JUAN MATA netted a double as Chelsea maintainted their unbeaten start to the league season.
With all eyes on former Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas, it was the visitors who took the lead through Gary Cahill after just 17 minutes at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham's Portuguese coach endured a tough opening 45 minutes as his side were largely outplayed by the European champions, but his side were a completely different animal after the break.
They levelled through William Gallas two minutes into the second half and were ahead in the 54th thanks to Jermain Defoe.
But Mata was on target twice in the space of three minutes to put Roberto Di Matteo's men back in control.
Tottenham pushed hard for an equaliser before subsitute Daniel Sturridge wrapped up the points for Chelsea in the final minute with the simplest of tap-ins.The Blues started brightly, retaining possession and pinging the ball around with ease.
But they were pinned back when John Obi Mikel gave away a needless free-kick, resulting in Gallas miskicking when well placed to test Petr Cech.
The visitors were quickly on the attack and Ashley Cole, showing no signs of fatigue from international duty, won a corner which was easily cleared.
With eight minutes on the clock, Eden Hazard picked the lock on the Spurs defence but Brad Friedel was off his line sharply to gather the ball before Fernando Torres could pounce.
Hazard was again involved just moments later when Oscar drove a right-foot shot just wide of Friedelís post.Sandro fizzed an effort well over the bar as Spurs responded, but it was a rare foray forward with Chelsea bossing possession.
Villas-Boas had his heart in his mouth when Oscar robbed Gallas, but the Spurs boss breathed a massive sigh of relief when Torres was flagged offside as he raced clear on goal.
Chelsea took the lead when Hazardís corner was cleared to the edge of the box by Gallas.
The header dropped to Cahill and the centre-back, in the team in place of the suspended John Terry, wrapped his right boot around the ball to leave Friedel well beaten.Tottenham attempted to respond immediately and Cole was forced to crash the ball away for a corner after Cech could only parry Defoeís strike.
Branislav Ivanovic was the first player to go into Mike Deanís notebook when the defender was adjudged to have gone over too easily.
Chelsea continued to control the game but it was Spurs who had the next opportunity, with Gylfi Sigurdsson dragging his effort wide from just outside the six-yard box.
The hosts gradually enjoyed more possession as the half wore on, only for the final ball to let them down.
Tom Huddlestone joined Ivanovic in the book before Aaron Lennon launched a counter which came to nothing when Clint Dempsey lost the ball.Chelsea should have doubled their lead in the 39th minute following a great burst by Ramires. The Brazilian found Mata, who lifted his second effort over the bar after Friedel did well to save the first.
Gallas and Walker received yellow cards, as did Ramires, before the visitors made it to the break with their lead intact after a sustained period of Tottenham pressure.Tottenham were back on level terms just a minute after the restart when Gallas brushed the ball over the line following Jan Vertonghen's hook across Cech's goal.
The equaliser gave Spurs the lift they needed and Sigurdsson saw his goalbound effort deflected away to safety by Ivanovic as the hosts turned up the heat.And it was Sigurdsson who went close again just 60 seconds later when he cut inside before testing Cech with a low drive.
Chelsea did their best to assert their authority once again, with Hazard and Mata pulling the strings, but it was the hosts to register the next shot on target as Vertonghen drove the ball into Cech's chest.
Lennon's mishit shot presented Defoe with the opportunity to put Spurs into the lead ó and the striker made no mistake with a crisp finish.
The hosts refused to sit on their lead and Sandro was next to call Cech into action, although his daisy-cutter was easily held by the keeper.Chelsea gradually upped the tempo and Mata was on target in the 66th minute to pull them level.
Villas-Boas hooked Huddlestone for Jake Livermore immediately after the goal, while Defoe forced Cech into a full-stretch save as the hosts looked to restore the lead.
Torres was then denied by a wonderful last-gasp tackle by Vertonghen before Hazard slipped in Mata to put the Blues ahead after 69 minutes.Emmanuel Adebayor replaced Dempsey as the hosts went in search of another equaliser, but Chelsea largely looked comfortable as the clock ticked down.
Sturridge joined the fray in place of Oscar for the final eight minutes and the Blues survived a scare when Lennon sent a fierce drive straight at Cech.
Chelsea quickly broke down the other end and Torres came agonsingly close to making it four with a curling effort which drifted just wide.Torres and Mata combined in the dying stages but Friedel was alert once again to thwart the danger, while Cech dived at Adebayor's feet to deny the striker a late equaliser.
Walker drilled in a curling shot just seconds later but Cech pulled off another fine save to preserve his side's lead.
Frank Lampard replaced Hazard for the final few minutes and Sturridge wrapped up the scoring from close range when Mata put the ball on a plate for him to tap home.Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen, Huddlestone (Livermore 67), Sandro, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Dempsey (Adebayor 74), Defoe. Subs not used: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Falque, Townsend. Booked: Huddlestone,Gallas, Walker.
Goals: Gallas 47, Defoe 54.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Oscar (Sturridge 83), Hazard (Lampard 90), Mata, Torres. Subs not used: Turnbull, Romeu, Moses, Azpilicueta, Bertrand. Booked: Ivanovic, Ramires.
Goals: Cahill 17, Mata 66, 69, Sturridge 90.
Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|