Terry’s header gives Chelsea 1-1 draw at Tottenham
LONDON (AP) — Chelsea captain John Terry’s header recovered a 1-1 draw at Tottenham before his side had Fernando Torres sent off in a heated London derby on Saturday.
Tottenham had been the more effective attacking unit initially, and took the lead in the 19th minute through Gylfi Sigurdsson.
But Chelsea seized the initiate in the second half, and Terry connected with Juan Mata’s free kick to level.
Fernando Torres had been at the heart of Chelsea’s second-half revival, but the striker was dismissed with 10 minutes to go after a second booking for clashing with Jan Vertonghen as he jumped.
Torres was aghast, remaining on the pitch in disbelief before eventually heading down the tunnel.
But Tottenham couldn’t produce a winner with its man advantage, and remains two points ahead of Chelsea.
The match was as fiery as the build-up when the tensions between the rival managers spilled out in public.
Tottenham’s Andre Villas-Boas, once a junior member of Jose Mourinho coaching staff at Chelsea and Inter Milan, was facing his former mentor for the first time from an opposing dugout.
Their pre-match greeting at White Hart Lane was more cordial than their verbal exchanges through the media in recent days.
It was left to the Tottenham fans to taunt Mourinho, as Villas-Boas initially imposed himself over his former team.
Christian Eriksen was the orchestrator for Sigurdsson’s opener, two week after setting up the Iceland midfielder’s double at Norwich.
Eriksen brought the ball down the left flank and crossed to Roberto Soldado, who teed up Sigurdsson to find the net.
A second Tottenham goal looked likely, with Paulinho coming close a couple of times.
Just before the break, Kyle Walker backheeled the ball to Andros Townsend, who cut in from the right and set up Paulinho but the Brazil midfielder could only find the sidenetting.
It was a miss Tottenham would pay for.
Chelsea was revitalized after the break, giving just the response Mourinho will have demanded.
Out-of-favor Mata entered, replacing John Obi Mikel, and Torres started to show purpose on his first league start since the opening day of the season.
Early on, the Spain striker stormed down the right flank, and weaved his way through before sending in a cross that Oscar couldn’t get on the end of.
Torres then received his first booking, for scratching Vertonghen’s face, as he pressed for the equalizer.
Energetic and assertive, Chelsea’s tenacity paid off.
The Blues were awarded a free kick when Jan Vertonghen tripped Ramires as he ran through on goal. And Terry became the first opponent to score at White Hart Lane all season.
Tottenham struggled to get out of its own half as Chelsea pushed for the winner, with Torres the creator as Andre Schurrle was denied by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Tottenham changed the focal point of the attack, with Jermain Defoe, who scored in the League Cup in midweek, replacing Soldado.
But the winner proved elusive as Defoe struck at Cech with no power and Sigurdsson volleyed over on the turn.