Premier League - Controversy as Chelsea beat Spurs
The excellent Sandro had given Spurs a spectacular 19th-minute lead with a long-range screamer before two regulation events - a Heurelho Gomes error; goal-line controversy for a Frank Lampard shot - saw Chelsea draw level on half-time.
And with two minutes left Salomon Kalou tapped home Didier Drogba’s mis-hit shot from close range, from what replays to be showed an offside position.
One argument against the video technology used effectively in a variety of sports is that officiating errors somehow provide talking points and that such romance benefits the game: if Chelsea win the league and Spurs fail to qualify for the Champions League after what Harry Redknapp called "an honest mistake", it would be a rather costly bar-room chat.
Referee Andre Marriner could not be blamed for the two decisions, both of which rested on his assistants, while the controversy did not detract from the fact that Chelsea deserved something from a game they largely dominated: apart from picking the ball out of the back of the net, Petr Cech was barely troubled, while - fumbles aside (and there were several) - Gomes made several very good saves.
Chelsea started well, Fernando Torres and Lampard combining particularly well as Spurs struggled to keep the ball and looked each of the 12 points behind the Blues.
Drogba was agonisingly close to scoring with a spectacular long-range free-kick, but Gomes finger-tipped it on to the bar.
Soon afterwards Spurs took the lead and in some style as Brazilian midfielder Sandro smacked a vicious shot from range that took a slight deflection off the head of Luka Modric and flew into the top right.
It was a stunner but Spurs boss Harry Redknapp refused to celebrate with his players - instead he dished out a rollicking to Sandro for failing to heed his instruction to sit deeper, which he did to great effect for the rest of the match.
Chelsea were pressing and pressing and, while their equaliser was deserved, it was hugely contentious.
That Gomes added yet another goalkeeping howler to his impressive repertoire was without question: he allowed Lampard’s speculative shot to squirm through his grasp, Robert Green-esque in its ineptitude.
But the blundering Brazilian recovered to claw the ball back from the line: replays showed that the whole of the ball had not crossed the whole of the line, a view shared by referee Marriner and all but the most one-eyed of spectators.
Assistant Mike Cairns had other ideas though, overruling Marriner despite not being ideally placed to judge - he was more than 12 yards behind play - and infuriating Spurs by signalling a goal that the referee, who was well out of view, thus felt obliged to give.
Gomes should not have given Cairns the opportunity to make such an error, while Lampard will feel a sense of karma - his wonder-strike against Germany in the World Cup was yards over the line, and the failure to award it cost England dear.
The second half was largely a non-entity, largely marked by superb defensive midfield play from Sandro and some more comedy from Gomes.
The better Brazilian halted runs from Branislav Ivanovic and Ramires, while his clowning cousin dropped two long-range Drogba efforts that Torres and Kalou failed to punish.
Spurs were restricted to the odd counter attack but still could not test Cech - their best effort was a Jermain Defoe shot that was deflected wide.
Chelsea thought they were denied a penalty but replays hinted that Younes Kaboul got a touch on the ball as he slid in riskily on Florent Malouda, while John Terry should have done better when he scuffed his finish after Drogba picked him out from a free-kick.
But, as with the first half, there was late drama as Lampard’s pass popped up to Drogba, who evaded a desperate challenge from Kaboul before shanking his low drive into the path of Kalou, who was half a yard off as he gave Chelsea a vital win.
It is the kind of late show that marks out Champions but Chelsea are reliant on United slipping up, starting with tomorrow’s clash against Arsenal at the Emirates.