Over the years, this London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC has provided some incredible entertainment for Premier League fans, and as Spus prepare to host the Blues once again on Sunday, TheHardTackle takes a look back at some of the best clashes between the two sides at White Hart Lane
London derbies between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC have never been short on entertainment, producing moments of madness and genius in equal measure, and more often than not, giving fans at White Hart Lane their money’s worth.
The two sides meet once again on Sunday in somewhat anomalous circumstances, with Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham finding themselves 10 points above Jos Mourinho’s Chelsea FC going into the game. Spurs have been in scintillating form of late, particularly with star striker Harry Kane rediscovering his goalscoring form, and will go into the weekend’s clash as favourites. Mourinho, on the other hand, has produced some of his best results as an underdog, and his side will want to prove that their recent mini-recovery is not another false dawn.
Over the years, there have been some extraordinary scorelines in this fixture, including huge wins for either side as well as high-scoring draws. To whet the appetite for the weekend’s blockbuster game, TheHardTackle takes a look at five classic clashes between these proud London clubs.
1) Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 6 Chelsea FC (December 6, 1997)
Ruud Gullit’s Chelsea FC made the trip to White Hart Lane in late 1997 having already lost five times in the season prior to the game, but somehow finding themselves second in the Premier League table. The side from Stamford Bridge had only recently started investing in foreign talents, and the likes of Gianfranco Zola, Roberto Di Matteo and Tore Andre Flo were still in the nascent stages of their respective Blues’ careers.
It was the Norwegian striker who etched his name into Chelsea FC folklore on that night at White Hart Lane, scoring a stunning hat-trick and piling misery upon a hapless Tottenham side, which featured the likes of David Ginola and Les Ferdinand.
Flo opened the scoring in the 40th minute, only for Tottenham to pull themselves level through a Ramon Vega header at the back post just before half time. The second half, however, is one that not many Spurs fans will want to remember. The Blues scored 5 goals without reply, with Di Matteo, Dan Petrescu and Mark Nicholls finding themselves on the score-sheet, along with two more goals for the unstoppable Flo.
The Blues’ diminutive magician Gianfranco Zola orchestrated several goals on the night, and the south-west London side’s domination was perfectly encapsulated in the final goal of the match — a nonchalant Tore Andre Flo chip over the hapless Ian Walker in the Tottenham goal.
Chelsea FC went on to finish fourth in the league, winning the League Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and rounding off one of the most successful seasons in the club’s history. Spurs, meanwhile, finished at a lowly 14th.
2) Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 3 Chelsea FC (September 16, 2001)
Chelsea FC travelled to the north of the capital in their fourth game of the 2001-2002 season, and their second straight London derby — being held to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge by Arsenal FC the previous weekend.
The side from Stamford Bridge featured a couple of English youngsters who went on to achieve legendary status at the club in Frank Lampard and current captain John Terry, while the intimidating forward line included Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Gianfranco Zola.
In an incredible game featuring a 90th minute red card for Lampard and a brace each for Spurs’ striker Teddy Sheringham and Chelsea’s Hasselbaink, it was France legend Marcel Desailly who nodded in a late late winner to give the Blues a 3-2 victory, sending travelling fans into delirium.
3 of the goals were scored in the last 10 minutes, including an 81st minute Hasselbaink penalty that only reluctantly rolled into the net after Spurs keeper Neil Sullivan got a strong hand on it, a beautifully-worked goal in the 90th minute from Sheringham, and Desailly’s last-gasp clincher.
Chelsea FC went on to finish sixth in the league under current Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri that season, while their North London rivals had to settle for a 9th-placed finish.
3) Tottenham Hotspur 4 – 4 Chelsea FC (March 19, 2008)
Four times Chelsea FC took the lead against Spurs in their Premier League meeting at White Hart Lane at the back end of the 2007-08 season. Four times Tottenham Hotspur pegged them back, thanks largely to the heroics of Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane.
In what is probably still the most dramatic game played between the two sides in the Premier League, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Joe Cole (twice) gave the Blues the lead at various stages of the match, only for Spurs to have an answer every single time.
Cole might well have thought he was scoring the winner when he rifled the ball into the roof of the net in the 80th minute, but Robbie Keane had other ideas. The Irishman took advantage of a rare mistake from Blues’ centre-half Ricardo Carvalho, and curled the ball beautifully into the back of the net from outside the box to draw his side level in the 88th minute.
In many ways, the game reflected the season the Blues had — so close, but yet so far. Chelsea FC finished second in the league, and lost the finals of the UEFA Champions League and League Cup to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively, in one of the most heartbreaking seasons the Stamford Bridge faithful have had to endure.
4) Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 4 Chelsea FC (October 20, 2012)
It was the champions of Europe who visited White Hart Lane in October 2012, fresh off the back of one of the greatest seasons in the club’s history, led by a club legend in Roberto Di Matteo. The Italian had masterminded 6 wins from the opening 7 games of the new Premier League season, and the Blues were cruising at the top of the table when they travelled to North London.
The Chelsea FC side featured the attacking triumvirate of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar, who had been in scintillating form at the start of the season, playing behind club-record signing Fernando Torres.
It was central defender Gary Cahill who opened the scoring however, with a stunning volley from a failed Tottenham clearance in the 17th minute. Former Blues’ defender William Gallas gleefully levelled the scores at the start of the second half, and when Jermain Defoe gave the home side the lead less than 10 minutes after that, the away fans feared the worst.
Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, however, had different ideas. The Spaniard equalised with a daisy cutter into the bottom left corner after Gallas failed to connect properly on his clearance, before scoring his second after latching onto an outstanding first-time pass from Hazard through the centre of the Tottenham defence.
Daniel Sturridge put the icing on the cake with a simple tap-in to make it 4 for the Blues late on in the game. Unfortunately for the Blues, their season began to unravel shortly after that. Robert Di Matteo was sacked and replaced by Rafael Ben tez, who won the UEFA Europa League but finished third in the league, just two points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham.
5) Tottenham Hotspur 5 – 3 Chelsea FC (January 1, 2015)
Chelsea FC’s hopes of an unbeaten season had already been dashed by Jos Mourinho’s bogey team Newcastle United in early December, but it was Tottenham Hotspur who made the Blues look anything but invincible on New Years Day earlier this year.
It was the Blues who took the lead in the 18th minute through new signing Diego Costa following some fantastic work by Eden Hazard down the right flank, but Tottenham fought back to score three goals before half-time to leave Mourinho’s men shell-shocked.
Breakout star Harry Kane stole the show on the night, scoring two fantastic goals and making a mockery of what was the best defence in the league. Following his first-half strike, the England international scored another just after half-time to put Tottenham 4-1 up and effectively kill the game as a contest.
Although Hazard gave his side a glimmer of hope by pulling one back, Nacer Chadli put the result beyond doubt by scoring a fifth for the home side. The result left Chelsea FC level on points — and indeed every other key statistic — with Manchester City, with the Blues top only due to alphabetical order.
However, Mourinho’s men were able to recover and fight their way to the finish line, winning their fourth Premier League crown — their third under Mourinho.