Match Report: Tottenham 1 – Chelsea 1
Didier Drogba had a penalty saved during stoppage time in a feisty 1-1 London derby at White Hart Lane.
Gomes looked to have gifted us victory when he clattered into Ramires having already handed Drogba an equaliser with a howler, but he went from zero to hero by saving the spot-kick
Ancelotti and the travelling Chelsea support got the assertive start they wanted, as Nicolas Anelka dragged a shot wide. Michael Essien twice shot close to Gomes from distance and Branislav Ivanovic blazed a 30-yard free-kick over the top.
We also restricted Spurs to one Gareth Bale shot off target until all our good work was undone by some shaky defending in the 15th minute.
Assou-Ekotto played a ball to Jermain Defoe and the striker was allowed to turn and square for Pavlyuchenko, who then collected the pass and rifled left-footed beyond Petr Cech.
Salomon Kalou twice went close to levelling, first stretching to send Ramires’ cross over the top and then heading straight at Gomes from six yards
Neither side was holding back in tackles and Paulo Ferreira was adjudged to have gone too far on Bale just past the half-hour. Pavlyuchenko volleyed Bale’s resulting free-kick wide from eight yards. Assou-Ekotto was also nearly made to pay for a foul on Ferreira that got him booked when Kalou glanced Florent Malouda’s free-kick just past the post 10 minutes before the break
The same pair combined moments later, with an unmarked Kalou unable to keep his header down from his team-mate’s cross. Anelka did have the ball in the net two minutes from the break but he was rightly ruled offside
Carlo Ancelotti substituted Drogba for John Obi Mikel during the interval but it was Spurs who twice went close to doubling their advantage when Defoe and Luka Modric both shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area.
Drogba did soon test Gomes with a low drive the latter tipped wide moments before the goalkeeper reacted to prevent Wilson Palacios’ header looping into his own net.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp responded to our spell of pressure by bringing on Peter Crouch for Defoe. Palacios looked to have put Pavluchenko through in the 64th minute but the Russian’s touch let him down, while Ramires did well to prevent Crouch nodding in Alan Hutton’s cross
Ancelotti sent on Daniel Sturridge for Kalou for the final quarter as we went for broke and it finally paid off due to a horrible error from Gomes.
Drogba held off Dawson before lashing a volley the keeper got both hands to but parried into his own net.
Essien saw yellow for a foul on Modric and Sturridge went close to hooking us ahead from a corner.
Frank Lampard – a big bonus as substitute on the bench after three and a half months out injured – then entered the fray, replacing Malouda for the final 13 minutes.
Spurs followed with Robbie Keane for Pavlyuchenko moments before Aaron Lennon flashed wide. Palacios was hurt late on following a challenge from Ashley Cole and was replaced by Sandro
Just as a draw looked certain, Gomes made another huge error of judgment by clattering into Ramires to concede a 91st-minute penalty
Drogba stepped up but shot too close to Gomes who made the save.
Unfortunately for us it meant we failed to regain top spot and stay in fourth, level on points with Manchester United, who have two games in hand.
Gill Reeves CSG Disabled rep
Stats from the BBC sports page:
01 Gomes – yellow card
32 Assou-Ekotto – yellow card
12 Palacios (Sandro 89)
09 Pavlyuchenko (Keane 78)
18 Defoe (Crouch 60)
23 Cudicini, 22 Corluka, 05 Bentley, 30 Sandro, 10 Keane, 15 Crouch, 17 Giovani
03 A Cole
05 Essien – yellow card
12 Mikel (Drogba 46 – yellow card)
15 Malouda (Lampard 77)
21 Kalou (Sturridge 68)
22 Turnbull, 38 Van Aanholt, 43 Bruma, 08 Lampard, 46 McEachran, 11 Drogba, 23 Sturridge