The Blues came out with a fairly conservative approach to the game, seemingly content to let the game develop as opposed to putting their stamp on the game from the start. While that's a sensible approach on the road against a good team, it all went south when the Spuds scored relatively early in the contest.
Chelsea were forced to chase the game a bit going forward, and switched to a much more attack-minded lineup in the second half. After John Terry leveled the game with about 25 minutes to play, it became one of the more entertaining spells of the young season. Both teams will likely be relatively pleased with the result, although both would have obviously preferred taking maximum points.
Here are a few thoughts in the immediate aftermath of this one:
- For as disappointing as his scoring output has been to start this season, the defensive workrate of Eden Hazard has been so much better this season.
- I've actually been fairly happy to see Fernando Torres being whistled for being offside more of late. He's at least trying to sit on the shoulder of the last man and then burst in behind, something he rarely did in most of his first 2 1/2 seasons with the Blues.
- John Terry has never been known for his tremendous athleticism, but there were a few instances today where he looked noticeably less athletic than at any point in the past that I can remember. It's really a shame we can't transplant Terry's brain into Gary Cahill's body. That said, Tottenham should still mark him on set pieces.
- At first I was a bit surprised that Mike Dean decided to break out a yellow card for Fernando Torres after his spat with Jan Vertonghen. In retrospect, the Spaniard may be lucky he was booked, as that incident might have been suspension worthy.
- Speaking of Vertonghen, he was very lucky not to have been sent off in the 65th minute. He definitely should have been booked for his role in the ongoing slapfight with Fernando before his clear booking for fouling Ramires, and that should have been a pair of yellows for Spurs best defender.
- Branislav Ivanovic needs to calm down.
- Hugo Lloris is very, very good. It's hard to picture Tottenham getting anything out of this game without him in goal.
- I'm not sure I buy that second yellow on Fernando Torres being card worthy, but he probably should have been sent off for trying to pick Jan Vertonghen's nose anyway. That said, it was a good game from Fernando.