Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 at Stamford Bridge this afternoon to maintain their 100% start to the Barclays Premier League, and stretch to a three point lead at the head of the table after six matches played.
The scoreline does not tell the full story, however, as Spurs had kept Chelsea relatively contained until losing Ledley King midway through the second half. Tottenham’s centre half position is becoming critical as King’s injury adds him to the list which contains Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Dawson. It is hoped that Dawson will be back for the midweek Carling Cup match, and Tottenham must be hoping his achilles injury is totally cleared up by then. Spurs’ connections must also be hoping that King’s injury is benign.
As if to highlight this problem, Spurs have not gone a Barclays Premier League match this season without conceding a goal, so it was perhaps no surprise when Chelsea opened the scoring after 32 minutes. It was a defender, however, who scored: Ashley Cole finishing with a classy diving header after good work from Didier Drogba.
Spurs had ridden their luck earlier when Bosingwa hit the upright.
Tottenham had a good penalty opportunity turned down, though, when Robbie Keane was brought down by Ricardo Carvalho early in the second half. Soon after this, however, Ledley King limped off following yet another tussle with Drogba – King had kept the irrepressible striker quiet up until his enforced departure.
It wasn’t long until Chelsea took full advantage, and some slight tardiness in the Spurs box led to Frank Lampard reacting fastest to a ball which had been left to go out by the defence. Lampard gave Michael Ballack the opportunity to shoot from the middle of the area. He took this with relish. The original shot which caused this melee had come from Drogba. Two-nil, just before the hour mark.
Five minutes later and Drogba took the game beyond Tottenham with his deserved goal, after taking a long ball and hitting a deflected shot past former team-mate Carlo Cudicini.
Peter Crouch had a goal disallowed for offside summing up what was a disappointing day for Spurs in the final ten minutes, but the sting had gone from their match by then.
Had they got their penalty, and Ledley King stayed on, they could have scraped a point or better today – however, Chelsea confirmed there is a way to go for Harry Redknapp’s men, particularly if they cannot get some stability in defence and stop the goals against column from ticking up week after week.
Premier League Top Six
- Chelsea – 18 Pts
- Man Utd – 15 Pts
- Liverpool – 12 Pts
- Man City – 12 Pts
- Aston villa – 12 Pts
- Tottenham – 12 Pts
Chelsea, on the other hand, today equaled their best ever record of 11 league victories in a row, and have amassed six wins from six at the start of the 09/10 Barclays Premier League. The Blues have laid down a challenge to those below them, and look worthy favourites for this season’s title, as things stand.
Were Chelsea to lose Drogba for any prolonged period, or a big game, things would be very different. Tottenham showed today that, if you can handle Drogba, you can, largely, handle Chelsea. This will have been noted in Liverpool and Manchester.