Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur: The Most Iconic Games
Meetings between London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are never dull to say the least. It is a fixture that dates back over 100 years, as does the rivalry. The two London teams have produced some classic games in years gone by. Here is a look at some of the most significant and iconic ones.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Chelsea- FA Cup Final 1967
Tottenham Hotspur winning a trophy. You don’t hear that one very often. This FA Cup game was one for the history books. It was the first time in FA Cup history that two London teams had reached the final. Animosity between the fans was high as former Chelsea stars Jimmy Greaves and Terry Venables were playing in Lilywhite and not Chelsea Blue. Jimmy Robertson and Frank Saul put Spurs 2 goals to the good before half time. Chelsea hero Bobby Tambling pulled one back for his team in the second half. However, Spurs held on through a late Chelsea surge, to take the FA Cup back to North London.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-6 Chelsea- Premier League 1997
Chelsea’s line-up at White Hart Lane in December 1997 did not look like a team who were about to put 6 past Spurs. They fielded a starting team that was filled with defensive minded players. It was a steady first half, as Tore Andre Flo struck first for the visitors, before having his goal cancelled out by Ramon Vega’s strike. During the second half, the cogs started turning in the Chelsea machine. 63 minutes in and Chelsea found themselves 4-1 up, after a beautiful spell of play. Roberto Di Matteo and Dan Petrescu found the back of the net, as did Flo for his second goal of the game. The game ticked on, as Chelsea continued to obliterate the Spurs goal. Mark Nichols slotted home from Gianfranco Zola’s magical pass, and Flo sealed the game with the 6th and final goal, completing his hat-trick. A glorious day out in North London for the Blues, one to forget for Spurs.
Chelsea 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur- League Cup Final 2008
The 2008 League Cup Triumph remains Spurs’ latest trophy to date, (unless you count the Audi Cup of course). This game was one to forget for Chelsea fans. Didier Drogba (inevitably) scored at Wembley to put Chelsea ahead in the game. Unfortunately for the Blues, their lead didn’t last long as Wayne Bridge gifted Spurs the chance to equalise with a handball in the penalty area. Of course, Dimitar Berbatov converted his spot kick, levelling the game. Extra time then ensued, as it ended 1-1 in 90 minutes. A comical exchange between Petr Cech and Jonathan Woodgate gave Spurs the winning goal, and the League Cup.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 Chelsea- FA Cup Semi Final 2012
Didier Drogba and Wembley were just a match made in heaven, weren’t they? The Ivorian struck Chelsea ahead, in this FA Cup Semi Final against rivals Spurs. The game had its fair share of controversy, to say the least. After the opener, Ledley King and Benoit Assou-Ekotto became involved in a goal-mouth scramble, as Juan Mata had a shot on goal. It didn’t appear to cross the line; however, goal line technology was a thing of the future in 2012 and was not available to help the referee. Martin Atkinson, the official of the game at Wembley, controversially awarded Chelsea the goal, despite the protests from Spurs, Harry Redknapp, and his staff. Gareth Bale initially gave his team some hope, by netting a goal and halving the deficit. Soon after, Chelsea reasserted themselves in the game, and very comfortably, put it to bed. They netted 3 goals in 13 minutes, with strikes from Ramires, Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda, as they cruised to the final. Spurs’ fighting chance in the game had been killed due to the unjust goal, as their hopes of another trophy were dashed.
Tottenham Hotspur 5-3 Chelsea- Premier League 2015
New Year’s Day, 2015. The day the Premier League saw just what Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs were capable of. League leaders Chelsea experienced just how deadly duo Christian Eriksen, and Harry Kane could be. Chelsea’s aggressive forward Diego Costa put the Blues ahead after some trickery in the box, before Harry Kane cancelled his effort out with a low darting shot past Thibaut Courtois. Danny Rose scored for the home side before Andreas Townsend further extended the Lilywhites lead from the penalty spot after a clumsy challenge on Kane by Gary Cahill. Kane put Spurs into dreamland scoring the 4th goal in a wonderful fashion. Chelsea favourite Eden Hazard came off the bench to give Chelsea some consolation before a deflected strike from Nacer Chadli restored Spurs’ 3 goal cushion. Chelsea captain John Terry snuck in at the back post late on in the game to make the game 5-3. Not the best defensive display from either team it must be said, but Spurs fans will have fond memories of this one as they kicked off 2015 with a bang.
Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur- League Cup Final 2015
Months after the 5-3 encounter, the two London rivals met up again, this time in another League Cup final. Chelsea looked a different team the one that turned up to White Hart Lane on New Years’ Day and were hardly phased by Mauricio Pochettino’s North London side. Christian Eriksen caused a moment of concern with a free kick that rattled off the post, but that is as lively as Spurs were. Chelsea icon John Terry put his team ahead on the stroke of half-time, as he poked home a deflected shot from a corner. Chelsea were two goals to the good in the second half, as Diego Costa’s strike deflected off Kyle Walker and past Hugo Lloris. The goals for Chelsea weren’t spectacular, but they were more than what Spurs could muster. They went on to see out the game quite comfortably, adding another trophy to their impressive collection.
Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur- Premier League 2016
Simply telling the story of this game doesn’t do it justice. This game was given the very appropriate title “The Battle of the Bridge,” as it cemented itself in the Premier League’s history books. It had everything a football game should have, great goals, questionable officiating, and a shocking lack of discipline. A post-match brawl even ensued, although there was always the possibility of a fight when Diego Costa was around. Spurs needed to win this game against a below-par Chelsea team to stay in the fight for the Premier League title with League leaders Leicester City. Anything less than a win, handed Leicester the trophy. It looked good for Spurs as Harry Kane and Heung-min Son put their team 2 goals ahead before half-time. Chelsea came out in the second half and halved the score line, through a scrappy goal that was poked home by Gary Cahill. This was before some glorious play from Chelsea’s star-man Eden Hazard, who emphatically struck one into the top corner, killing Spurs’ hope of glory. However, despite the full-time score, Spurs did manage to break one record, not one that would give them a trophy though unfortunately. The nature of the game was so intense that the Lilywhites received 9 yellow cards, the single most cards ever awarded to one team in a Premier League match. To add to the game’s hilarity (and Spurs’ misery), Moussa Dembele managed to get himself suspended for 6 games, after he stuck a finger in Diego Costa’s eye! It’s one way to express his anger I suppose!
Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur- FA Cup Semi Final 2017
Ah yes. The game where Chelsea scored 4 at Wembley, and Jermaine Jenas wholeheartedly professed post-match that Tottenham deserved to win this FA Cup Semi Final. Spurs did have decent spells in the game, but they lost, and they lost convincingly. Willian, (who hated Tottenham of course), opened the scoring with a free kick. Harry Kane later equalised with a stooping header. Mauricio Pochettino’s bizarre decision to use Heung-min Son as a wing-back backfired massively as he was penalised for a foul on Willian in the penalty. Willian slotted home from 12 yards. Dele Alli blew the contest wide open not long after, as he slotted home after some fabulous play from Christian Eriksen. However, Eden Hazard came to join the party as he came off the bench to restore the Blues’ lead. Nemanja Matic then rifled home from distance, with what could only be described by the commentators as a “piledriver.” To this day, I’m not quite sure what was more iconic, the goal itself, or the reaction from the Chelsea bench as it hit the back of the net.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Chelsea (Spurs win 5-4 on penalties)- League Cup 4th Round 2020
Chelsea was made to rue their missed chances in this one. They dominated the first half in one of the many games that were played without fans, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Timo Werner opened the scoring and his Chelsea account inside 20 minutes. Chelsea had all the play in the first half, before Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham stepped it up in the second. Spurs got their rewards, as Erik Lamela tapped home late in the game from Sergio Reguilon’s cross. With no extra time, the game went straight to penalties, with Chelsea’s Mason Mount being the only player to miss his spot kick, Spurs progressed to the next round. However, the most iconic thing that came from this fixture, wasn’t the game itself. It was Spurs’ Eric Dier racing off the field in the 77th minute and straight down the tunnel. The TV cameras showed an angered Jose Mourinho in hot pursuit of his defender, as he went and chased him down the tunnel. He the swiftly turned round after realising the reason as to why his team had been left with 10 men. After the game, Dier was brutally honest as to why he fled the pitch, simply stating to the journalists that “nature was calling.” It most probably wasn’t the proudest moment of his career, but it was most certainly one of his funniest, and he even picked up the Man of the Match award!