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Page last updated at 19:00 GMT, Thursday, 22 December 2011

Tottenham v Chelsea as it happened


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By Phil Dawkes

2232: Well, it wasn't 3-2. Only one thing left for me to do and that is to go and get spectacularly drunk for the next three days. A promise is a promise. Make sure you return for our Boxing Day coverage, which Tom Rostance will be kicking off. Merry Christmas, I'll see thee (I hope).

2232: I've just got off the phone with Alanis Morissette. She just started banging on about rain on your wedding day. I wouldn't trust a word she says.

Full time
FULL-TIME Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea
BBC chief football writer Phil McNulty reports: "Spurs and Chelsea edge closer to the top two but both will feel they had chances to claim all three points. The happier manager? Probably Andre Villas-Boas for the way Chelsea dug in and could have won it in the second half - some anxious moments for both in the last ten minutes."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp: "It was a good game of football and a fair result. We started great and murdered them for the first 25 minutes but they came back strongly in the second half. We had no-one who could play wide right to give us the balance we needed. When Aaron Lennon is not out there, we haven't really got a wide right player. It is about keeping him [Rafael van der Vaart] fit - he just seems to have a hamstring problem all the time. He is a great player but we need to keep him fit."

MichaelSRoche on Twitter: "Chelsea should have won this, enough chances to kill it off before Spurs late flurry, no title this year, but good performance"

Liam Morris94 on Twitter: "At the end of the day we are 3rd, two clear of Chelsea and Arsenal with a game in hand at the Lane. Things are looking good!"

2225: And now a replay of the Benoit Assou-Ekotto handball. It defeinitely hit his arm, and I've seen much more debatable penalties given. Decision against Chelsea. What was I saying earlier about karma?

2224: Just watching replays of the Emmanuel Adebayor goal that wasn't. It appears like it was disallowed for offside judging by the timing of the assistant's flag. But the striker wasn't off. Decision against Spurs.

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas: "Coming to Tottenham and playing this kind of football is gratifying. The character and personality we showed, and the way we adapted to new realities after injuries was fantastic to see. I want to see people who will die for the cause and our commitment was excellent. Even if Tottenham had won this game, our performance was very satisfying."

2222: Having watched Rocky films over the last three nights on digital I'd describe this match as the first Balboa-Creed fight. Both threw plenty of punches, both took the blows but ultimately neither could find the knock-out blow. Chelsea, like Apollo would take it on points. For the return fixture maybe one could head up to the mountains, grow a beard and lift rocks in a big bag?

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From Jack in Leam Spa, via text: "We can't complain about the ref tonight - yes Cole handballed it, but so did Ekotto in the box - overall a draw was fair for both sides"

JavsMulvoy10 on Twitter: "JT is a class act, whatever he's done or said! Spurs fans stop moaning about the ref Adebayor should have been sent off "

2216: Right, so where does that leave us with regards the table. Well, in short, it's good news for both Manchester clubs. Tottenham stay third, still have a game in hand on Manchester United, but have only reduced the gap to seven points. Chelsea stay fourth and are two points further back than Spurs.

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From Anon, via text: "Can Mr Legend please explain the irony in JT saving the day for Chelsea?"
Hold on, let me give Alanis Morissette a ring, she's an expert on this.

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole: "It is always going to be tough when you come to a place like Tottenham. They had the upper edge at the start but we got back into the game. We have just got to keep going."

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor: "We have to be happy with the one point and we are looking forward to the next game already."

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From Anon, via text: "Tottenham have had the worst month possible regarding the performances of officials. The ref tonight is meant to be the best in this country aswell!"

MrValli on Twitter: "An enthralling end to an exciting game at White Hart lane. JT - whatever you think of him - he put in a Captains Performance!"

Ridge_Legend on Twitter: "How many chances did we have in the last 10 minutes?! John Terry saving the day for Chelsea. How ironic!! #COYS #THFC"

2158: John Terry is hailed as a hero by the Chelsea fans as he goes to applaud the away end. The Blues fans have sung his name throughout this match, but none more vocally than right now.

2157: And it is an intervention that saves his side a point. That is full-time. Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea.

2156: My word what a superb saving block from John Terry! Gareth Bale feeds in Emmanuel Adebayor on the left and his shot beats Petr Cech but not the Chelsea captain, who slides in and diverts a certain goal behind. Put aside matters off the field for a second, that was superb defending from a quality player.

2154: We've got three minutes of added time. Plenty to find a winner.

2153: And again Chelsea are inches away from a winner. Spurs can only half clear from a Blues attack, allowing Oriol Romeu to strike from 30 yards but the effort flashes past the post. Tottenham survive again. Chelsea will be kicking themselves if they don't win this.

2151: Chelsea.... Oh, how did Ramires miss that?! A free-kick from the right is swung in towards the unmarked Brazilian midfielder and he has all the time in the world to head at goal, but can only tamely nod it wide. What a let off for Tottenham.

2149: Hang on, though, it's Spurs again as Sandro's shot is deflected goalwards but tipped behind by Petr Cech. From the resulting corner, Gareth Bale is given a second chance at a deliver and finds William Gallas unmarked at the near-post, but he can only prod wide.

2148: Now that was a chance for Tottenham. The ball is fed across the box to Gareth Bale who has a clear sight of goal, and can certainly hit 'em, but he miscues horribly wide. Sums Spurs' second half up.

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Tottenham boss David Pleat at White Hart Lane on BBC Radio 5 live: "Chelsea have adapted better to their enforced changes than Tottenham have. Raul Meireles and Ramires are doing well in the Blues midfield and there is no question that the visitors are still on top. Petr Cech is not being tested and, for the first time in a long time, Tottenham don't look like a side who can threaten the opposition."

2146: Make that Tottenham 7-17 Chelsea as Daniel Sturridge shoots from range. Brad Friedel saves easily.

2145: Attempts during this game: Tottenham 7-16 Chelsea. Tells its own story.

2144: Roman Pavlyuchenko has been totally ineffectual since joining the game at half-time. In many ways, the perfect replacement for the equally peripheral Rafael van der Vaart. The Russian underlines this by falling over unchallenged and giving away possession. Cue ire from the home fans.

2142: Now then Fernando. A winner here might at least start to pay off that £50m price-tag.

2140: It is Didier Drogba who makes way for Torres.

2140: It is not surprising the Blues are going for it. Arguably, they need the win more to remain in the title race.

2139: Looks like Chelsea fancy the win, and why not? Their performance certainly suggests they have got it in them. Fernando Torres is stripping off and will be joining the action soon.

2136: That was inches away from Chelsea. Daniel Sturridge provides the cross from the right and Juan Mata challenges with a Spurs defender in the box, the ball deflecting off the latter and just past Brad Friedel's right-hand post.

saqrajan on Twitter: "Torres or Lamps for the Blue's final sub and a goal from one of read it here first."

2133: Nice period of pressure this from Spurs. But it is broken by a foul on Ashley Cole by Gareth Bale that earns the Tottenham winger a booking.

2132: Tottenham hit back as Kyle Walker charges forward before feeding Luka Modric in the box, but his shot is defelcted into the side-netting. From the resulting corner the unmarked Sandro does everything right with his leap but his header is poorly directed past the far post. Should have done better.

2130: Chelsea threaten again. Raul Meireles' free-kick is flicked on by John Terry under pressure but Ramires is unable to make contact at the back post. He was inches away, but when you're not a unit, a back-post header doesn't always come easily.

2128: Interesting yellow and green mouth guard being worn by Sandro. He looks like he's chewing on a canary.

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From Steve K, Swindon, via text: "I know these things are supposed to even themselves out over a season but Spurs don't seem to be getting their fair share of the 50-50 decisions at the moment."

2127: We're over 15 minutes into the second half and Tottenham haven't really reversed the flow of play from the latter part of the first half. Chelsea in charge.

2125: Chelsea fans and palyers yell for handball and a penalty as Juan Mata's cross strikes Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Nothing doing says Howard Webb and the defender clears.

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at White Hart Lane: "Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is very animated in his technical area, almost joining Daniel Sturridge in an attack down the right flank at one point. He will be encouraged by his side's fine start to the second half."

2123: The ball is in the Chelsea net, courtesy of the arm/shoulder of Emmanuel Adebayor. But any goal is quickly chalked off by an assistant's flag for offside against the Spurs striker.

2121: Ramires trips Gareth Bale. The Brazilian has already been booked. No further card, though. Daniel Sturridge has a few things to say about the matter. With some pretty firm gesticulating.

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From a Spurs fan, via text: "Bringing Pav on has left us completely outnumbered in midfield. Chelsea have so much space in our half and we're totally suffocated in their half."

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Tottenham boss David Pleat at White Hart Lane on BBC Radio 5 live: "Chelsea have got the upper hand at the moment, no doubt about it. Luka Modric was so effective for Tottenham in the first half but he is hardly seeing any of the ball now."

2118: And Chelsea do find a weakness as Didier Drogba threads in Ramires, who has a clear sight of goal but sees his shot saved by Brad Friedel. You sense if it had been the other way round, Chelsea would be celebrating a goal right now.

2116: Chelsea have started the half where they left off, feeling Tottenham out for weaknesses. The home side are doing all of the defending at the moment.

2115: Raul Meireles and Ramires both try from distance in the space of a minute. Both miss by some distance. Clearly, they've turned off their targetting computer and trusted in The Force. The fools.

RMortimer93 on Twitter: "Good decision from 'arry to bring 'The Pavinator' on. Two strikers puts more pressure on Bosingwa."

2111: Couple of half-chances for Chelsea's Didier Drogba at the start of the half. Firstly, his free-kick from 35 yards is deflected over. Then he heads over from the resulting corner. It remains 1-1.

2110: Looks like Luka Modric has gone wide right to fill in the gap vacated by Van der Vaart. Roman Pavlyuchenko unsurprisingly up front. Seen as he's a striker and that.

2108: Game on. Again.

2108: Apparently, Van der Vaart has a hamstring injury.

2107: Teams back out. Spurs making a change. Bit of a surprise. Roman Pavlyuchenko is coming on for Rafael van der Vaart. Well, the Dutchman was quiet. And the Russian scored the winner last time out.

GodArsenal on Twitter: "The text from anonymous about Ekotto being world class is sarcasm right? Awful defending for Sturridge's goal."

PJ_Finn on Twitter: "Come on Chelsea. Come out the second half like all guns blazing and we could win this"

2101: I'm staying true to my prediction. There are clearly still goals in this and either side could get them. We could be in for more twists and turns than a twisty-turny thing*.
*Phrase courtesy of Blackadder.

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From anonymous, via text: "Love Assou-Ekotto! Easily most improved Premier League player over the last 2 seasons. Gone from liability to world class."

2058: I think it's fair to say both teams had a half of a half there. Spurs bossed the opening exchanges and were rewarded with a goal, while Chelsea got themselves back into it with a strike of their own, from which they went on to have the better of the play.

t_henshaw on Twitter: "Chelsea forced into two subsitutions by half time, but they have only strengthened their team..."

DJDearest on Twitter: "Disappointing half after great first 7 mins. Looked like we were happy keeping it at 1-0 for a while. Just push for the second"

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Tottenham boss David Pleat at White Hart Lane on BBC Radio 5 live: "Neither keeper has been tested too much so far but Chelsea have had the most shots on goal. Spurs have continued to have the better of possession but at half-time Chelsea can probably argue that they have been the bigger threat."

Half time
Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea
BBC chief football writer Phil McNulty's HT snapshot:
"Chelsea will be happy with that half-time scoreline. Looked to be on the wrong end of a chasing early on after conceding the goal to Emmanuel Adebayor but have come out on the other side of some sparkling Spurs play right in contention after only being denied the lead by the woodwork."

2051: Spurs corner. Last chance of the half. Comes to nothing. And that's the half-time whistle.

2050: Another enforced change for Chelsea. Jon Mikel Obi is replaced by Oriol Romeu.

2049: Having said about Modric and Van der Vaart, we haven't seen much from Juan Mata for Chelsea either. It's a playmaker free zone at the moment.

2048: Tottenham with their first shot on goal for a good while. Emmanuel Adebayor collects with his back to goal in the box, turns and shoots, but Petr Cech saves low down.

2047: Haven't seen much of Luka Modric or Rafael van der Vaart this half. The latter particuarly. Saying that, the Dutchman is somewhat stranded out on the right and most of Spurs' attacking play has come down the left through Gareth Bale. Half-time tweak maybe needed from Harry Redknapp?

2044: Ramires earns himself a booking for a late lunge on Gareth Bale. The winger has been struggling with a bad ankle. Fortunately for Spurs he doesn't appear to be too hurt despite a bit of time on the turf.

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at White Hart Lane: "Chelsea dug in, got the equaliser, and now this game is on a much more even keel. Blow for Andre Villas-Boas to lost Branislav Ivanovic, who was very unhappy when he came off injured. Lots of coat-slinging in the technical area."

WalkmanAdan on Twitter: "As an Arsenal fan, I will gladly say someone call Sturridge for England."

RunningComm on Twitter: ""do not go anywhere"? Am on the tarmac at Zurich airport, heading for Gatwick. Will have a quick word with the pilot...."

2040: Emmanuel Adebayor, who has been booked already flirts with danger with a highish tackle on Jon Mikel Obi. No second card for the Spurs striker but he needs to mind himself now.

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Tottenham boss David Pleat at White Hart Lane on BBC Radio 5 live: "At the moment this is a very even game but that could be a crucial change by Chelsea. Tottenham's Gareth Bale had already been getting the better of Jose Bosingwa down the left flank. If Bale can get the better of Paulo Ferreira now Bosingwa has moved into the centre, then he can have an even bigger influence on things."

2038: Chelsea do certainly look a different side following the goal. While Spurs have gone into their shell. The lull in crowd noise tells you everything you need to know.

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From anonymous, via text: "Isn't it funny how against Manchester City, Chelsea were on the back foot and scored against the run of play. From that moment on Chelsea outplayed City. Deja Vu?"

2035: Jose Bosingwa has moved into the centre of defence for Chelsea. Will be interesting to see how he copes there, especially if he has to cope with Emmanuel Adebayor.

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Tottenham boss David Pleat at White Hart Lane on BBC Radio 5 live: "Tottenham dominated possession in the early stages but Chelsea are doing much better since their goal. Raul Meireles is getting forward more for the visitors and making some dangerous runs."

2034: Looks like Ivanovic is not going to be able to continue. He makes his way down the tunnel and Paulo Ferreira is coming on at right-back.

2033: Problem for Chelsea at the back. Branislav Ivanovic is getting treatment on his thigh at present. Chelsea temporarily down to 10 men.

2031: This game really has turned. Now Didier Drogba is in on the action. A cross to the back post finds the Ivorian striker who chests down and fires against the post from 10 yards. Can't beat a see-saw festive encounter. Lovely stuff.

2029: That goal really has boosted Chelsea. Raul Meireles shoots from 25 yards but it is comfortable for Brad Friedel who palms down and collects.

Cockle91 on Twitter: "He's at the back stick again! Sturridge should set up camp there cos when he's in that position it spells goals,goals, goals."

2028: I don't know about you, but I'm enjoying this. Great game of football. Hopefully, there's far more to come. I suspect there is. Do NOT go anywhere.

Chelsea goal: I was just writing how Chelsea had hardly been in it and they force me to delete it all. Didier Drogba flicks the ball to the onrushing Ashley Cole down the left. Scott Parker's tackle deflects the ball on to the defender's arm, but it is more hand-to-ball and Cole is able to cross to the unmarked Daniel Sturridge to bag his ninth league goal of the season. Chelsea have hardly been in the game. They are now.

2025: GOALFLASH Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea (Daniel Sturridge)

2021: In contrast to the earlier "fact" I mentioned earlier, Emmanuel Adebayor scored in the defeat against Stoke. So it wasn't a fact as much as a lie. An unharmful unintentional one, though, right? *Adopts twinkling, innocent smile*

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at White Hart Lane: "Spurs have real pace to go with all their natural gifts and Gareth Bale has both in abundance. He is running Chelsea ragged, creating Emmanuel Adebayor's goal, and Andre Villas-Boas' team have barely been on the ball in the early stages. Great atmosphere inside White Hart Lane."

2019: Finally, Chelsea get a bit of possession, but waste it as Ramires wanders offside as a through-ball is played.

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From Andy in Birmingham, via text: "Adebayor looks way more comfortable in the Spurs line-up than he ever did at Arsenal or Man City. Good lad"

2017: Even more worryingly for Chelsea is that Tottenham have won all previous five games in which Emmanuel Adebayor has scored for them.

2015: Apart from that Daniel Sturridge chance it has been all Spurs. The visitors need to steady the ship otherwise they could be in for a hiding. Harry Redknapp looks content; legs folded, hands in pockets. Very casual.

daniel_brooker on Twitter: "I love Chelsea with all my heart but we are gonna get battered tonight."

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Tottenham boss David Pleat at White Hart Lane on BBC Radio 5 live: "Gareth Bale just found the angle and fizzed that ball across the six-yard box. It was very difficult for Chelsea to deal with. There may be a question over Petr Cech's bravery but Emmanuel Adebayor was Johnny On The Spot. Going behind will make Chelsea come out and attack with a bit more vitality. It's been quite a cagey opening but this might bring them forward."

2013: Great chance for Chelsea to hit back quickly. Juan Mata strikes from distance and Brad Friedel is only able to palm out to the advancing Daniel Sturridge, who has been in superb recent form, but can only lift his shot over. Maybe a touch from Ledley King to lift the effort over, but a goal-kick is given.

Tottenham goal: Tottenham's positive start reaps reward as Gareth Bale charges down the left and supplies a superb, incisive cross between goalkeeper and defence for Emmanuel Adebayor to finish from close range. Good attacking play, but Chelsea's defending was not up to scratch. Already this is shaping up nicely.

2009: GOALFLASH Tottenham 1-0 Chelsea (Emmanuel Adebayor)

pudseypumper on Twitter: "Sandro Claus."

2006: Tottenham bossing possession early on. Chelsea resolute, though, at present. Jon Mikel Obi digs in against Emmanuel Adebayor and clears on the touchline. Mikel will have to do some dirty work tonight.

2004: Plenty of early noise from the home fans and this rises further as Gareth Bale is allowed to wander into dangerous territory before seeing his shot blocked for a corner. That comes to nothing, though.

2002: Nervy start from John Terry with a bad pass to Raul Meireles, but Emmanuel Adebayor is unable to capitalise.

2001: Game on. Chelsea get us under way.

2000: Here's a nice little Ledley King-themed tidbit for you. The last time King played in midweek after turning out the previous weekend was on Wednesday 5 May 2010, a 1-0 win at Manchester City when Spurs were chasing a Champions League spot.

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From Sam, Isle of Wight, via text: "Re ashleybrowncow and where is Chris Rea going? He's going to join up with Dire Straits. It's part of the Dire Rea tour!"

1958: The players are leaving the tunnel to raptuous applause. We're minutes away from the kick-off. Excited? You should be.

WojciechFalenta on Twitter: "Interesting to see Gallas keeping his place alongside King - despite Kaboul returning from suspension."

EmmaArundell on Twitter: "I think AVB was right to leave Lampard on the bench - we need to build for the future!"

AshleyBrownCow on Twitter: "Just seen Chris Rea driving past White Hart Lane. I wonder where he is going?"

1954: One man who will garner some attention tonight is Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric, who Chelsea bid for in the summer, and who was believed to be keen on the move, but ultimately stayed and has been in superb form for Spurs this season. I've seen the trailer for this one. First goalscorer anyone?

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From Anon, via text: "I can't be the only Chelsea fan that feels slightly relieved at David Luiz being out over Christmas. Ivanovic is less prone to doing stupid things."

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp: "It is great to have Gareth Bale back, because we were not sure. He did a little bit of training yesterday and feels fine tonight. He feels good. Playing Ledley King in midweek is a gamble but he said yesterday that he wanted to play. This is a tough game against a good side. It should be a great game tonight."

kushm94 on Twitter: "Why can't people stop questioning AVB's decisions...he's a quality manager with an ageing, mediocre squad!"

1948: AVB coming in for some stick from you tonight. He is suffering under the weight of expectation, but he is slowly starting to stamp his mark on the side. Unfortunately, not on striker Fernando Torres, though, who remains on very good terms with just about every barn door in the country. Thank goodness then for Daniel Sturridge, who has eight goals in 12 league appearances this season.

DJ_Strika on Twitter: "Its a hidden rule that when you're involved with the top 4 you have to play mind games, well done Harry good to see Bale"

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From Jon in Birmingham, via text: "Sorry Phil Spurs will run out of fuel by the end of March. Come on the Chels!"

AdamKillner_CFC on Twitter: "How are people defending Lampard. He has been DREADFUL recently. All he's done is score a penalty from the bench!"

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas: "John Terry will be fully concentrating on the pitch. We fully back him. The dressing room has been aware of the situation but the commitments of the club are more important. We have to focus on the club's objectives. I think it is important to get something out of this game, we don't want Spurs to escape from us. To get a win here would be massive for us."

1940: Bit of warm-up news to bring you and it doesn't look good for Chelsea. Didier Drogba has pulled up and looks in some pain. There was no-one near him either. AVB looks concerned.... Oh no, wait, he back running and shooting again. The big tease.

Spurs NH on Twitter: "The fuel solution involves Gareth Bale and a giant hamster wheel"

RizwanAhmed95 on Twitter: "Lampard on the bench. Disgusting. Frank is Mr Reliable & is what you need in big games like this! AVB needs to fix up!"

Tottenham v Chelsea
BBC chief football writer Phil McNulty reports from White Hart Lane:
"Spurs are currently two points ahead of Chelsea having played a game less, but manager Harry Redknapp's optimism is couched in caution as he says: 'I wouldn't say we are favourites. It looks like an even game and we were not saying that a few years ago. We have come a long way.' Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas will want his side to subdue Luka Modric, his top summer transfer target who he was unable to prise away from White Hart Lane. He remains an admirer, saying he is 'one of the greatest talents in the world, a player who will have tremendous success'. For now, however, that success will come with Spurs.

tmcc62 on Twitter: "Tevez's fav Xmas song is Driving (Flying) home for Xmas (and Nov and Oct)"

hadleighcohen on Twitter: "shocking decision Mikel is nothing on Romeu can't understand this decision. Get ready for a very negative chelsea performance"

1937: Thanks for your patience Chelsea fans. Now let's give your club some attention. Wigan's late equaliser last Saturday has somewhat taken the shine off the superb win over Manchester City, but there remains a greater degree of optimism than a month ago, when some were seeing a future as dystopian as Philip K. Dick's dream diary.

1932: Sorry Chelsea fans but I'm going to spend a minute waxing lyrical about Tottenham Hotspur. With 34 points from 15 games this is Spurs' second-best start to a season in their 129-year history. They are 10 points off top with two games in hand, have won the last six league games at home, are playing some great football and are close to completing a formula for cold fusion that will solve all the world's future fuel worries. Okay, maybe not the last one, but they're good, OK.

Tottenham v Chelsea
BBC chief football writer Phil McNulty reports from White Hart Lane:
"Chelsea captain John Terry, as expected, starts after being charged with racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand by the Crown Prosecution Service on Wednesday. Frank Lampard, however, is on the bench along with Fernando Torres. Spurs have been given a huge lift with the news that Gareth Bale is fit to start after an ankle injury and he comes in for Aaron Lennon, who suffered a hamstring injury in the win against Sunderland on Sunday."

JonoBeardsmore on Twitter: "How is Bale suddenly fit? Send the spurs physio our way I say, their magic sponge seems to be working a treat!#LFC"

Tottenham v Chelsea
BBC chief football writer Phil McNulty reports from White Hart Lane:
"The performance of Chelsea skipper John Terry will be the sub-plot to the main business of Spurs and their London opponents attempting to stay in touch with Premier League pace-setters Manchester City and Manchester United. Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp insists his side can have a say in the title race and they are currently 10 points adrift of leading side City with two games in hand."

AthurOzols on Twitter: "Honestly, I think AVB is clueless. Drogba was terrible last game, and Mikel cost Chelsea the 3 points..."

Tottenham v Chelsea line-ups
Friedel, Walker, Gallas, King, Assou-Ekotto, Modric, Parker, Sandro, Bale, Adebayor, Van der Vaart. Subs: Gomes, Kaboul, Pavlyuchenko, Bassong, Kranjcar, Rose, Livermore.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Meireles, Sturridge, Drogba, Mata. Subs: Turnbull, Romeu, Lampard, Torres, Malouda, Ferreira, Kalou.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

1924: Sticking with the Christmas tune theme, if there was a 2011 football version of Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas, surely Mario Balotelli is a shoe-in for the Bono line? It's just a shame that Carlos Tevez isn't around to do a cover of Fairytale of New York.

U_time on Twitter: "All I want for xmas is, the torres of old and a torres goal tonight!"

1923: In actual fact the only thing I really want to happen tonight is for the two managers to take to the centre circle at full-time and do a rendition of Little Drummer Boy with Harry sat at a piano as Bing Crosby and AVB doing his best Bowie. I bought these gifts for you, ba-ra-pa-pa-pum... Surely then we will have peace on earth.

DavidM33 on Twitter: "I can't understand for the life of me why Mikel is in. Romeu has been excellent since coming in and results have been better"

hafizhshiddiq on Twitter: "I'll be going for sturridge to be on the scoresheet again tonight!!"

BREAKING CHELSEA TEAM NEWS: John Terry starts, Frank Lampard on the bench, along with Fernando Torres.

1919: If I have to nail my tinsel to the tree on tonight's match I think I'll go for a Tottenham win. But I'm not expecting it to be comfortable. I'll stick with my suggestion/hope from earlier and say a rip-roraing, see-saw 3-2. If it doesn't happen I'm going to spend the next three days getting spectacularly drunk. And that's a promise.

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From Jake in Bexhill, via text: "Football. Spurs have better quality all over the pitch. The old men of Chelsea are going to get a lesson this evening!"

AdrianDonohue1 on Twitter: "With a fit Gareth Bale and JT somewhat distracted I'm suddenly a lot more confident in the result of this game"

1917: Of course, prior to the 2006/07 season all the smart money was on an away win in this fixture, with Chelsea going 16 seasons unbeaten at White Hart Lane (they didn't lose the reverse fixture either during that time). However, from 2006 onwards, Tottenham have reversed the trend and are five without defeat at home against the Blues. So in conclusion, if karma exists, Spurs have another 11 seasons of having the upper hand to go.

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From Darren, via text: "As an Arsenal fan I'm hoping for a 3-3 draw - that's 3 sending offs each so they miss their next few games! And a draw in the score too!"

1914: The Blues and England captain yesterday vowed to clear his name after being charged with racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand by the Crown Prosecution Service. "I'll fight tooth and nail to prove my innocence," said Terry. Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has also backed his player.

1912: No sign yet of any concrete Chelsea team news yet, but all the signs point to John Terry starting in defence for Chelsea.

BREAKING TOTTENHAM TEAM NEWS: Gareth Bale starts for Tottenham in place of the injured Aaron Lennon.

AntonyScopes on Twitter: "As a CFC Fan all i want is a scrappy 1-0 win. Back up to 3rd for Xmas!"

1911: If Tottenham v Chelsea doesn't have enough a) sport or b) personality in it to satisfy you're needs, you can always switch to our Sports Personality text commentary with Mr David Ornstein.

Here though, it's lovely, lovely football all the way.
swipinsmudge on Twitter: "Chelsea will win tonight as Spurs do not have the wide pace to trouble them. Jingle Bales not fit."

1908: But this is not going to be anywhere near as good as it could be unless you start firing Tweets and texts in my general direction. You can Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @phildawkes or text in via 81111 (UK).

1904: To be fair, if we are going to see a belter, this game is as likely as any to produce it. This fixture has seen its fair share of goals and excitement down the years. Like the 4-4 draw in 2008. Or Chelsea's 6-1 win in 1997 and 3-2 victory in 2001. And I don't think any of us will ever forget Tottenham's 5-0 win in 1920. I think Brad Friedel made his professional debut that season.

1900: I don't want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I need. I don't care about the presents, underneath the Christmas tree. I just want Spurs and Chelsea to put on a show, more than you could ever know. Make my wish come true, all I want for Christmas iii-i-i-i-iii-s.... an end-to-end 3-2?

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Premier League results

22 Dec 2011 23:59 UK

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 22 Dec 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man City 17 38 44
2 Man Utd 17 28 42
3 Tottenham 16 13 35
4 Chelsea 17 15 33
5 Arsenal 17 8 32
6 Liverpool 17 7 30
7 Newcastle 17 1 27
8 Stoke 17 -10 24
9 Norwich 17 -4 21
10 West Brom 17 -7 21
11 Everton 16 -2 20
12 Aston Villa 17 -4 19
13 Fulham 17 -5 18
14 Swansea 17 -5 18
15 Sunderland 17 0 17
16 QPR 17 -14 16
17 Wolves 17 -13 15
18 Wigan 17 -15 14
19 Bolton 17 -17 12
20 Blackburn 17 -14 10

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