Tottenham 2 – 4 Chelsea: Mata ruins Spurs’ winning streak
Tottenham’s Premier League winning streak was brought to a dramatic end yesterday afternoon by league leaders Chelsea.
The Blues came from 2-1 down with 25 minutes left on the clock, but a superb brace from Juan Mata and a late fourth from Daniel Sturridge saw the club retain their unbeaten run. It was the unlikely source of Gary Cahill that opened the scoring with a deflected volley from the edge of the box.
It was a game of expansive attacking play and somewhat dodgy defending, some poor marking saw William Gallas equalise with what was arguably handball minutes into the second half.
This was followed just under ten minutes later by Jermain Defoe, whose crisp finish beat Petr Cech after a sharp cross from Aaron Lennon.
Spurs, whose defensive frailties have always been apparent in spite of their flourishing attacking prowess, were found wanting for Chelsea’s third.
William Gallas failed to clear from a low cross, presenting the ball to Juan Mata on the edge of box, who was not shut down quickly enough as he rifled a shot into the bottom corner.
Then, a stroke of genius from Eden Hazard saw Chelsea go ahead, as his beautifully waited through ball found Mata, who neatly scooped the ball over Brad Friedel.
Spurs saw a few more chances in the final 20 minutes, but were unable to put anything in the back of the net, something they were punished for in the dying seconds.
Kyle Walker, trying to shield the ball out for a throw-in, was outmuscled by Mata who ran along the goal-line and slipped a cross to Sturridge who only had to tap the ball in to secure another big three points for the South London side, leaving their fans singing: “Andre, Andre; what’s the score?!”
Andre Villas Boas’ side now face a tough midweek trip away to Maribor in the Europa League, before heading down south to St Mary’s for a meeting with Southampton on Sunday afternoon.
Adam Appleton, football correspondent