Tottenham Hotspur have saved face and shown signs of improvement today, after holding off local rivals Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's 100% win streak at home, which they had kept since last Christmas, was ended. However, Spurs just couldn't break the hoodoo of winning on Chelsea's turf.
Spurs started the match slightly flat and let Chelsea play around a bit. Early goalscoring opportunities came for the Blues.
Lampard tried a clever chip over Gomes who was too far off his line. However, the 'keeper used his "Braziliance" to run and jump full-stretch to tip it over the bar.
Michael Essien nearly raised the "roof" off Stamford Bridge with a blistering strike, but it hit the bar and Spurs' blushes were saved for a second time.
But the forever typical Spurs defence cracked under the pressure from set pieces. A low Deco corner was played to the front post and deflected off the thigh of Juliano Belletti to make the home fans cheer.
However, a humourous blunder backpass from Frank Lampard was swooped on by lonely forward Darren Bent, who knocked it under Peter Cech's legs to steal a cheap equaliser on the stroke of half-time.
It made the generally disgruntled Spurs fans smile once again.
The second half saw Spurs play a bit more aggressively. David Bentley and Gareth Bale made some great runs down the wings throughout the entire match, something that Chelsea didn't seem to be trying very often.
Although Ashley Cole was sometimes running down the left under Big Phil Scolari's tactical demands, the Blues were more central, which seemed to work just as well—up until getting clattered by Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King.
Ashley Cole got close to breaking the tie, taking an angled shot at goal, but it sailed wide, leaving Chelsea fans still in anxiety and Spurs fans in relief.
Chris Gunter was brought off and replaced by Tom Huddlestone in the 62nd minute to give more "weight" to the midfield. It paid off quickly in terms of chances at goal. Huddlestone kept winning the ball in Chelsea's half and almost had a clear striking chance, but it wasn't to be, as his shot was well blocked by Carvalho.
The last few minutes were very frantic, as usual. The ball was being played from one end to the other, but neither side could make much of the chances given to them, whether they were in the form of set pieces, surging runs or just beautiful passing between players.
After the match it seemed only a bit quiet at the Bridge.
Am I happy with a 1-1 draw? I am content but I am not jumping like a lunatic about it.
On first look, a 1-1 stalemate between a team at the top of the League at their ground and a struggling team who, this morning, were at the very bottom behind West Brom seems very impressive.
Not a very strong midfield in Spurs, but still an away draw looks good and indicates what they are capable of if their mental attitude is right.
However, it’s still horrible to have to watch the same statistics on Sky Sports and the like. Examples include Spurs never beating Chelsea at the Bridge within the last 20 years, or however long they want to keep going on about it. For years after this record has been kept, Spurs fans have wanted to see their team reset that record.
But because of a mix of bad mental attitude (*coughs*Berbatov*coughs*) and no grit or desire to win the ball sometimes, they can’t nick a win.
The best they can manage against the "Big Four" a lot of the time is a draw, which isn’t good enough considering how many great players have come and gone without getting an away win at Chelsea.
I’m sure that things will get better soon. At least Ramos has got a pair of balls in his net that he has used to great effect if you know what I mean. My proverbial hat goes off to him for what he’s managed in so little time.
So here’s to hoping for a win at the Bridge under him someday. It can only get better.