Another fantastic match between two teams near the top of the table Thursday at White Hart Lane–Spurs hosting crosstown nemeses Chelsea.
First from Sean, written in real-time during the first half:
What a low camera angle at the Lane. Used to seeing the camera a little higher in the stands for more of a top down look – I think this may have been a switch over the last decade or so in camera placement, where english clubs used to have more ground-level camera placement, while league like serie a have had higher placement. THe later was useful when coming up as our coaches would show us those games to watch the tactical formations. This low-to-the-ground look make sit harder to appreciate the shift of all players across the ptich.
Spurs have come out flying, dominating the first 5 minutes and setting up in chelsea’s half. A loose pass gives them a touch for the first time it seems but that didn’t last very long. Always a problem with this sort of domination against a team with drogba up front — counter attack very possible with the slightest complacence on spurs part….and as I wrote that Bale motors up the left and adebayor touches in the cross bravely. At this point my 3-1 prediction seems a little conservative.
Kyle Walker is a mystery to me, how has he done this season? Is he in for King? He had one good run up the right but otherwise I’m not sure what his deal is. Oh there is he rushing up the ptich and barging into Cole at the 36′. Doesn’t look like Cole has done much except handle the ball into a position to cross for that goal, and can’t blame Walker for that, so credit to him so far.
Tuned out for a second while I talked to the father in law about who everyone is on the pitch. and in that time Chelsea have leveled, and missed a great chance to go ahead. Spurs have taken their foot off the pedal, but considering Bosingwa is not in centerback I imagine they’ll get back on the attack soonish.
Oof and another sub needed from a muscle pull on the Chelsea side.
Got to get off for now… might return for second half action!
Coach Larry sent along some of his thoughts post-game:
Thought it was a good game, but the 1st was better than the 2nd. felt far more even to me. you feel Spurs had run of play, but at one point, ESPN showed Chelsea ahead in “chances” (whatever the hell that means) by something like 14-3. Spurs had way more possession early, but Chelsea settled in, especially once Ferreira came in and did pretty well with Bale, as pointed by Zonal Marking (i think).Lally’s line about Spurs being both lucky and unlucky sums it pretty well. Considering Chelsea’s goal, the ball clearly struck Cole’s arm and bounced perfectly for him to run into space. Was it intentional? No way. Should it have been whistled? I think so. My recollection (I’m too lazy to look this up) is an INTENTIONAL hand ball is cardable offense, while an INADVERTANT one is a foul when it provides an advantage. Ball strikes your arm when it’s right in front of your body? who cares, it would have hit your body anyway. Ball ricochets off your arm, straight into your path, behind the other team’s defense? Foul.JT of course had a fine match as he does when everyone feels he should be in jail. Taking off VdV really discombobulated Spurs, as they seemed far less dangerous with fewer midfielders. Still love wathcing Adebayor play, especially his clumsy fouling which would have had many other players sent off. Chelsea cleared nearly every corner with a header just in front of the near post.
While it’s still up, this 20min highlight clip is well worth watching:
Update: See also our friend & lifelong Spurs fan John’s PoliticalFootballs post on the midweek matches and a look ahead at the Boxing Day fixtures. Here’s what he had to say about his team drawing Chelsea at home (which gives you some context to Larry’s great line above):
In similar news [to the Suarez-Evra controversy], John Terry found out he was going to face criminal charges over his alleged racist abuse of Anton Ferdinand in Chelsea’s match with QPR in October – his teammates did not wear t-shirts in support of their captain, but he did put in a fantastic defensive performance in his side’s 1-1 draw away at Tottenham. Spurs had dominated the opening exchanges in that game and were deservedly 1-0 ahead after Bale’s great work on the left-wing set up Adebayor for the opening goal – but their defence went to sleep for Sturridge’s equaliser and the second half was dominated by the away team. Both teams had excellent chances to win it – Ramires had a free header six yards out for Chelsea, but (thankfully) directed it wide of Friedel’s goal – and in the end the draw ensured Tottenham are London’s top club at Christmas for the first time since the city was called Londinium and being sacked by Queen Boudica and the Iceni.