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Page last updated at 14:26 GMT, Sunday, 31 August 2008 15:26 UK

Chelsea 1-1 Tottenham

By Mandeep Sanghera

Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas (left) battles with Chelsea counterpart Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge
Jenas (left) tries to keep Lampard and Chelsea at bay

A resolute Tottenham earned their first point of the season as they held a frustrated Chelsea to a draw.

Michael Essien hit the bar for Chelsea before they went ahead from a disputed corner after Darren Bent's sliced clearance went in off Juliano Belletti.

But Bent atoned when he slotted in the equaliser after inadvertently being played in by Chelsea's Frank Lampard.

The home side dominated possession in search of a winner but Spurs repelled their attacks to hold on for a draw.

Spurs last won at Stamford Bridge in February 1990 and their prospects of changing that appeared slim as they went into the match having lost their first two Premier League games of the season.

The dark cloud of absent striker Dimitar Berbatov continued to hang over the side but facing London neighbours Chelsea appeared to focus their minds.

Poyet pleased with much-needed point

In the initial sparring, the visitors acquitted themselves in an organised and disciplined manner and limited Chelsea to shots from distance.

Lampard was the home side's main threat early on as he tried his luck from range on several occasions.

He came closest when he ran on to Joe Cole's dummy and produced an exquisite chip which the backtracking keeper Heurelho Gomes fantastically tipped over the bar.

Almost immediately, Spurs went close as Giovanni dos Santos pulled the ball back for Bent, whose shot was deflected wide.

But, slowly and surely, Chelsea upped the pace and put the visitors defence under increasing pressure.

606: DEBATE
Blues striker Nicolas Anelka was played through by Belletti and beautifully controlled as he ran in between Spurs' two centre-backs only to blaze his shot over.

Essien crashed a shot against the visitors' crossbar before Spurs finally buckled.

Spurs argued at the award of a Chelsea corner as they believed Joe Cole was offside when Essien took his shot prior to Jonathan Woodgate heading the ball out.

Their discontent was compounded when Bent's miskicked clearance went in off Belletti.

Scolari admits draw was a fair result

The goal briefly unsettled Spurs but they were given a lifeline when a Luka Modric pass wide struck Lampard and played Bent through on goal.

He slotted through the legs of keeper Petr Cech for an unlikely equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

Chelsea continued to pen their rivals back after the break and Ashley Cole fizzed an angled shot wide.

But Chelsea rarely looked like turning their dominance into a winner as Spurs defended in numbers and comfortably soaked up the Blues pressure.

Chelsea have been linked with Robinho and, on this evidence, need the creativity the Brazilian offers as they dropped their first points of the season.


Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari:
"A draw for me is a normal result because we had more chances but made mistakes in the final shot.

"I think we need to respect Tottenham and the quality they have. They put eight or nine players at the back and it is difficult to create.

"I told the players a draw is ok but we need to work the ball more. If they make a mistake it is not a problem."

Tottenham assistant manager Gus Poyet:
"After two defeats we needed to start making points.

"The lads realise if we concentrate and if we believe in ourselves we can play like we did and get a point which is very important to us.

"Before going to the international break the key was getting this point and getting everybody to believe a little bit more in the team."


Chelsea: Cech, Belletti (Kalou 75), Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Bosingwa, Essien, Lampard, Joe Cole (Malouda 65), Deco, Anelka (Di Santo 88).
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Bridge, Ferreira, Alex.

Booked: Deco, Joe Cole, Bosingwa.

Goals: Belletti 28.

Tottenham: Gomes, Zokora, Woodgate, King, Gunter (Huddlestone 62), Bentley (O'Hara 72), Jenas, Modric, Bale, Giovani (Lennon 59), Bent.
Subs Not Used: Cesar, Gilberto, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto.

Goals: Bent 45.

Att: 41,790

Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Tottenham's Heurelho Gomes 7.07 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.




see also
Premier League as it happened
31 Aug 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
31 Aug 08 |  Football
How to watch Match of the Day
08 Oct 07 |  Match of the Day


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