Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur

Tuesday’s exit from the Champions League still smarts, but what better way to ease the pain than with a customary victory over Spurs, who last defeated us in the League back in the heady days of Bobby Campbell, 16 years and 31 matches ago.

It’s remarkable to think that there’s a whole generation of Spurs fans who have yet to see their team beat us in a League match. Since Gary Linekar and David Howells scored in a 1-2 triumph at the Bridge on 10 February, 1990, Spurs have lost 20 and drawn 11 League clashes.

The reverse fixture back in August was marred by Spurs striker Mido’s red card for elbowing Asier Del Horno, who headed the opening goal soon after. Damien Duff sealed the win late in the second half, to give us the opportunity of recording an eighth Premiership double over our not-so-close rivals — currently 23 points, 10 Premiership wins and 3 places behind… a good season for Spurs (Champions League next year?).

In team news, Jose Mourinho yesterday reported a clean bill of health for all 24 squad players: “Everybody is fit. We don’t have one single player injured. We had 24 players on the pitch training this afternoon. At this moment of the season that is important,” he said. The only player out of contention is Arjen Robben, who starts a four-match ban for picking up two red cards this season.

As this is the first home match since the untimely death of Chelsea legend Peter Osgood, there will be a celebration of his magnificent career and a minute’s appreciation just before kick-off.

Prediction: You can back Spurs at 7/1 to win this match. Don’t. 2-0.

Related links:

Chelsea 2 -1 Tottenham Hotspur · Update

It’s difficult to put into words what I felt when William Gallas scored the winner. Much the same as every other Blue I would imagine: beyond euphoric.

Read Jonathan‘s match report here.

See Essien and Gallas’s goals here (downloadable zip files).

Match reports: BBC Sport; Sky Sports; ESPNSoccernet; Official Chelsea FC Website; The Observer; Independent on Sunday; Sunday Times; Sunday Telegraph; The Guardian; Daily Telegraph; The Times; The Independent.

Related links: