Chelsea moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 4-0 second half demolition of Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues were jolted by the loss of Fernando Torres to injury in the warm-up, but his replacement Samuel Eto’o stole the show and almost scored inside 20 seconds after a mistake by Michael Dawson – only to be wrongly flagged offside.
Chelsea were kept at bay by a spirited Spurs for almost an hour, but the Blues were given a huge helping hand for their opener by Jan Vertonghen, whose slip and subsequent backpass was seized upon by Eto’o, who finished well beyond Hugo Lloris. The 32-year-old then ran to the corner flag and produced an 'old man celebration' to make fun of recent rumours about his age.
The game’s big turning point came two minutes later, however, when Younes Kaboul conceded a soft penalty and was harshly red carded after an innocuous challenge on Eto’o. Eden Hazard despatched the resulting spot-kick, sending Lloris the wrong way.
Demba Ba then came off the bench and added two more: the first a close range finish after Sandro failed to deal with Oscar’s cross and then rounding off the win a minute later with a simple finish after a careless header by Kyle Walker towards his own goal.
The result puts Chelsea in pole position in the Premier League, with Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City all with significant work to do, albeit with games in hand, to make up ground.
1’ CHELSEA CHANCE! Terrible start for Spurs as Eto’o is sent clean through, but the Cameroonian is wrongly flagged offside – which saves Hugo Lloris from a possible red card for a foul on the striker.
4’ CHELSEA CHANCE! Spurs all over the place again as Hazard skips past Lloris but can only fire his shot into the side-netting.
23’ SPURS CHANCE! Sandro smacks a volley at goal after Chelsea could only half clear Jan Vertonghen’s cross, but Cech makes the save low to his right.
56’ GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Tottenham – Eto’o capitalises on a big mistake by Vertonghen, who slips and then plays the ball into the path of the Cameroonian, who finishes well for the opener.
58’ PENALTY AND RED CARD – Hugely contentious call as Kaboul is dismissed for a challenge on Eto’o in the box. Eto’o hits the deck but it’s very, very soft.
60’ GOAL! Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham – Hazard gives Lloris the eyes and sends the Frenchman the wrong way.
88’ GOAL! Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham – Ba comes off the bench and scores, seizing on Sandro’s poor clearance from Oscar’s cross. Chelsea are home and dry now.
90’ GOAL! Chelsea 4-0 Tottenham – Ba adds insult to injury after a careless header by Kyle Walker goes straight to Ba, who rounds Lloris and strokes into the empty net.
Chelsea have STILL not lost a home Premier League game under Jose Mourinho, who is now 75 games unbeaten.
Chelsea have not conceded a goal in the first half a game in 2014.
The last player to score a winning goal for Tottenham at Stamford Bridge was Gary Lineker in February 1990.
Was it a penalty? Very datable. Minimal contact between Kaboul and Eto’o, yet the Chelsea striker hit the deck. Eto’o didn’t have full control of the ball and the red card, which ended the game as a spectacle, was harsher than Kaboul and Spurs deserved.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea) - Scored one and made the decisive penalty in a lively display up front, made even more impressive that he started at short notice.
Chelsea: Cech 7; Ivanovic 7, Cahill 7, Terry 7, Azpilicueta 6; Matic 7, Lampard 6; Ramires 7, Hazard 7, Schurrle 6; Eto’o 8. Subs: Oscar 7, Willian 6, Ba 8.
Tottenham: Lloris 6; Naughton 6, Dawson 5, Kaboul 6, Vertonghen 6; Bentaleb 7, Sandro 7; Walker 5, Lennon 6, Sigurdsson 6; Adebayor 6. Subs: Paulinho 6, Fryers 6.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Premier League
- Hugo Lloris
- Jan Vertonghen