Just over a week ago I and my fellow Spurs fans, walked out of Wembley feeling numb. Now we’re walking on air having beaten Arsenal and Chelsea, which has seen us move back up to fourth place.
The atmosphere at White Hart Lane on Saturday didn’t quite match up to Wednesday, but the win over Arsenal had been a long time coming, while beating Chelsea (at home, at least) is now becoming rather old hat.
Despite having won the North London derby, I can’t say that I went into the Chelsea game with a huge amount of confidence. I just thought that their midfield would be too strong against Modric and Huddlestone, but we absolutely bossed them and enjoyed far more control of the game than we managed against Arsenal.
Modric was brilliant again and Huddlestone was very disciplined in a more defensive role, working hard and throwing himself into tackles. On paper you would think that as a combination they wouldn’t have enough about them defensively, but their positioning was intelligent, allowing them to make crucial interceptions. They’re both great passers and were always able to play themselves out of trouble and launch attacks. Having worried about Wilson’s suspension for so long, it turned out that we didn’t miss him at all.
As soon as I saw Ferriera in the Chelsea side it was pretty obvious that Gareth Bale would be having another instrumental game for Spurs. Bale had a penalty appeal turned down after one of his many penetrating runs into the box, only for Spurs to almost immediately afterward be awarded a spot kick for a handball in the box.
With Pavlyuchenko on the pitch I was surprised to see serial penalty-misser Jermaine Defoe take the kick. Defoe has missed six of his last ten, so he can forgive the crowd for being rather nervous as he stepped up and going absolutely apeshit when he sent Cech the wrong way. Fair play to Defoe for having the balls to keep on trying and not losing confidence in himself.
Pavyuchenko and Bentley had further chances to double our lead, before Malouda put the ball into the net, but was correctly judged to be offside. It was a crucial point of the game and it was Tottenham that finally struck the killer blow, when Bale increased our lead to 2-0.
Just when you think you can’t be more impressed with the boy, he ups the stakes. Bale was put through against Ferreira and you assumed that he would use his superior pace to take it past him. Instead he dragged the ball back, cut inside and finished beautifully with his right foot.
After the break you assumed that Chelsea would come back strongly, but just after the restart we had the chance to increase our lead when Defoe was put through and Cech saved well. You couldn’t help but be underwhelmed by them. This is the team that could very well win the double? If they do so, then they might well rank as the worst ever side to achieve the honour.
If Chelsea are going to win the league they’ll have to do so without Terry for the next couple of games, after he was sent off for a terrible challenge on Bale. He received constant abuse throughout the match, but it hit it’s zenith with the following chant after his departure: “He’s off the pitch, he’s fucking your wife, he’s off the pitch, he’s fucking your wife.” Genius.
With ten men Chelsea were always going to struggle to get back into it, especially with Dawson in majestic form at the back. Capello was apparently watching and I am at a loss to explain how he could seriously consider Matthew Upson to be better than our stand-in skipper. His sliding tackle to dispossess Drogba was brilliant and our golden-haired boy is playing like some kind of defensive Roy of the Rovers figure.
Inevitably they did pull one back right at the death through Frank Lumpard, just so the last couple of minutes had to be completely agonising for us all. Yet still we were the more dangerous team and Pav really should have made it 3-1 in the dying seconds.
With City losing to United, this was a huge win. We’re now back in the driving seat and for the first time this season I’m actually quite confident that we can finish fourth. Yes, we have to play at Old Trafford, but City play at the Emirates next week and when was the last time that Arsenal lost three league games in a row? Surely they wouldn’t do that just to spite us?
It’s time to believe people. Come on you Spurs!