COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Saturday 8th March 2014
VENUE Stamford Bridge






Taking on Mourinho's Chelsea is never a pleasing prospect ... and not because we have an awful record at Stamford Bridge.  Apart from being cheated out of a couple of results there over recent years, his football can be sterile at times, in a similar vein to when he won the title in his first spell at the club.  With the players at his disposal, you would expect them to sweep their way to success, but that is not always the case. 

The mis-firing forwards, who, it was reported, he criticised in an interview in France recently, have led to the midfield having to take on the bulk of the goal-scoring, but that should not be too much of a problem for the likes of Oscar, Eden Hazard, Mohamed Salah, Willian, Frank Lampost, Andre Schurrle and Ramieres available to him.  Samuel Eto'o has been a useful signing, with six goals, but Fernando Torres still is able to hit the net, although not as prolifically as Mourinho would like.  Demba Ba seems to have dropped off the radar at Stamford Bridge as far as scoring is concerned. 

Chelsea's strength is their midfield, with options to play in a number of ways, even with the erratic David Luiz being pushed up into that section of the team at times, but he may not be fit to play and therefore, we can expect an attacking formation from the Portuguese manager.  To counter this, Spurs might flood the midfield and start with one up front, most probably Adebayor, but this might play into Chelsea's hands and allow them to keep the pressure on the Spurs goal.  While the inclusion of a Lennon or a Townsend might help us breaking on Chelsea, but they have the ability to engineer scoring chances and if their midfielders get into finishing positions, it is more likely that Lloris will be busy than if their forwards are fed in.

Keeper Petr Cech is almost certainly in his last season as the number one goalie at Chelsea, with Thibaut Courbais ready to come back and claim the gloves from his long loan spell at Atletico Madrid and the defence is also probably in need of re-construction after this season, with Ashley Cole and John Terry coming to the end of their careers.  But Azpilicueta and Ivanovic both like to get forward, although Cahill can get done for pace, so there might be a useful chink in their armour there.

Chelsea have snuck to the top of the table almost un-noticed, but they are winning games by the odd late goal when they need to and are consistent enough to maintain a position there having gone 13 matches unbeaten.  Spurs are good away from home, but haven't been at Stamford Bridge for over 23 years, so it will be a surprise (albeit a nice one), if they came home with three points.  However, I think Tottenham's approach may be one of caution and this might be punished if we go a goal behind and try to chase the game at the end.

PREDICTION Chelsea    3         Tottenham Hotspur    1
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
Danny Rose (knee), Etienne Capoue (ankle), Christian Eriksen (back), Erik Lamela (back) and Vlad Chiriches (back) are all mikssing from the Spurs squad and Kyle Walker and Younes Kaboul face late fitness tests.
Ashley Cole has pulled ligaments in his ankle and will out for two weeks, while David Luiz (groin) is out and Eden Hazard (ankle) faces a late fitness test after getting injured while playing for Belgium.

Sky Sports 1 (live)  -  Saturday 17.30
Sky Sports 1 -  Football First  -  Saturday 20.25
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.30 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:40 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 11.00
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.25 (highlights)  Also available online.

For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152  (live coverage)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/MW)

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney) 
Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa 
SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean) 
Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Chelsea  4 (0)                                                                                     Tottenham Hotspur  0 (0)
Premier League
Saturday 8th March 2014                                                                                                                    Kick off 17:30
Stamford Bridge
Eto'o 56
Hazard (p) 60
Ba 88
Ba 89
Lampard (foul on Sandro) 40
Azpilicueta (persistent fouling) 86

Bentaleb (foul on Ramires) 9
Naughton (foul on Hazard)  53
Sandro (foul on Ivanovic)  54

Kaboul (foul on Eto'o) 58

Crowd :   41,598 Weather :  Warm, dry
Referee :  Michael Oliver (Northumberland) Assistant Referees :  Mr. J. Brooks;  Mr. A. Garrett
Fourth Official :  Lee Probert -
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Shed end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 miuntes.
Chelsea : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Petr CECH

  2  Branislav IVANOVIC
24  Gary CAHILL
26  John TERRY (c)
28  Cesar AZPILICUETA     

  8  Frank LAMPARD      (11  OSCAR 46)
  Nemanja MATIC

17  Eden HAZARD 
29  Samuel ETO’O  (19  Demba BA 76    )
14  Andre SHURRLE   (22  WILLAN 66)

Unused subs: 
33  Tomas KALAS
12  Jon Obi MIKEL
15  Mohamed SALAH


  25  Hugo LLORIS

16  Kyle NAUGHTON     
20  Michael DAWSON (c) (35  Zeki FRYERS 72)
  4  Younes KABOUL      

42  Nabil BENTALEB     
30  SANDRO     

  2  Kyle WALKER
22  Gylfi SIGURDSSON  (  8  PAULINHO 61)

10  Emmanuel ADEBAYOR

Unused subs: 
24  Brad FRIEDEL
17  Andros TOWNSEND
  9  Roberto SOLDADO
  Harry KANE

Manager :  Jose Mourinho Manager :  Tim Sherwood
Sponsor :   Samsung Shirt sponsor :  Hewlett Packard
Kit Supplier :  adidas Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

Spurs managed to go down to a 4-0 defeat when the score was 0-0 up until the 56th minute, when a slip by Vertonghen and then a few minutes later, a slip by the referee saw them come home from SW6 with the usual haul of 'nil point'.

Taking to the field with only Emanuel Adebayor up front, the Tottenham team packed the midfield, while Chelsea also had only one player up top in the shape of Samuel Eto’o, who had to come in at short notice when Fernando Torres injured a groin in the warm-up. However, the Pensioners began the game in a 4-3-3 set up, while Spurs opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation. Naughton retained his place in the team, but Walker returned as a right sided midfielder and Gylfi Sigurdsson came in on the left. Bentaleb started in midfield alongside Sandro, with Mousa Dembele missing out. Kaboul’s return in the centre of defence allowed Vertonghen to play left back.

A through ball inside the first minute saw Eto’o inches offside, but as he went on Lloris came out to meet him and caught the forward on the ankle, which required some treatment before it was decided that he could carry on ... having a bit of a go at Hugo before he departed to the side-line. A similar break saw Eto’o put Hazard through, but Lloris’ charge made the Belgian take the ball too wide to turn his shot on target and it went past the post.

In the 13th minute, Bentaleb broke away on the left side of the box and hit a low shot across Cech, but wide, when Spurs had three other players up with him. Bentaleb had earlier been booked for pulling back Ramires, but when Azpilicueta went through Lennon late, Oliver only spoke to him. Following a spell of play when both teams failed to string passes together, from a deep free-kick, the ball was played out to Vertonghen on the left and his low cross was cleared out to Sandro, who hit a first time volley that had Cech scrambling low to his right to push the ball wide.

There were two incidents shortly after one another when Chelsea players went down holding their heads and the second saw Ramires win a free-kick, which Matic won at the far post, but headed it wide. Straight after that Bentaleb played a weak short pass that was picked off and Eto’o was put in on the right, but he took it too wide and shot into the side-netting. However, from Chelsea’s next free-kick, Spurs broke quickly, but Walker’s run from right to left across midfield failed to pick out Jan with a pass and Spurs got a throw-in instead of a good crossing opportunity.

It wasn’t a free flowing game, but then perhaps that was always on the cards. Chelsea’s players seemed more intent on telling the referee how he should officiate the match and he let them get away with it. Half the time they were doing it for him, by exaggerating touches on them and making them into fouls. The way they went down was really a disgrace. It was a surprise when Lampost saw yellow for a tackle from behind on Sandro, as he couldn’t keep up with him.

With Oscar coming on for Lampost at the break, Chelsea looked to be more attacking than they had been in the first half, but the one addition to their play was lady luck, who turned the match in their favour.

After Kaboul had headed a corner straight at Cech, Tottenham self destructed in the space of five minutes thanks to the pitch and the referee. Vertonghen was in space at left back and looked to turn, but slipped and with a blue shirt on top of him, he slid in to win the ball, but only managed to hook it into the path of Eto’o, who took his time and slid a shot under Lloris to open the scoring with 55 minutes gone.

Worse was to happen four minutes later, when a square ball to Eto’o saw the Cameroon international use all his experience in slowing down to a halt when Younes Kaboul came in behind him to draw the foul and allow Oliver to produce the red card and point to the spot. Hazard converted the penalty and at 2-0 there was little chance to get back in the match.

With half an hour left, Sherwood brought on Paulinho for Sigurdsson, to try and beef up the midfield, as Sandro dropped back into the back four. Space opened up among the Spurs players and when Willian came on, it was designed to allow the home side to exploit that space. Sandro was carrying a yellow card and had got away with one foul before Hazard nut-megged him and Sandro pushed him down as he looked to go through. Another red card might have signalled a rout. Losing Dawson with a hamstring injury brought Zeki Fryers on, thus making the side look even more lop-sided.

Fifteen minutes from time, Chelsea broke from their own half, but Hazard’s final ball was cut out by Sandro as he was looking for Eto’o. Despite the score-line, the voices you could hear above the silence of the home crowd were Tottenham supporters. Chelsea passed the ball about between themselves hoping to wear out the Tottenham players, but apart from Oscar’s shot way over when set up by Hazard, there were few threatening moments.

There was a foul on Naughton with six minutes to go, when Ba ran into the back of him in Tottenham’s own last third, which Oliver gave as a free-kick and nothing else. Interesting that in Kaboul’s case it was a red card, but outside the box, it doesn’t even warrant a yellow card. As it was, the first of our difficult spell in March wasn’t going to be retrieved. When Oscar’s low ball into the box with two minutes left was half-blocked by Sandro as he fell and the ball fell for Ba to smash past Lloris. It showed how the lack of a player helped Chelsea to three points.

A weak clearance straight up in the air by Lloris, that came off Ba was headed back to the k eeper by Walker, but Ba had recovered and out-muscled Lloris to take the ball and put it into an empty net.

Chelsea’s ability to win fouls eventually won them the game. When Eto’o went down with Kaboul behind him in the box, the game was over. A penalty and a red card made a difficult task even harder. Their professionalism cannot be questioned. 2-0 up, they were wasting time taking throw-ins, Mourinho holding onto the ball when Adebayor wanted to take a throw-in and shirt-pulling behind the referee’s back.

Two mistakes by Spurs players added to the woe.

75 home matches unbeaten under Mourinho. No surprise if this and many other Spurs games there are anything to go by.

Pete Stachio


Match sponsors -
Match sponsors -
Match ball sponsors -
Match programme sponsors -
Match shirt sponsors -



What you thought
- -.
- -.



Other scores during this week :
Cardiff City 3 Fulham 1 Saturday
Crystal Palace 0 Southampton 1 -Saturday
Norwich City 1 Stoke City 1 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 0 Manchester United 3 Saturday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 29 20 6 3 56 22 67 +34
2 Liverpool 28 18 5 5 73 35 59 +38
3 Arsenal 28 18 5 5 52 28 59 +24
4 Manchester City 26 18 3 5 69 27 57 +42
5 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 29 16 5 8 37 37 53 0
6 Manchester United 28 14 6 8 46 31 48 +15
7 Everton 27 13 9 5 38 27 48 +11
8 Newcastle United 28 13 4 11 37 39 43 -2
9 Southampton 29 11 9 9 39 34 42 +5
10 West Ham United 28 8 7 13 31 35 31 -4
11 Aston Villa 28 8 7 13 31 38 31 -7
12 Swansea City 28 7 8 13 37 41 29 -4
13 Stoke City 29 7 9 13 28 40 31 -12
14 Hull City 28 8 6 14 30 35 30 -5
15 Crystal Palace 28 8 3 17 19 40 27 -19
16 Norwich City 29 7 8 14 22 44 29 -22
17 West Bromwich Albion 28 4 13 11 31 42 25 -11
18 Cardiff City 29 6 7 16 22 50 25 -28
19 Sunderland 26 6 6 14 26 42 24 -16
20 Fulham 29 6 3 20 29 65 21 -36

Position before match :  5th
Position after match :  5th
Position after the weekend :  5th

Back to homepage