Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Rally to Put the Brakes on Blues' Title Bandwagon; Happy Watching: England Manager Fabio Capello and Coach Stuart Pearce Enjoy the Goal Feast at White Hart Lane Last Night

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Rally to Put the Brakes on Blues' Title Bandwagon; Happy Watching: England Manager Fabio Capello and Coach Stuart Pearce Enjoy the Goal Feast at White Hart Lane Last Night

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL HART

THIS was an old-fashioned, full-blooded classic, deserving a place inthe annals of great London derbies, but that will be of little consolation toAvram Grant today as he reflects on two points lost.

Leading 3-1 after 51 minutes with their fans chanting 'We want six' andTottenham in some disarray, Chelsea were poised to secure the victory thatwould have put them and their beleaguered boss in the very thick of the PremierLeague title race.

Instead, indifferent defending and a wonderful late equaliser from Robbie Keanemeant a thunderous, breathtaking clash ended 4-4.

The inescapable truth is that two dropped points is a savage blow to Chelsea'stitle hopes and with eight games leftArsenal visit Stamford Bridge on SundayGrant's men remain five points adrift of leaders Manchester United.

A win last night would have put Chelsea level on points with second-placedArsenal but unusually poor defending almost guaranteed problems for thembecause Tottenham have scored more goals at home, 41, than any other team inthe Premier League.

Until last night Chelsea's defensive performance in away matches was rivalledonly by Liverpool but, in the space of minutes at White Hart Lane, that recordwas demolished.

"One of our strengths this season has been the way we have defended at cornersand free kicks," said the Chelsea manager. "But in two games against us Spurshave scored five goals from set pieces." Grant will be concerned at the suddenloss of confidence in a defence that had conceded only nine goals in awayLeague matches before yesterday.

It says much for Tottenham's new resilience that they refused to allow Chelseato dominate even though Didier Drogba headed them in front from John Terry'scross after three minutes.

Just 10 minutes later Jonathan Woodgate, who will have impressed watchingEngland manager Fabio Capello, outjumped Drogba to reach a free kick fromJermaine Jenas and equalise with a towering header. …

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