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Tottenham Hotspur end winning run with 4-2 defeat to Chelsea
Tottenham ended their winning run with a 4-2 defeat to Chelsea at White Hart Lane.
The home side came from 1-0 down to take the lead but two goals from Juan Mata and a late Daniel Sturridge strike meant Roberto Di Matteo came out on top against former Blues’ number one Andre Villas Boas.
It was a win the away team deserved having outplayed the Lilywhites for most of the game and it was no surprise when they took the lead on 17 minutes.
Gary Cahill hammered home on the volley when William Gallas’ misdirected header fell to him on the edge of the box.
Brad Friedel could do nothing to stop the sweetly-hit shot, which took a slight deflection before bursting into the net in the centre of the goal.
Gallas levelled for the home side straight from the second half kick-off when he nodded in on the goal line from Jan Vertonghen’s close-range cross.
Tom Huddlestone’s long-range free kick round the back of the Chelsea defence was left alone by everyone inside the box and Jan Vertonghen was free at the back post to cushion the ball across for Gallas.
And Defoe completed an unbelievable turnaround for Spurs when he clipped home Aaron Lennon’s cross-come-shot on 55 minutes.
Gallas, the villain for the first goal, was lucky not to concede a penalty moments after Spurs went 2-1 up, when he appeared to bring down Ashley Cole inside the box.
Juan Mata slotted into the corner from the edge of the box to cancel Spurs’ surprise second-half lead on 66 minutes.
And it was the Spaniard who put his team in front again with 20 minutes to go when he cooly beat Brad Friedel one-on-one after latching onto Mikel’s through ball.
Daniel Sturridge ensured Chelsea took all three points when he tapped in Juan Mata’s pass across goal in stoppage time.
Kyle Walker lost out to the Spaniard on the left side and Spurs did not have the numbers left in defence to prevent the inevitable.
Chelsea were much the better team in the opening half, though they created few clear-cut chances.
Juan Mata squandered the best opportunity to send his team 2-0 up when he shot over the bar in front of goal after Friedel had parried his initial effort.
Five players were booked in a lively first half, including Branislav Ivanovic, who picked up a yellow card for diving.
Gylfi Sigurdsson dragged wide and Jermain Defoe’s shot straight at Petr Cech during rare Spurs chances, though the home team got back into the game shortly before the break.
Chelsea found themselves with some defending to do in the closing stages of the half, twice blocking from Clint Dempsey and the Jan Vertonghen.
As Spurs pushed for an equaliser at the death, Chelsea hit back on the counter attack and sealed a win that cements their place at the top of the Premier League, while Spurs slip to sixth.
Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen, Huddlestone, Sandro, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Dempsey, Defoe. Subs: Lloris, Adebayor, Naughton, Dawson, Falque, Livermore, Townsend.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Oscar, Hazard, Mata, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Romeu, Lampard, Moses, Sturridge, Azpilicueta, Bertrand.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
Bookings: Ivanovic, 20, Huddlestone, 37, Gallas, 40, Walker, 45+1, Ramires, 45+2.