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Premiership - Tottenham Home 20th September 2009 3-0


Alan

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Derby delight for Ancelotti's Chelsea

Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham

By Alan McGuinness

Recent clashes between these two London rivals have been the stage for many Chelsea defenders to make themselves unlikely heroes: Juliano Belletti scored has scored twice against Spurs and both William Gallas and Ricardo Carvalho have hit memorable winners.

Yesterday Ashley Cole added his name to that list. The left back stooped low to head beyond Carlo Cudicini just past the half hour mark to set Carlo Ancelotti's side on their way to a win that keeps them top of the Premier League and maintains their 100% start to the season.

But to pretend this was all plain sailing for the home side would be wrong. Harry Redknapp's team looked the most likely to take the lead before Cole scored, and Robbie Keane was adamant he had won a penalty minutes into the second half which could have changed the complexion of the game.

Jose Bosingwa came the closest of any Chelsea player to opening the scoring with seven minutes on the clock, hitting the angle between post and bar, but apart from that it was Spurs who could lay claim to creating the best chances.

Wilson Palacios put Jermain Defoe through for the away side's first opportunity, but the England striker's shot was blocked by Cech. Tom Huddlestone and Jermaine Jenas also came close to finding the net - demonstrating why Spurs had a 100% record before last weekend's meeting with Manchester United.

Then with just over 30 minutes gone Chelsea took the lead. Those inside Stamford Bridge could hardly believe the sight of Cole wheeling away in celebration, having headed in from Didier Drogba's cross. The former Arsenal man has now scored in consecutive league games.

Drogba had the last chance of the first half, firing a free kick into the Spurs wall.

Two minutes into the second period it should have been 2-0, Drogba pulled the ball back for Lampard in the penalty area and everyone expected the net to bulge. However, the usually clinical midfielder shot wide when many would have put money on him scoring.

Ledley King - who had gone down injured in the course of the move - was forced off, and Alan Hutton replaced him.

The game then turned decisively on 54 minutes. Robbie Keane raced into the box and appeared to be caught by Carvalho but no penalty was given. The striker was incredulous, running to remonstrate with referee Howard Webb. A spot kick could have given Spurs a way back into the game, but minutes later Chelsea doubled their lead.

Lampard turned provider after Cudicini had parried Drogba's shot, and Michael Ballack was on hand to put the ball into the net.

Five minutes later it was three. Cole played a high ball over the top and Drogba held off Vedran Corluka and bore down on goal. The Croatia defender attempted to nick the ball away from the Ivorian, but in doing so only diverted the ball past his keeper, and Drogba smashed the ball in for good measure.

Chelsea could have had a penalty of their own soon afterwards. The ball struck Benoit Assou-Ekotto's arm from a Lampard free kick, but it wasn't spotted by Howard Webb.

Substitute Peter Crouch came close to scoring for Tottenham, sending a shot from 25 yards out not far over the bar.

John Obi Mikel, who replaced Ballack, sent in a volley that squirmed under Cudicini and was then pushed round the post by the Italian stopper.

An injury apiece on either side then broke up the play and gave everyone a chance to catch their breath. First Sebastian Bassong fell awkwardly when challenging with Nicolas Anelka, and then Drogba went down after slicing a shot.

His replacement, Salomon Kalou, struck the post as eight minutes of injury time were signaled. He was joined up top by 18-year-old Fabio Borini, who made his first team debut.

This is Chelsea's 11th successive win. Life continues to be good for Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea.

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