Their USA international Clint Dempsey arrived back from games in the Caribbean and Kansas on Thursday. He was rested after racking up similar mileage during the previous FIFA break.
All that exertion perhaps suggests goals late on as players tire. In a turnaround from last season's bad habit, Chelsea have scored three times in the last 10 minutes of Premier League matches, conceding none.
Tottenham have managed the exact opposite, and are in danger of inheriting a pattern that was damaging to the Blues' last campaign. Going into January Andre Villas-Boas's Blues had conceded nine times from the 80th minute on.
It was one of the factors that contributed to Chelsea finishing behind Tottenham in the league for the first time in 16 years. Over the course of the Premier League the Blues have averaged 70 points per season, 16 more than the Lilywhites.
In terms of honours, last season's domestic and continental successes mean that the west Londoners now boast as many European and League Cup victories as our north London rivals and are just one short in the FA Cup. Chelsea have won twice as many league titles as Tottenham.
This season there are 30 points up for grabs in capital contests. As an indication of how treacherous they can be, already only Chelsea and Tottenham remain unbeaten in these matches. The Blues' only dropped points came in the derby at QPR.
|Premier London League|
Barclays Premier League fixtures
Tottenham v Chelsea 12.45pm - Sky Sports
Fulham v Aston Villa 3pm
Liverpool v Reading 3pm
Manchester United v Stoke 3pm
Swansea v Wigan 3pm
West Brom v Manchester City 3pm
West Ham v Southampton 3pm
Norwich v Arsenal 5.30 - ESPN
Sunderland v Newcastle 1.30pm - Sky Sports
QPR v Everton 4pm - Sky Sports
|Barclays Premier League table top eight|
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Joining club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton to continue their preview for the weekend's opening fixture, Clive Walker adds the tactical eye of a former player…
Chelsea are aiming to extend a five-match winning streak and become the first team to win at White Hart Lane since Norwich in April. Former Blues winger Clive Walker assesses how we might achieve it.
'We are overdue a good result at White Hart Lane,' Clive says. 'Six visits without a win is disappointing compared to what we became used to before. It was always going to be a difficult job and it's made harder by the loss of John Terry. You need leaders in games such as this and Spurs are desperate for revenge after what we did to them last season.
'Having said that, David Luiz and Gary Cahill have proved themselves at centre-back in the toughest of environments - a Champions League final on the opposition's home ground - so I'm sure they will keep their focus again this weekend.
'This season the ratchet is cranked even higher because Spurs are managed by the man Chelsea sacked, and the Blues arrive as the capital's first Champions of Europe, a title the north London clubs would love to have won.
'Tottenham fans will still be bitter that our victory also turfed them out of this season's Champions League. There will be an air of "something to prove" about the place.
'The Chelsea fans can remind the home supporters as much as much as they like about last season's 5-1 drubbing in the FA Cup semi-final, but the teams will put it out of their minds completely.
'However, as a player you are well aware what this derby means to fans, and I always feel this one means more to Chelsea supporters than playing anyone else; for Spurs it's more Arsenal.
'International traveling over the past few weeks could be a factor for both sides. After the delay to the England game I imagine both AVB and Roberto Di Matteo would have been frustrated not to have had their players back from Poland on time. They were two teams in terrific form before the break.
'After a bit of a winless streak AVB switched to a 4-4-1-1 at QPR and was rewarded with a big win. They had been playing less on the front foot than under previous manager Harry Redknapp, using a 4-2-3-1 formation that relied more on patient possession.
'With that they couldn't find enough at home to put away West Brom and Norwich - who we beat with ease a fortnight ago, of course. Since them Clint Dempsey, who can be quite clever and elusive, has been playing in a support striker role behind Jermain Defoe.
'Part of his job is to harass the opposition's holding midfielder as much as possible, as well as provide the usual nuisance in attack with late runs. It's worked for AVB. But will he be ready to start after flying halfway round the world with the USA team?
'Another key switch was bringing young Steven Caulker into the centre of defence and moving Jan Vertonghen to left-back. Vertonghen will likely be back in the middle if Benoit Assou-Ekotto is fit again.
'The Belgian has earned a lot of praise so far for showing his quality in the tackle and on the ball. Chelsea's attacking four will ask real questions of this Spurs defence, though, and it will be the concentration of Vertonghen and co. that will be tested to the limit.
'How many of Oscar, Eden Hazard and Victor Moses will start after their globe-trotting activities? If we can put out a semblance of the side that beat Arsenal at the Emirates the likes of right-back Kyle Walker will have to be careful about when he chooses to go forward. We have become expert at exploiting gaps behind the defence this season.
'It was amazing Spain left out Juan Mata, but their loss is our gain. He's been absolutely terrific so far this season and he'll want to go out at White Hart Lane and really show the national set-up what they're missing.
'Mikel is back in the Nigeria fold again, though, and this is the type of battle where you do need his strength and experience in that defensive role. He has been excellent this season and will have a crucial part to play stopping Dempsey and Dembele from finding Defoe.
'Centre midfield is going to be a decisive area. Spurs have Moussa Dembélé and Sandro in there. Of the two, Dembélé roves forward more, hoping to beat a man and open up play.
'From the attacking viewpoint it means if he can rob his opponent further up the field you're that crucial bit closer to goal, and this Chelsea side always offers lots of options.
'Obviously Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon are big threats for Spurs. Referees may be scrutinising Bale's tumbles slightly more than usual after recent incidents, but you can't deny he gets the crowd out of their seats with his surging runs.
'He carries the ball at speed and has a tremendous shot on him too. He singlehandedly won the game for Wales against Scotland, and Robbie Di Matteo will have to work out a way to deal with him.
'He used José Bosingwa at right-back in last season's semi-final for his pace. We won 5-1, which was fantastic, but it was Bale who scored their goal. At the Lane, Branislav Ivanovic started there but had to go off injured, and Paulo Ferreira did very well.
'It's handy our full-backs have not been that over-exerted in the break. Ashley Cole was partly rested, Cesar Azpilicueta did not go anywhere at all, and Ryan Bertrand returned early because of illness - let's hope he is fully recovered by Saturday as we'll need to defend our flanks properly and he can do a job there from midfield.
'People were surprised Brad Friedel was dropped after 310 consecutive league starts to make way for Hugo Lloris. It was ahead of the international break though and Lloris obviously wants to stay in the France reckoning. He played against Spain and saved a Fabregas penalty, so AVB did him a favour.
'This will be a tight game in a hostile atmosphere, but I thought we edged the draw there last season and should go one better this time around.'
With Frank Lampard over the calf strain that kept him out for England and Ryan Bertrand recovered from illness, Roberto Di Matteo has plenty from which to choose, especially as the international break was the final part of Daniel Sturridge's rehabilitation from a hamstring tear. John Terry is suspended.
Tottenham will be without former Blue Scott Parker due to an Achilles injury and defenders Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul have knee injuries.Jake Livermore and Kyle Naughton are back in contention.
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WE HAVE HISTORY
This derby was first played in the 1909/10 season. Chelsea won the mid-December game at Stamford Bridge 2-1, with England's Jimmy Windridge opening the scoring. Spurs wrought severe revenge on April 30 1910, though, by reversing the scoreline and condemning the injury-ravaged Pensioners to the drop. Worse, Percy Humphreys, who had only left Chelsea in November, hit the winner.
Another 'old boy' moment came in April 2001, when manager Glenn Hoddle faced the Blues in only his fourth match in charge. As player-coach Hoddle had kick-started the Stamford Bridge revival in 1993. He had left White Hart Lane six years earlier, and Spurs had not beaten their London rivals since - hence the nickname 'Three Point Lane.'
The crowing was all Chelsea's again as Hoddle's plans fell apart in a first half that saw centre-back Chris Perry limp off (to be replaced by Anthony Gardner) and Dutch winger Willem Korsten shown a second yellow card by referee Graham Barber.
By then the Claudio Ranieri's side were ahead through Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - his 21st of a prolific season (pictured below) - and Tottenham were unable to gain a foothold after the break. On the hour mark Gus Poyet doubled the lead with his fourth goal in three games, and Eidur Gudjohnsen added one in the last minute to send visiting fans home delirious.
Fortunes have changed in recent years. Our last six league visits to White Hart Lane have seen three defeats and three draws. Tottenham have lost only three of our last 11 meetings in league and cup.
Our last victory at White Hart Lane was in the FA Cup quarter-final replay in March 2007 when Andriy Shevchenko and Shaun Wright-Phillips scored for Chelsea, Robbie Keane for Spurs with a penalty.
Our last win there in the league came as far back as August 2005. Goals in each half by Asier Del Horno and Damien Duff (after Mido was sent off after 25 minutes) were enough to secure the three points.
Our last 10 away league meetings at Tottenham
2002/03 - Drew 0-0
2003/04 - Chelsea won 1-0
2004/05 - Chelsea won 2-0
2005/06 - Chelsea won 2-0
2006/07 - Tottenham won 2-1
2007/08 - Drew 4-4
2008/09 - Tottenham won 1-0
2009/10 - Tottenham won 2-1
2010/11 - Drew 1-1
2011/12 - Drew 1-1
Other matches last season
24 March 2012 Barclays Premier League
15 April 2012 FA Cup semi-final, Wembley
Bale 55 Drogba 42
Chelsea v Tottenham in all competitions
Games played 146
Chelsea wins 61
Spurs wins 49
Head to head in the League at White Hart Lane
Games played 64
Chelsea wins 22
Spurs wins 24
Biggest league win at White Hart Lane for each team
09/10/1920 Tottenham 5-0 Chelsea
06/12/1997 Tottenham 1-6 Chelsea
Chelsea qualified for the Champions League: 153
Tottenham qualified for the Europa League: 153
Arsenal won a trophy: 2,709
Liverpool won the league: 8,204
Visit again tomorrow for part two of the Pre-Match Briefing.
The Blues are hoping for a sixth straight win in all competitions.
We have won both games against teams in the top half.
Chelsea boast the Barclays Premier League's tightest defence, conceding four goals in seven matches.
The Blues are eight points better off after seven games compared to the corresponding games last season.
All five occasions this term in the Premier League we have opened the scoring we have gone on to win the game.
Chelsea's 19 points from seven matches marks our best start since 2005/06 when we secured maximum points from the same number of games.
|Last six results|
|Sep 19||Juventus (Champions League h)||D 2-2|
|Sep 22||Stoke (h)||W 1-0|
|Sep 25||Wolves (League Cup h)||W 6-0|
|Sep 29||Arsenal (a)||W 2-1|
|Oct 2||FC Nordsjaelland (Champions League a)||W 4-0|
|Oct 6||Norwich (h)||W 4-1|
Premier League scorers
Torres 4, Ivanovic 3, Lampard 3 (2 pens), Hazard 2 (1 pen), Cahill 1, Cole 1, Mata 1. Total 15.
League games since
An away win: 0
An away draw: 1
An away defeat: 3
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Tue 23 Oct||Shakhtar Donetsk (CL) away||7.45pm|
|Sun 28 Oct||Manchester United home||4pm|
|Wed 31 Oct||Manchester United (LC) home||7.45pm|
If selected, Ramires will make his 100th Chelsea appearance.
Frank Lampard is now equal with Bobby Tambling's as our top league scorer in top-flight matches with 129 goals.
2 League championships, last in 1961
8 FA Cups, last in 1991
4 League Cups, last in 2008
7 FA Charity/Community Shields (3 shared), last in 1991
1 European Cup Winners' Cup in 1963
2 UEFA Cups, last in 1984
Tottenham have not lost a Premier League London derby at White Hart Lane in over five years (20 games).
They have scored in their last 28 Premier League games at White Hart Lane since a goalless draw with West Ham in March 2011.
Spurs have not lost in the league this term when they have opened the scoring.
They are unbeaten at White Hart Lane in seven games in all competitions.
2009/10 was the only Premier League season in which Spurs had more than their current total of 14 points after seven games.
Brad Friedel's omission from their last game against Aston Villa ended a record run of 310 consecutive Premier League games stretching back to May 2004 when he was at Blackburn.
Manager Andre Villas-Boas
Days in charge: 109
|Spurs' last 10 year league history|
|Last six results|
|Sep 20||Lazio (Europa League h)||D 0-0|
|Sep 23||QPR (h)||W 2-1|
|Sep 26||Carlisle (League Cup a)||W 3-0|
|Sep 29||Manchester United (a)||W 3-2|
|Oct 4||Panathinaikos (Europa League a)||D 1-1|
|Oct 7||Aston Villa (h)||W 2-0|
2012/13 Premier League scorers
Defoe 4, Bale 2, Assou-Ekotto 1, Caulker 1, Dembélé 1, Dempsey 1, Lennon 1, Vertonghen 1, own goal 1. Total 13.
League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 2
A home defeat: 6
SPURS MAJOR SUMMER MOVES
Ins Moussa Dembélé (Fulham, £15m), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, £6m), Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City, £5m), Jan Vertonghen (Ajax, £10m), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Hoffenheim, £8m), Hugo Lloris (Lyon, £12m)
Outs Luka Modric (Real Madrid, £33m), Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg, £10m), Sébastian Bassong (Norwich, £3m), Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow, £5m), Steven Pienaar (Everton, £4.5m), Niko Kranjcar (Dynamo Kiev, £2m), David Bentley (FC Rostov, loan), Ryan Nelsen (QPR, free), Danny Rose (Sunderland, loan), Louis Saha (Sunderland, free), Giovani Dos Santos (Real Mallorca, undisclosed)
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Mike Dean will referee his first Blues game of the season. His last Chelsea game was our goalless draw at Arsenal in April. Chelsea have won two-thirds of the matches he has officiated since 2001.
John Terry is suspended (first of four domestic games).
The Blues won at White Hart Lane in the league for the first time since 2005 and remained top of the Premier League pile in the process.
A brilliant Gary Cahill goal gave Roberto Di Matteo's men a well-deserved lead to take into the dressing room at half-time, but that was soon surrendered as William Gallas and Jermain Defoe put Spurs ahead inside 10 minutes from the restart.
However Chelsea steeled ourselves and responded with true belief, Juan Mata netting twice in just over two minutes to restore the advantage. Tottenham had chances, as did Chelsea, but it was the returning Daniel Sturridge who made sure all three points were heading to south-west London just before the end.
There was plenty of evidence for those entertained by a cracking derby match that this reshaped side will prove to be genuine challengers in the months ahead.
With Ramires making his 100th appearance and preferred to Lampard as Mikel's partner behind the more forward-thinking midfield three, Cahill replacing suspended John Terry was the only change from the lunchtime kick-off win at Arsenal in the league game before last.
Spurs were without Gareth Bale who was reported to be attending the birth of his child and Moussa Dembele who was injured on international duty, so played Gylfi Sigurdsson in the No. 10 role with Dempsey and Lennon pushed wide. Defoe was their lone striker.
There were warm handshakes and smiles before kick-off as Andre Villas-Boas came over to the Blues bench and greeted all the staff and substitutes but then the pleasantries had to come to an end. This was a derby that mattered in so many ways, although labelling it the first real test of the season as some sections of the media had, did disservice to our performance at the Emirates.
The opening 45 minutes of this latest encounter in north London were not dissimilar to those of that match against Arsenal.
William Gallas, so exposed in our 5-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham back in April, could have helped redeem himself after just two minutes but couldn't connect with a Tom Huddlestone free-kick lofted into the Chelsea area. That moment apart, the Blues looked solid and up for this one in the early stages.
Mikel was impressive in dealing with Defoe and a subsequent through ball down the right was almost reached by Torres.
On nine minutes Oscar picked up a loose ball and turned to face goal before bouncing a shot not too far wide from outside the area.
The Brazilian robbed the dithering Gallas just inside the Spurs half soon after but his quickly released pass found Torres just offside.
Oscar continued to see plenty of possession and it was his delivery that was headed behind at the expense of a corner by Gallas. From that set-piece, the opening goal came. Hazard hit it high and deep but Gallas couldn't clear the area with his header. Instead it fell to Cahill in a central position to hit the sweetest of volleys over the top of Friedel and in to the net. The clock was turning to 17 minutes as the Blues went 1-0 up.
A response from the home team was only to be expected and Cech was soon saving from Defoe with Cole also back to clear the loose ball. But Chelsea then took control again and the first signs of discontent from the home fans were heard inside 20 minutes as their team's passes went astray.
On 30 minutes a chance did come Spurs' way. Cahill had already blocked strongly from Defoe when he was asked to head away a Lennon cross after the winger had worked a yard beyond Cole. The ball was played back in but fortunately Sigurdsson shot wide.
Terrier-like Chelsea continued to win possession back in midfield and should have gone 2-0 up on 38 minutes. Mata took Ramires's pass and drew a sprawling save out of Friedel but when the ball came back to the Spaniard just 10 yards out, he blasted over wastefully. He would more than make up for that miss.
Gallas was booked for a foul on Torres inside the Chelsea half (Ivanovic and Huddlestone shown yellow earlier in the game) before Cech was genuinely tested for a second time as a cross dipped dangerously in front of him. Cole was later back at the far post to head a threatening ball away before the half's action concluded with two bookings, one for Walker for tripping a counter-attacking Ramires and one for Ramires in similar circumstances on Lennon.
The Blues had avoided conceding a soft equaliser before the interval, as had been the case at Arsenal, but instead we were caught not switched on enough just a minute into the second period. David Luiz conceded a free-kick for climbing and when it was played to the back post, Sigurdsson had space to touch the ball across the face of goal and Gallas was on hand to make sure it crossed the line.
The Chelsea bench must have been fuming and with the Spurs team and crowd now boosted, there was relief when Sigurdsson, who had switched to the wing this half with Dempsey now in the middle, planted a shot straight at Cech.
Vertonghen also smashed a drive into the hands of Cech from further out before the home team turned near-constant pressure into something tangible on 53 minutes. Lennon ran towards Cole and slipped a pass inside him to where Defoe finished in trademark style - turning a first-time shot beyond Cech from close range.
Mata and Oscar were no longer winning those contests in the centre of the park as they had in the first half, but the Blues slowly steadied the ship and began to take the game into Tottenham territory once again.
The reward came when Oscar played a square pass, cleared by Gallas but picked up by Mata. Our Player of the Year's finish into the bottom corner was crisp and clinical.
It was 2-2 with two-thirds of the game played and Cech had only just saved a dipping, speculative effort from Defoe when Mata put Chelsea back ahead. Mikel was involved and his pass forward was turned on by Hazard in a moment of inspiration. It was the perfect pass for Mata to find the net between Friedel and his near post for his sixth goal of the season.
Mata could have had a rapid hat-trick as he turned to face goal but his attempted chip was caught by Friedel.
AVB brought on Adebayor for the quiet Dempsey with just over quarter of an hour to go but the next chance was Sigurdsson's. He blasted over to groans from the white shirts inside White Hart Lane.
Sturridge made his return from injury, coming on for the hard-working Oscar with 82 minutes played.
Lennon worked space to shoot but Cech was equal to it before Mata hit a peach of a pass to Torres. From an angle, his compatriot missed the target by just centimetres.
Cech saved at the second attempt at the feet of Adebayor as the 90 minutes approached, and then at the foot of his post from Walker's long-range attempt.
Spurs, inevitably, were pushing hard for a late equaliser but they fell for a sucker punch very much of their own making. Full-back Walker was caught on the ball by Mata way out on the touchline and the Chelsea number 10 continued to twist the knife into Tottenham by squaring to give Sturridge a tap-in.
It was 4-2 and there was no coming back for AVB's men as the Chelsea fans sang 'Andre, Andre what's the score,' before turning their attention to the present regime and a hearty 'One Di Matteo'.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech (c); Ivanovic, Cahill, David Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Ramires; Mata, Oscar (Sturridge 83), Hazard (Lampard 89); Torres.
Unused subs Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Bertrand, Romeu, Moses.
Scorers Cahill 17, Mata 66, 69, Sturridge 90.
Booked Ivanovic 24, Ramires 45+3.
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Friedel; Walker, Gallas (c), Caulker, Vertonghen; Sandro, Huddlestone (Livermore 67); Lennon, Sigurdsson, Dempsey (Adebayor 74); Defoe.
Unused subs Lloris, Dawson, Naughton, Falque, Townsend.
Scorers Gallas 46, Defoe 54.
Booked Huddlestone 37, Gallas 40, Walker 45+1.
Referee Mike Dean.