Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur  2 - 2

Article

Adebayor acknowledges below-par output

10 May 2013 07:17

Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor has admitted to having a 'difficult season' with the north London club.

The Togo international has started just 16 league games for Spurs this season, scoring four times, and has failed to replicate the form that earned him a permanent move to White Hart Lane following a successful loan spell last term.

But having overcome a series of niggles that kept him sidelined earlier in the campaign, and full of confidence following his wonder strike against Chelsea, the 29-year-old is determined to give everything he can during the remainder of the season.

"Don't get me wrong, it's been a difficult season for me with injuries but I feel I'm getting fitter now and it's strange, I'm getting fitter and it's the end of the season," he told the club's official website.

"We've got two games to go and I will give everything I've got left in the locker."

Adebayor scored one goal and set up the other in a 2-2 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, which keeps Spurs' UEFA Champions League qualification hopes alive, and the former Arsenal striker was delighted with his contribution.

"It's good to come here, to score a goal, get an assist and get a point for the team. Even at 2-1 we had to believe we had the quality to score," he said.

"Clint Dempsey came in, Gylfi (Sigurdsson) came in, we know with that quality we can score at any time. In the end we scored late and we wanted the third goal, but it didn't happen for us."

Article

Benitez frustrated by dropped points

9 May 2013 02:47

Rafael Benitez has lamented Chelsea's inability to convert their chances after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Tottenham on Wednesday night.

Cheslea could have gone a long way toward sealing an automatic UEFA Champions League spot with a win at Stamford Bridge, but they twice threw away the lead.

Oscar gave Chelsea the lead in the 11th minute, only for Emmanuel Adebayor to level, and although Ramires restored hosts' advantage, Gylfi Sigurdsson made sure of a point for the visitors with 10 minutes remaining, much to the annoyance of Benitez.

"I think that we had the chances on the counter attack to score the third goal and finish the game," the Chelsea manager said.

"I think when we scored the first one we gave them the opportunity to play on the counter attack when we were controlling the game, we scored the second goal and after three or four good chances to kill the game we failed to do it and they began to push.

"Their second goal was offside but still we have to defend a little bit better. It was an open game, good for the fans, good for you but not so good for us because we were in control and we didn't win."

Chelsea are third, two points ahead of fourth-placed Arsenal and three ahead of Spurs, with league fixtures against Aston Villa and Everton sandwiched between the UEFA Europa League final against Benfica.

Benitez said managing his squad will be crucial in the final fortnight.

"For us it has to be the same, we have to think how we can win the next game and be ready for the (Europa League) final so again I will say we have to manage the players and manage the squad and see if we can find the balance," he said.

Spurs managert Andre Villas-Boas was disappointed not to take all three points, but felt the quality of football on display had been outstanding.

"It's not for me to judge but I think it lived up to one of the games of the season," Villas-Boas said.

"There was great attacking football from both sides.

"We had a very difficult task at half-time because we had to go on and try to get back into the game whilst holding up Chelsea's counter-attacks, which could have proven deadly in the second half."

Villas-Boas is still hopeful Spurs or Arsenal falter over their final two matches to give his side the chance of Champions League qualification.

"We don't depend on ourselves anymore, our situation changes a little bit," he said.

"The destiny is not in our hands anymore. What we have to do is exactly what we had to do before, which is try to win the next fixtures.

"Hopefully somebody can slip up and change our position."

Article

Dawson, Spurs target Chelsea win

8 May 2013 04:11

Tottenham defender Michael Dawson says his side will be going to Stamford Bridge to beat Chelsea on Wednesday.

The match is expected to prove crucial in determining which clubs qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season, with both teams and their London rivals Arsenal vying for the two remaining spots in the English Premier League top four.

Dawson insisted Spurs will be looking to take all three points against Chelsea, and said his team-mates are full of confidence after Gareth Bale's late winner against Southampton last time out.

"Both teams will want to win, it's a game we've been looking forward to and we'll certainly be going there to win," Dawson told the club's official website.

"We'll have to earn it. We'll go there full of confidence and hopefully get the three points.

"We knew it was going to be tough and we needed to be patient and calm. Southampton are a top team, they kept the ball, passed it and we struggled to deal with it at times.

"We worked our socks off from back to front, it was hard work but we got there in the end. Gareth produced that bit of magic again.

"(At) this time of the season it's about sticking together as a group and winning matches. Sometimes it doesn't matter how you do it at this time of the season.

"Of course, we want to play well every week, but it doesn't always happen."

Chelsea are third on the table going into the game with Spurs, one point ahead of fourth-placed Arsenal, with Tottenham two points further back in fifth.

Article

Chelsea still in ´turmoil´, claims Villas-Boas

7 May 2013 11:11

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas believes Chelsea are in the same "turmoil" now as when they sacked him 14 months ago.

After spending time at the club under Jose Mourinho, Villas-Boas returned as head coach at the start of last season but was sacked in March following a string of disappointing results.

His successor, Roberto Di Matteo, has also since been dismissed, despite leading the London side to victory in the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League.

And ahead of his first return to Stamford Bridge, the Portuguese has claimed that little has changed since his time at the club.

"Chelsea is going through the same turmoil of managers after I left. So it makes me a little bit calmer to understand how they work," the 35-year-old said.

"I was another manager that just passed by. I spent three great years on the staff. When I was given more responsibility I wasn’t given time enough, so it means absolutely nothing.

"I have great friends who I don’t want to undermine by what I’m saying. I have great friends there, people who I have a great relationship with and players who gave everything for me so it’s going to be good to see them."

Despite his unhappy spell with Chelsea, Villas-Boas says he was delighted to remain in the Premier League with Spurs, and hinted that his current crop of players are more receptive to his ideas than those at Stamford Bridge.

He added: "It was good to be back in England after last year. I’ve been very well received by everybody, particularly this group of players, whose drive and ambition towards achieving results has been tremendous.

"It becomes easier when the players are willing to commit to your ideas, they need to be able to take something from learning new things and also enjoy learning new things that they can use in their game.

"All the players have received me well and, when you receive that sort of openness, you can create a good environment."

Di Matteo's interim replacement, Rafael Benitez, has endured a frosty relationship with the Chelsea faithful but Villas-Boas is unconcerned by any potential reception he might receive on his return to the club.

He explained: "I have no idea. It makes no difference to me. Hopefully the Chelsea fans are respectful, it should be fine. But if not, it’s fine too."

Spurs sit fifth in the league, going into Wednesday night's clash, three points behind third-placed Chelsea, but will leapfrog Arsenal into fourth with a win.

Despite the uncertainty over their participation in the UEFA Champions League next season, Villas-Boas insists the club are not making different plans for their off-season activities dependant on their place in Europe.

"No, at the moment, our future in order to gain Champions League qualification must be analysed at one direction," he added.

"There cannot be two budgets, for us the objective is always to improve the team."

Article

Premier League Preview: Chelsea v Tottenham

6 May 2013 15:46

Chelsea's hosting of Tottenham on Wednesday could prove to be the crucial piece of the UEFA Champions League puzzle.

The catch-up fixture, moved from April 15 to accommodate the Chelsea's FA Cup commitments, is touted to shape the look of the top-four - and the all-important spots in next season's premier European club tournament.

Chelsea are third on 68 points - courtesy of Juan Mata's late winner against Manchester United on Sunday - while Spurs are fifth on 65 points.

Sandwiched between the two London rivals is another club from the English capital, Arsenal, on 67 points.

A Spurs win would mean there would be just one point separating all three teams with two matches remaining, while Chelsea would all but seal at least a qualifying spot in the UEFA Champions League if they can defeat their old manager Andre Villas-Boas and his Spurs outfit.

And on recent history between the two bitter rivals, it would seem Rafael Benitez will be able to lay claim to leading Chelsea to Europe - given Spurs have not beaten their hosts in six.

Chelsea won 4-2 at White Hart Lane earlier this season, while their clash at Stamford Bridge in 2011-12 ended goalless.

It seems Spurs' fate rests solely on the personal fortunes of electric forward Gareth Bale - the Welshman has scored in each of their past three league outings to take his Premier League tally to 20 this season - while the home side are likely to again rely on Mata to produce the goods.

Chelsea club captain John Terry did not feature in the win over United after also being left out of the 11 for their Europa League semi-final second leg against Basel, but could return as Benitez rotates his squad.

Chelsea are virtually at full fitness, with Oriol Romeu (knee) the only absentee from their squad.

Younes Kaboul (thigh) and William Gallas (calf) both missed Spurs' win over Southampton last time out, and remain in doubt to rejoin the matchday squad, while Sandro (knee) is a long-term absentee.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25