Sunday saw Spurs lose to Chelsea courtesy of some dodgy refereeing, and less significantly, spending the second half being outclassed. ‘Arry woznt appy in his interview after the match either.
Both sets of fans were up for it from the get go, and the first half got off to a flier, Jose Bosingwa rifled a long ranger off the upright. Spurs weren’t without their chances either, they had a couple on target that didn’t look to give Cech too much trouble, and a fierce Jenas shot that whistled wide.
Only one newspaper managed to report the incident just minutes before the first goal, whereby Ballack placed himself exactly where the ball was coming, but was barged out the way by Corluka who then headed clear.
Not to worry though, TV audiences around the country let off a collective cheer in the 32nd minute, when national treasure Ashley Cole latched onto Drogba’s cross with a brave diving header. Some might be forgiven for thinking Malouda scored the goal, such was Cole’s attacking position. It’s a shame that it’s only when Cole scores that we sing his name, every game he is up for it, putting in a shift and never bottling anything, he stays back for corners, so rarely enjoys the chance to score.
At this point you may have thought that the expensive scoreboards had broken, with the entire Matthew Harding Lower (and much of the upper) asking Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink what the score was, and the Dutchman, who was sitting in the gantry, flashed his trademark wide grin and informed us that we were a goal to the good.
Bad challenges from Wilson ‘if I had a little hair then my stocky build and lack of neck would make me look like Faustino Asprillia’ Palacios and Jermaine Defoe were both lucky to escape going into Webb’s book, Defoe especially for going through Drogba, leaving him (legitimately) in agony on the floor, bookings at this stage would have changed the way the pair went in for the rest of the game, but that’s apparently not game changing enough.
The second half favoured us in the first fifteen minutes, with Woodgate and Dawson already out, Spurs could’ve done without losing another defender, Drogba’s brilliant first touch allowed him to accelerate away from his marker Ledley King, and with the slow reactions of the Spurs man, it appeared that King hadn’t sobered up since ‘that night’ at the end of last season. In turning to chase Drogba, King turned funny (I thought it was hilarious anyway) and much to most peoples complete surprise, injured himself and had to be replaced.
Spurs fans wholeheartedly admit that boyhood Liverpool, Leeds and Spurs fan Robbie Keane spends too much time on the floor, he goes down easily, he sits on the floor with his arms in the air, refusing to play to the whistle, and as Keane and Arry have both said, if it wasn’t a penalty then Keane deserved a booking for diving, but also surely for his reaction afterwards, Drogba got booked for that kind of reaction when we drew 0-0 with Fulham in Sept 2007. Webb did have a shocker here, he was placed in the box and you could see that Riccy’s challenge didn’t touch the ball hence it the movement of the ball never changed, absolute no question of whether it was a penalty. But anyway, I’m sure I’ll get over it. Much like you know who from us, it was probably a case of the boy who cried wolf.
Our attacking players then decided that they’d locate themselves in the box for a change, Nico’s cross was controlled and hit by The Drog, the parry was met by Lamps and squared to Ballack, who finished from close range.
Minutes later and Drogba made it three, Bassong helped the ball around the out coming Cudicini, and Drogba powered past and was first to the loose, goal-bound ball.
Webb then failed to play the advantage when Drogba was wrestled down by Bassong, the ball was at Lampard’s feet on the edge of the box and Webb called play back for a free kick.
The resulting free kick saw us have our second penalty appeal turned down, a Frank Lampard free kick was going over the wall, but appeals of handball were waved away when avid Skepta fan Webb adjudged that Assou-Ekotto was just doing part of the Rolex Sweep.
Fears then arose that Jimmy had broken, but it turns out that he was watching the game more then he was listening to our constant request for a score update, but eventually he was on hand to provide manual assistance as to what it now was (Three nil if you were wondering).
Bassong then tumbled down with Anelka, and landed awkwardly, as he lay face down barely moving on the floor, a concerned Drogba and Anelka went over to see if he was alright and crowded around throughout the duration of his five minutes unconscious on the floor, Assou-Ekotto stood a few metres away, and not one other Spurs player gave an ounce of concern.
It was during this injury that Spurs fans oddly livened up, perhaps when you get more injuries then goals, you take that as a song worthy moment, the MHL was in good voice so I could not tell you what they were singing, but to be fair to them, their bouncing around did look good, and they were quite lively for the last 15 minutes.
Drogba then got injured misfiring a shot and came off injured, Anelka came off to give Fabio Borini his debut, and Crouch tried to inspire a late comeback, shinning an edge of the box scissor kick and then scoring when offside, even more stupidly running off to celebrate making it what he thought was 3-1, as if that made a difference in the 96th minute.
When Kalou took the ball wide of Cudicini by the by-line, his soft cross-shot hit the post, hit Carlo and went off for a corner, Webb, who was near the play, gave a goal kick, only to change his mind when he noticed that the linesman, who was much further away, had noticed it hitting Carlo. In the first half we were denied a corner when Ekotto had the last touch too. Shocking eyes.
So, three missed penalty appeals, failing to play a clear advantage, hopeless at giving out cards, absolutely no control of the game. For those of you that think Howard Webb is a complete clueless, inept tit, you would be right, but I will point out that he has some common sense by deciding that it probably wouldn’t have been wise to invite his Norwegian twin brother to attend his first game in four months at Stamford Bridge.
I thought the Chelsea fans were superb throughout the match, Spurs fans were very good in the last 15 mins to be fair to them, but before that I thought that they were only loud singing about being Tottenham from the lane and taunting us for not singing, ironic not just because we were singing, but also because is was also the only time they were loud enough for to hear. The Shed looked superb at times and that was one of the best atmospheres we’ve had here for a long time, the bouncy should have come out though. Loved the Tottenham are back chants that kept ringing around at 3-0.
The last time Spurs beat us at Stamford Bridge was four Prime Minister’s ago, Germany wasn’t yet re-unified, the Soviet Union was still in existence and Gael Kakuta wasn’t even born.