Saturday, September 28, 2013

Soccer: Chelsea recover to earn draw

Ten-man Chelsea recover to draw with Spurs

September 28, 2013 — Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (left) and Spurs boss Andre Villas Boas shake hands at White Hart Lane before kick-off.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (left) and Spurs boss Andre Villas Boas shake hands at White Hart Lane before kick-off.


  • Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea draw 1-1 with Andre Villas-Boas’ Tottenham Hotspur side

  • Spurs take lead with 19th minute goal from Sigurdsson before John Terry equalizer

(CNN) — Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas might be poles apart personally, but their teams could not be separated at White Hart Lane on Saturday as Chelsea drew 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League.

Villas-Boas, who spent seven years working under Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea and finally Inter Milan, was facing his old mentor for the first time since their friendship dissolved.

Most of the pre-match press conference questions on Friday had focussed on the pair’s fall out in 2009. Villas-Boas explained the men were once close, but didn’t lose any sleep over the acrimonious split. Mourinho, meanwhile, steadfastly refused to talk about their relationship publicly.

“I don’t discuss this with the media, it’s a personal thing. I don’t care what he says. I’m not here to do that. I’m not interested.” Mourinho said Friday.

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It was perhaps inevitable then that the two men exchanged a lukewarm handshake prior to the kick-off before what turned out to be a keenly contested affair.

Villas-Boas’ Spurs side drew blood first in the 19th minute with a well-worked goal.

Christian Eriksen beat Frank Lampard before dashing forward and playing in Roberto Soldado. The Spanish striker then laid the ball off to Gylfi Sigurdsson, who fended off a challenge from John Terry before shooting past Petr Cech.

The Icelandic midfielder could have doubled the lead four minutes later but was denied by a Branislav Ivanovic block as he was waiting to tap the ball in.

At the start of the second half, Mourinho brought on Spanish midfielder Juan Mata for John Obi Mikel and Chelsea’s fortunes soon started to improve.

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Oscar should have converted a Fernando Torres cross three minutes after the restart and Mata had the ball in the back of the net in the 57th minute, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.

Eight minutes later Chelsea scored again but this time the goal stood as John Terry flicked a Juan Mata free-kick past Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal.

Chelsea were now in the ascendency with Lloris denying substitute Andre Schuerrle after Torres had playing the German in on goal in the 78th minute.

But the game swung back in the home side’s favour three minutes later when Torres was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for tangling with Jan Vertonghen for a second time in the half.

As the Spanish striker departed, so too did Chelsea’s chances of winning and it was Spurs who were gunning for three points as the clock ticked down. Both Jermain Defoe and Sigurdsson had chances to win the game but neither could convert.

As the final whistle blew, the master and his former apprentice shared a rather warmer-looking embrace, safe in the knowledge that any personal or professional rivalries can be put aside until later in the season.

The return fixture at Stamford Bridge takes place in March, but two domestic cup competitions could still bring the Portuguese maestros together again long before then.


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Soccer: Chelsea recover to earn draw

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