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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chelsea vs Tottenham - Luck favours the brave..

Did the ball completely cross over the line or not? It did not..
At the end of 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge Harry Redknapp's statement that he was "amazed" by the lack of technology surely wouldn't come as surprise as Tottenham lost to Chelsea by 2 controversial goals after going one up in the earlier part of the game , courtesy a stunning strike by Sandro. Full time 2-1 and a happy ending for Terry on his 500th game for Chelsea.

Chelsea and Tottenham both came into this game knowing that only a win would fulfill their ambition of being in the title race and the Champions league 4th spot respectively. But it was Chelsea who started brightly with more shots on target than Spurs. Drogba's freekick rattled the crossbar which did make Harry Redknapp's men nervous but they eased their nerves with a unstoppable strike from Sandro into the top left of Chelsea's net. What a moment it was for this young man who scored his first goal and what great timing, when his team needed it the most. Carlo Ancelloti needed his men to fire all cylinders post this goal and Chelsea kept attacking although Drogba did look out of place playing wide on the flanks. And indeed they got one just before half time, although controversial when Frank Lampard had a crack from a range which went to Gomes but as it is with him, he spilled it right between his legs, but seemed to have done enough by clawing it away from the line, and the referee Andre Marriner rightly didn't give the goal the first time but the linesman Mike Cairns "guessed" it was a goal when he was in no position to even see it and the referee was left with no choice but to give it to Chelsea. There were protests from the Spurs players but the goal stood and Chelsea would have taken it however it came.

Second half was as interesting as the first one. Chelsea had their chances as did Spurs with Redknapp and Ancelloti making changes but the ball did not seem to find the net. There was a penalty shout for Chelsea when Kaboul seemd to take down Malouda but the referee might have wanted to level things for the mistake in the 1st half. And the scoreline stood at 1-1 till it was 2 minutes of regular play as Lampard spun the ball to Drogba whose shot was completely off target. Luckily for Chelsea Kalou was in the right postion to put the ball in the back of the net and also go into double digit league goals in a season for Chelsea for the first time.  For all the excitement , super-sub Kalou was shade offside and it did add up to the controversy at fulltime compounding Tottenham's misery which might cost them a place in the Champions league next season.

Time and again the use of 'goal-line technology' has been debated and the man whose strike once again brought up this topic would have have felt a sense of relief to be on the happier side of the controversy. Frank Lampard was denied a goal when his wonder-strike went miles over the line in the game between England vs Germany at the pre quarters stage at World Cup 2010 in South Africa, This time though the goal was credited to him and did help Chelsea's cause in being on Manchester United's tail for the premier league title. The highly contentious goal wouldn't have arised if not from a howler from Gomes who has done this time and again, most recently against Real Madrid in the 2nd leg of the Champions League Quarters. For all the good work he does , he is recognised for the mistakes he commits and Tottenham surely would need to get rid of Gomes' mistakes or Gomes' himself if they have to compete for the top spot. A howler by Gomes and total blunder by the linesman Mike Cairns helped Chelsea equalize and another mistake by linesman Martin Yerby helped Chelsea earn 3 points from a game which they largely dominated. A bad day for the referee the credit of which should go to both his assistants.

Ancelloti admitted that his side enjoyed two huge strokes of good fortune and has said "Title is our destiny". And with Arsenal doing Chelsea a huge favour by beating Manchester United, it's upto Chelsea to do themselves some good when they travel to Old Trafford next week. It would surely be the most awaited game as 3 points to Chelsea would pip them to the top , a scene unimaginable 2 months ago and 3 points to ManU would seal a record 19th premier league title for them. May 8th is when most of the questions would be answered. Till then it's a long wait!!!

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