Tottenham hoodoo at Chelsea continues as Hazard ends title hopes
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | May 2, 2016
Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham
- Kane bags opened with 25th league goal of season by rounding Begovic
- Son adds to Spurs lead before half-time after Ivanovic mistake
- Melee mars end of first 45; Dembele eye gouge on Costa goes unseen
- Cahill pulls one back for Blues from a corner
- Hazard strikes second Premier League goal of season
- Replays show Lamela stamps on hand of Fabregas
- Draw means Leicester win Premier League title
Spurs slain by Blues in bitter battle
Tottenham’s slim hopes of winning the Premier League title faded for good at Stamford Bridge, with Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard cancelling out first-half Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min strikes.
Briefly belying their woeful record at the Blues, Spurs’ healthy half-time advantage evapourated in a terse and tense cross-capital derby that frequently threatened to boil over. As a result of this draw, Leicester City have been crowned champions.
A multi-player melee sparked by visiting head coach Mauricio Pochettino going on the pitch to separate Danny Rose and Willian, who were both subsequently booked by referee Mark Clattenburg, resulted in TV cameras picking up Mousa Dembele poking Diego Costa in the eye.
Retrospective punishment will surely follow for the Belgium playmaker, if the current suspension for Tottenham teammate Dele Alli is any indicator.
Tottenham better out the traps
Chelsea caretaker Guus Hiddink restored soon to be out of contract club captain John Terry to defence, while Spurs counterpart Pochettino plugged the gap caused by that Alli ban with South Korea forward Son.
Cahill’s late arrival at an early left-wing Blues corner saw his header sail just wide, but the home team failed to test Hugo Lloris with Cesc Fabregas later curling wide after Costa’s lay-off.
Son worked an opening from the edge of the D down the other end, but bent off-target. Tottenham frontman Kane made no mistake with 35 minutes played, however; timing his run superbly as Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela moved the ball onto him swiftly.
Nice one my Son
Chelsea defensive arms were raised in vain, thinking they’d sprung the offside trap, but the flag stayed down and Kane had 25 Premier League goals for the season when duly rounding Asmir Begovic for a tap-in.
Spurs continued to attack with Cahill on hand to block twice in quick succession, first from Lamela and then from Son. Hiddink’s Blues were once again architects of their own downfall, though, with Branislav Ivanovic punished for poor square pass.
Kane seized upon the Serbia skipper’s error and found Eriksen, who fed Son to slot past Begovic and double the visiting advantage with a minute plus stoppage time to go before the interval. The Rose and Willian flash-point followed.
Blues come back at the Bridge
Hiddink threw on Hazard at half-time with Chelsea much-improved, but it was initially Willian who conjured up the magic from a right-wing corner with his delivery finding Cahill to lash in and halve the deficit. Not content with just an assist, Willian then worked Lloris.
Pochettino also turned to his bench in a bid to stem the growing Blue tide, and Spurs sub Ryan Mason twice got into promising positions, managing to pull the trigger on the second time but Begovic proved equal to it.
An emphatic Hazard strike into the top corner seven minutes from time when teed up by Costa restored parity.
Lamela’s sly stamp on Cesc Fabregas may also result in some further punishment for Tottenham, who lost their cool in frustration at letting a two-goal lead slip which hands the title to the Foxes.
The British betting industry has been hit for £20m by Leicester, who now lift the Premier League crown, but there’s always next time for Spurs, who are 7/1 to win the 2016/17 title.
It’s been a thrilling Premier League campaign, so relive it all by visiting Coral’s dedicated section.