No, the score in the heading is not a mistake. Luka Modric's superb goal v Chelsea at the Lane on Saturday did not just give us a sweet tasting win over noveau-riche Chelsea. It did not only seriously dent our rivals' hopes of winning the Premiership. The 50th minute strike did not only put to rest the "Three Point Lane" myth spouted nontheless on Chelsea's official website. No it was not just all of this. Luka's goal was also the tenth goal we put past Chelsea in a week.
On Monday our reserve side beat the Blues 4-0 while on Saturday morning it was the U/18's turn to destroy the Chelsea counterparts 5-0. The stage was set for Saturday evening's senior game and Modric capped what was a marvelous week for the Spurs.
Here we reproduce reports of the three games. The reports are taken from www.spursodyssey.com- a Spurs website we highly reccommend.
Premier Reserve League South, Brisbane Road, Leyton
SPURS v CHELSEA 4(2)-0(0)
It was a chilly evening for the first of three games against London rivals Chelsea this week. Spurs fielded a near complete first team shadow squad led by the players from the bench at Villa.
Spurs lined up with Rocha and Gilberto at the back with Chimbonda at right back and Bale on the left. Huddlestone and Rose started in the centre of midfield with Bentley on the right side and Townsend on the left. Campbell and Pavlyuchenko started up front.
Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the north end using the pace of Townsend backed up by Bale to stretch the inexperienced visitors and provide crosses for the strikers. The young Blues players showed lots of energy to try and close down the Spurs players and Di Santo was put through but he hit his effort over. Spurs won a corner which was partially cleared to Bale who crossed to the far post where Chimbonda had stayed. He took one touch before hitting it low past Taylor in the goal.
Spurs had most of the possession throughout the game as they were stronger and more experienced than the visitors and it was mainly due to some slack play from them that gave Chelsea any chances at all as well as keeping the score down.
Townsend was released down the left and his cross was turned wide of the far post. Huddlestone released Bale and his cross was turned wide at the near post by Campbell. Taylor then saved from Rose before Mineiro tested Alnwick. Bentley took a free kick but hit it well over the bar. Stoch cut inside and fired over. Rose was doing a lot of chasing in the midfield and caught Mellis late shortly after being spoken to by the ref and was duly booked.
Pavlyuchenko held up the ball before playing Campbell in for a run at goal. Campbell out-paced Mancienne and lifted the ball over Taylor to increase the lead. Bale took the next free kick and forced Taylor into a good save. Taylor also saved the next free kick taken by Huddlestone. Alnwick saved from Borini for a corner and when the corner was taken Mancienne connected with a overhead kick which Alnwick saved for another corner. Bridcutt fired wide before Townsend had a chance that was saved.
There were no changes for the start of the second half and Spurs continued to dominate with Bentley firing a free kick from an acute angle that Taylor saved. Campbell set up Pavlyuchenko but he turned it wide of the goal. Mancienne had a long range effort go wide before Rose also went wide at the other end.
After Alnwick saved a free kick by Stoch Clive made two changes. Obika came on for the ineffective Bentley and went to the left side with Townsend crossing to the right. Livermore replaced the tiring Rose in the middle. Campbell was fouled on the edge of the area as he dribbled along the line which gave Huddlestone another Free kick chance. This time he beat the keeper to his right for a 3-0 lead.
Mineiro then got a yellow card for another foul on the lively Campbell. Huddlestone took the free kick and put it to the keepers left but Taylor saved it at the second attempt. Campbell changed places with Obika and got to the line on the left and tried to cross but Mancienne handled to concede a penalty. Pavlyuchenko took the kick and blasted it over the bar much to the relief of the Chelsea faithful in the stand.
After Nouble put his effort over the bar Allen made his last substitution - replacing Townsend with Bostock. Pavlyuchenko put a chance wide and Huddlestone was off target with the next free kick. Campbell drove wide before he won another penalty when he was played through on the right by Chimbonda and tripped by Philliskirk a yard inside the area. This time Campbell took the kick himself and put it to Taylor’s right for 4-0. In the last minute Van Aanholt was the unlucky player to get a yellow for trying to stop Campbell wide on the right. The last chance of the game fell to Nouble but Alnwick saved comfortably.
With such a strong side (Ed: Almost UEFA Cup proportions!)there was only going to be one winner and despite the half-hearted performances by Bentley and Pavlyuchenko the hard work put in by Campbell, Rose, Townsend and Bale had the visitors on the backfoot for much of the time with the rest of the defence having an easy time of it. Huddlestone had plenty of time to pick his passes and even used his weight to dispossess opponents a few times. This side may only have played to keep players sharp for the first team as there are no more midweek games but it did give Bale his first league win in a Spurs shirt. The four goals see Spurs go above Chelsea on goal difference as well. The next Chelsea game is on Saturday morning when the Academy side take them on, and some of the lads were in the crowd tonight. Next week the Reserves play West Brom at the Hawthorns.
Premier Academy League, Chelsea Training ground
CHELSEA v SPURS 0(0) -5(2)
Despite it being a sunny morning, there was a slight chill in the air as I rolled into the plush new Chelsea training ground. I have to say that the pitch that was used today has flood-lighting and also seating for a couple of hundred. Unfortunately they did not supply a teamsheet. This may be of course be because some clubs refuse to provide them for their visitors as they have a tendency to pinch young players. Due to the delay in providing this report I have managed to find out the teams anyway.
Spurs lined up with Butcher and Caulker at the back with Smith on the right and Cox on the left side. Parrett and Kasim started in the centre of midfield with Byrne on the right and Hutton on the left. Mason supported Oyenuga up front.
Spurs defended the south end to our left in the first half and were put under pressure by the home side who closed down quickly, turning over the ball and preventing Spurs from getting their passing game going. Mellis fired into the side netting early on but most of the play was in a congested midfield as both sides fought to get control of the ball.
Spurs first chance fell to Mason who saw his effort saved by Heimann for a corner which he took and Oyenuga headed wide at the far post. Spurs broke the deadlock two minutes later when Oyenuga won the ball and advanced on the keeper hitting a rising drive. Heimann got his hands to the shot but it still found the net.
The Blues responded and Jansson saved from Taiwo's drive. Byrne provided a good cross for Oyenuga, but he could not get his effort on target. Jansson saved from Sala and Ahamed drove wide before Spurs increased their lead when Mason was played in by Kasim and fired the ball past Heimann. The keeper saved Mason’s next effort and Kasim fired over minutes later.
Chelsea had a chance to get back into the game when Taiwo and Gordon combined on the left to put in a cross that Clifford put over the bar from less than 6 yards. Ahamed fouled Mason just outside the area to be shown a yellow card but Mason fired the free kick wide of the goal. Oyenuga got through in the last minute of the half but the keeper saved his effort at the second attempt.
The home side started the second half strongly with Jansson saving from Sala and Taiwo drove wide coming in from the left and followed that by skewing the ball wide from the right side. After Mason hit the post, Spurs put the result beyond Chelsea reach by getting a third. Hutton dribbled into the area and was tripped by Ince to win a penalty. Mason took the kick and placed it to the keeper's right.
It had been a tough battle for most of the game and the ref began clamping down more as a frustrated Sala got booked for a challenge on Mason. Saville jumped highest to head wide from a free kick before the visitors increased their lead. Hutton got down the left and pulled the ball back for Parrett to drive low into the net from 25yards.
Oyenuga went into the book for a two footed tackle on Sala who then kicked him where it hurts! Taiwo followed him into the book when he stopped Smith’s run from deep. Smith did go down the flank and provide a good deep cross that Hutton failed to connect with at the far post.
Inglethorpe replaced Oyenuga with fit again M’Poku as he took a knock and also replaced Mason for the same reason with Kane. Parrett drove wide from distance before he gave way to Ekim. Phillip saw his effort saved by Jansson before Spurs put the icing on the cake with a fifth goal on 90 minutes. Kane supplied M’Poku who slipped a challenge and poked the ball passed the advancing keeper. Heimann still had to save from Hutton before the final whistle.
This was a good result after a shaky start as sides now try to knock Spurs out of their stride with a more physical approach that in the past would have seen them cave in. (Not this side though!) It may take them a little time, but they will continue to play a passing game. This was the second of a triple header against the Blues in a week and I had to get my skates on to see the last part at White Hart Lane. Next week the Academy side return to south London when they visit Fulham at Motspur Park. It will be interesting to see what side Clive puts out at the Hawthorns on Monday evening as only Bostock was missing from the academy line-up. He may continue to use players from the first team squad if they are not away on international duty.
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (0) CHELSEA 0 (0)
Attendance; - 36,034
Referee: - Mike Dean
Teams:-Spurs (4-4-2):- Gomes; Corluka, Woodgate, King, Ekotto; Lennon (sub Zokora, 90), Jenas, Palacios, Modric (sub O’Hara, 86); Keane (Capt.), Bent
Subs not used: - Cudicini; Dawson; Huddlestone, Bentley; Pavlyuchenko
Booked: - Palacios, Modric
Chelsea (4-3-2-1):- Cech; Bosingwa, Alex, Terry (Capt.), Cole; Belletti (sub Quaresma, 61), Ballack, Lampard; Essien (sub Malouda, 76), Anelka; Drogba
Subs not used: - Hilario; Ivanovic, Mancienne; Di Santo, Kalou
Booked: - Belletti, Ballack
Spurs fans walked away from The Lane with their heads held high and broad grins on their faces, after their team beat Chelsea once again, and deservedly too! This was a magnificent team performance where every team member gave 100% effort, Aaron Lennon set up a great goal by Luka Modric, and Heurelho Gomes ensured the points were secured with some heroic saves towards the end of the game.
The win put Spurs into an overnight position of ninth in the Premier League, and also puts them on top of the form table after their last six games, in which they have won 4 and drawn 2 league games. Fears of relegation can surely be cast aside now, and Spurs can legitimately chase seventh place which might be enough to ensure a fourth consecutive season of European football. This week, Spurs have achieved a clean sweep over Chelsea at Reserve, Academy and Premier League level. The reserves won 4-0 on Monday night, and the Academy side won 5-0 at Cobham this morning. The chances of the first team getting the “treble” seemed remote, but the icing on the cake was obtained in style.
The game was delayed for half an hour due to a security alert, but Harry Redknapp fielded the same starting line-up as last week, with the exception of Vedran Corluka replacing Didier Zokora. There were some terrific individual performances worthy of mention, such as Jenas playing his best game of the season, tracking and nullifying Frank Lampard for the first hour of the game but also finding time to create and support attacking moves. Robbie Keane’s return to Spurs has surely been integral to our recent successes, and today, without scoring he played in the zone between Darren Bent and the midfield to brilliant effect, making many successful and skilful passes. Lennon tested Ashley Cole to the full, and after a tentative start, Luka Modric was at his awesome best, with the ball sticking to his feet as he weaved his way down the left channels, and sparked many attacks.
Chelsea’s midfield was set up with Ballack behind the driving force of Essien, with Belletti on the right, and Lampard towards the left. Anelka and Drogba took it in turns to play on the left flank or as the target man.
Spurs were more than holding their own from the outset, playing towards the vocal Park Lane supporters. Gomes made the first meaningful save though, getting down well to Essien’s drive, before stretching to prevent Belletti following up. Jenas responded for Spurs within a minute, after a Corluka cross was partly cleared and fell to his feet 25 yards out on the right side. Jenas let rip with a powerful shot that passed only just over the corner of Cech’s goal. After 17 minutes, Darren Bent headed on a long ball into the path of Robbie Keane, who tried a left foot shot to the narrow side of Cech’s goal. Cech was on guard though, but still had to concede a corner, from which Ledley King headed over.
After 24 minutes, Corluka picked up a Jenas interception, carried the ball forward passing to Keane who this time hit a shot from the right side of the box with his right foot – saved by Cech. A Chelsea ball crossed from the far left reached Belletti on the other side of the pitch, and the full back turned winger cut the ball back to Anelka, whose shot was pushed round by Gomes for a corner. Five minutes later, Modric took the ball out of defence, passing quickly to Palacios who also showed speed of thought and action, sending a quick ball to Robbie Keane who found Cech his equal again.
Ekotto was fouled and Modric took the Spurs free kick which Ledley headed to Cech. Ekotto picked up a poor Chelsea clearance following a Spurs corner, sending the ball down the line to Modric, whose cross was met by Darren Bent. Bent’s shot was outside the target, but Cech was unsure of his ground and dived to save anyway. Bent was subject to a late challenge from Belletti as he broke away, and Belletti got a yellow card for his trouble. The teams went in level at half-time, but Spurs had clearly been the better of the two sides, with Chelsea rarely threatening.
Within five minutes of the break, Spurs had a precious lead. Bosingwa has to take some of the blame, as he should have just shepherded a ball out of play when up against Modric. However, the right back chose to take the ball inside along the bye-line, before hitting a random clearance that was soon headed back by Woodgate towards Aaron Lennon. Lennon quickly cut the ball back for Modric who was now on the edge of the area towards the right side. Modric drilled a superb low shot that beat Cech low to his left leading to great celebrations in front of the North-east corner of the ground.
Spurs did still create a few openings, and it was inevitable that Chelsea were going to come after us, but I did feel that we sat back and allowed that to happen too much, rather than carry on playing with the confidence and panache that had been so present until the goal. Soon after we took the lead, Darren Bent raced onto a long ball, and took a little too long making his mind up what to do, before picking out a pass to Jenas, who shot wide. Ledley had another headed chance from a corner that had been won through the efforts of Keane and Modric. Keane then hit a fantastic long cross-field pass to Lennon, who crossed for Modric, when the Croatian hit his shot into the ground and up into the arms of Cech.
Belletti was replaced by Quaresma, and Lampard started to have a bit more influence on the game. He picked out Drogba, whose shot was saved for a corner. Jenas made a rare error in the middle and this allowed Anelka to pick up the ball and feed it to Lampard, whose shot was well wide and received laughter from the Spurs crowd. Going the other way though, Jenas made an incisive run through the middle, passing to Bent. Bent tried a pass to his right and the ball was blocked running back to Keane who tried a right foot curler that was only just wide.
Jenas conceded a free kick about 25 yards out, which was taken by Lampard. The kick was blocked by the wall, and then put wide by the Chelsea number 8. With fifteen minutes to go, Chelsea skipper John Terry was getting forward more and more, and was being allowed too much space. He hit a ball to Drogba, whose shot went wide across the goalmouth. Now Essien was replaced by Malouda. Palacios and Modric took bookings as the pressure mounted upon Spurs. After Modric’s yellow card Terry got on the end of the free kick, and his header was well saved by Gomes. Spurs broke down the right and Aaron Lennon had team-mates waiting for a killer ball, only to see the little winger sky his attempt to cross or shoot.
With ten minutes to go, Woodgate was harshly penalised just outside the box, but Ballack hit a kick over the goal by a distance. Ballack then saw yellow for a late challenge on Modric who had received a good ball from Keane. Modric was then replaced by Jamie O’Hara, and received a deserved standing ovation as he went off. Gomes patted out a header by Alex that had come down off the underside of the bar and in the dying seconds of four added minutes, the Spurs keeper also thwarted Malouda.
It is difficult to relay in words the great feeling of ecstasy that pervaded the stadium and its environs for a long time after the game. The fact is that Spurs have now put the old Chelsea hoodoo well behind them, and have beaten them in two of our last four meetings. Harry Redknapp has got the team playing as a unit in these last five games, and they are playing with skill and confidence. Magnificent Spurs need fear no-one!