More Blues For Ten Men Spurs (Sky Sports)
|FA Carling Premiership|
Matt Coates reporting
Chelsea's overwhelming domination over Tottenham continued with a comprehensive victory over a Spurs side reduced to 10 men at White Hart Lane.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink bagged his 21st goal of the season before Gustavo Poyet and Eidur Gudjohnsen wrapped up the Blues' third away win of the season to take them back up into fifth place.
Early pressure from Spurs led to a measure of confusion in the Chelsea penalty area to give Simon Davies the opportunity to capitalise, yet his overhead kick sailed just round the far post.
One-touch moves from Chelsea worked only sporadically, but when Hasselbaink's flick inside to Dennis Wise came off, it was Neil Sullivan who was forced to pull off a great reaction save.
A loose clearance by Willem Korsten gifted Gustavo Poyet a perfect opportunity on fifteen minutes, but from the edge of the area, and with time to spare, he somehow managed to blast over the bar.
On 28 minutes Stephen Carr put the ball behind for a corner under pressure from Hasselbaink. When the resulting delivery was floated into the area, the Dutchman leapt at the near post to head home.
With Tottenham clearly out of their depth in midfield, Hasselbaink threatened again soon after, as he sent a powerful drive just inches over and fired another just wide. Poyet and Hasselbaink were both superb and were granted far too much space on the right flank to create chances for the visitors.
With Sol Campbell out, Spurs fielded novice centre-backs Alton Thelwell and Anthony Gardner to cope with Hasselbaink and Gianfranco Zola. It was obviously not enough. Chelsea's pressure continued before the break as Graeme Le Saux's volley was tipped over and Sam dalla Bona's effort was saved.
If that was not bad enough already, Spurs went down to 10 men three minutes before the break when Korsten, who had been cautioned for a foul on dalla Bona, brought down Mario Melchiot. Hoddle continued with four at the back and two up front, requiring his midfield trio to work even harder and Rebrov to drop back to help out.
Given the circumstances, Spurs certainly started the second-half brightly, with a renewed burst of energy and determination. However, they were always in danger of being caught on the counter-attack. Poyet was only narrowly denied by Sullivan's diving save just minutes into the second half.
The Scottish international also denied Zola with his legs but he was left completely exposed on 59 minutes when Poyet was able to tap Le Saux's cross into an empty net to put Chelsea 2-0 ahead.
From then on, Chelsea dominated possession almost totally, with a mix-up between Gardner and Sullivan giving Hasselbaink a clear opening which he squandered, while Spurs' only real threat was a snap-shot by Rebrov.
As the game drew to a close, Chelsea's domination
was complete. Sullivan did well to deny Wise and superbly to parry a drive from
substitute Mario Stanic.
However, there was no stopping substitute Eidur Gudjohnsen from rounding off the scoring in injury-time, with an easy one-on-one finish from close range. Gudjohnsen becomes the 21st Chelsea player to have scored against Spurs since the their last victory over the Blues.
Moreover, Hoddle is the eleventh manager to try and evoke a Spurs victory over Chelsea. Oh well, there is always next season Glen.
MAN OF THE MATCH: It would be hard to fault Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for his effortless display and constant work off the ball.
Tottenham: Sullivan, Carr,
Doherty, Perry (Gardner 37), Young, Thelwell, Sherwood, Davies (Piercy 75),
Clemence (Etherington 82), Korsten, Rebrov.
Subs Not Used: Walker, Leonhardsen.
Sent Off: Korsten (45).
Booked: Korsten, Doherty.
Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Terry, Desailly, Babayaro, Dalla Bona, Wise, Poyet (Stanic 76), Le Saux (Gronkjaer 67), Zola (Gudjohnsen 78), Hasselbaink.
Subs Not Used: de Goey, Jokanovic.
Booked: Desailly, Babayaro.
Ref: G Barber (Tring).