Football Football

Dogged Chelsea blunt Spurs at the Lane

Chelsea keeper Asmir Begovic (right) stops Tottenham's Son's effort during their 0-0 EPL clash at White Hart Lane. PHOTO/AFP/Getty
Chelsea keeper Asmir Begovic (right) stops Tottenham’s Son’s effort during their 0-0 EPL clash at White Hart Lane. PHOTO/AFP/Getty

LONDON, November 29- There could be no separating Tottenham and Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday as the much-anticipated London derby at White Hart Lane finished goalless.

The first half proved a fairly even contest, although Spurs maybe just edged the chances, with Asmir Begovic’s reflex save from Son Heung-Min’s header midway through the first half the best chance.

Spurs were dominating possession in the second half but looked vulnerable on the counter, and Eden Hazard showed sparks of his previous best form with a perfectly-executed volley at the far post, which brought a brilliant save out of Hugo Lloris.

That stop would eventually prove vital as the match finished scoreless, the first time this fixture has failed to produce a goal in 13 years.

-Strong start-

Spurs started the match strongly and asked most of the early questions, with Begovic needing to be brave to cut out a dangerous delivery across the area, colliding with Harry Kane in the process but eventually emerging unscathed.

Chelsea weren’t without their own threat, though, and almost got in behind on the counter-attack through Pedro, but Lloris was off his line in a flash to just get there ahead of the winger.

Jose Mourinho’s men arguably should have been in front after 21 minutes but an unmarked Hazard headed a great chance over the crossbar, while moments later Pedro’s thunderous strike took the slightest defleftion to fizz just inches wide of the mark.

The hosts then fashioned the best chance with 26 minutes gone on the clock as Kyle Walker’s neat backheel played Kane in down the wing, with the striker then picking out a peach of a delivery to find Son, but he was unable to generate enough power on his header as Begovic made a decent save.

The visiting keeper was enduring an increasingly busy afternoon and again needed to be sharp to keep out Mousa Dembele’s rasping effort, as the teams headed down the tunnel still deadlocked.

The Blues came close to going in front six minutes after the restart as Willian’s free-kick menacingly in the area with Kurt Zouma running in, but the defender was unable to get a touch to the ball as a grateful Begovic scooped up the danger.

Spurs were then dealt a setback as Ryan Mason needed to be taken off injured after just 55 minutes, although encouraging signs saw the midfielder limp off, instead of being taken off by the stretcher that had been called on to the park.

Lloris then needed to be at his very best to keep the sides level, with the keeper somehow turning behind Hazard’s textbook volley at the far post following a lovely clipped delivery from Branislav Ivanovic.

Chelsea looked happy to sit back and absorb the pressure, and maybe catch their opponents on the counter, and they almost did just that with 14 minutes left as Hazard led a break down the other end before feeding the ball to Pedro, but the Spaniard seemed to still be without his shooting boots as he lashed a wild effort over the crossbar.

Kane then looked to score what would surely have been the winner with just four minutes of normal time remaining, although the England international’s overhead-kick didn’t quite come off as he failed to make contact under pressure from Cesar Azpilicueta.