Spurs fans were pretty upbeat prior to today’s fixture.The confidence as less about the absence of John Terry but more about what the Tottenham squad could bring to the match.
The loss of Dembele and Bale was bad news.It was announced on Sky that that Bale’s girlfriend had gone into labour. Glenn Hoddle in the Sky studio was uncompromising. He said that in his era someone such as Ray Clemence would have made it clear – he was playing!
Tottenham sought an instant reply and Jermaine Defoe was denied by a scrambling save from Petr Cech, while Juan Mata blazed over at the other end after his first effort parried away by Brad Friedel. Villas-Boas urged his side to up the tempo after the break and his words clearly had a marked effect as Gallas glanced home from a corner before Defoe instinctively turned home Aaron Lennon’s cross-shot.
But Chelsea are made of sterner stuff these days and Mata, another Villas-Boas buy, brought his side level in the 66th minute with a composed finish from the edge of the area before snatching the lead three minutes later. A superb first time ball from Hazard released the Spaniard in behind the Spurs defence and he cooly clipped the ball past Brad Friedel.
And fittingly Mata played a crucial role in wrapping up the victory, rolling the ball across for substitute Daniel Sturridge to tap home in injury time.