Premier League - Torres off as Spurs and Chelsea share spoils

Premier League, White Hart Lane – Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Sigurdsson 19) Chelsea 1 (Terry 65).

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Fernando Torres of Chelsea claws Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen (AFP)

Tottenham and Chelsea drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane in a fiercely-contested London derby that saw Fernando Torres sent off.

Spurs – managed by Jose Mourinho’s former protégé Andre Villas-Boas – went ahead when Gylfi Sigurdsson finished well after Roberto Soldado played him in.

Chelsea improved towards half-time, with the introduction of Juan Mata at the break seeing the visitors heap pressure on the hosts. Fine goalkeeping from Hugo Lloris and a miss from Oscar initially kept Chelsea at bay as Torres – who was lucky to only be booked after putting his hand in Jan Vertonghen’s face (top photo) – gave the home defence a torrid time.

And the visitors drew level when John Terry met Mata’s exquisite free-kick with a glancing header past Lloris.

Lloris made a brilliant stop from Schuerrle before Torres was shown a second yellow card, ironically after an aerial clash with Vertonghen, which looked fair enough from both men.

Spurs pressed for a winner, with Sigurdsson going close, but a draw was a fair result to leave Spurs top for now.

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KEY MOMENTS

Pre-match: Despite some impressive recent performances, Erik Lamela and Lewis Holtby failed to start. Chelsea stuck with David Luiz, although Mata was on the bench, unlike Willian, who the Blues stole from under Spurs’ noses.

19’ – GOAL (Tottenham 1-0 Chelsea): Sigurdsson finishes neatly after Soldado’s flick-on evades Terry. Eriksen involved in the build-up.

45’- CHANCE: After soaking up some Chelsea pressure, Spurs nearly adds a second as Paulinho glances it off the post following lovely play by Kyle Walker and Townsend.

51’ – SAVE: Lloris with a fantastic stop from Torres after a surging solo run from halfway.

65’ – GOAL (Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea): Terry flicks home a superb header after an excellent free-kick by Mata.

77’ – SAVE: Lloris again makes himself big to smother Andre Schuerrle, who was sent clean through by Torres.

81’ – RED CARD: Torres is harshly dismissed after a clash with Vertonghen, although he should have walked earlier for the 52nd minute attack on Vertonghen which only earned him a yellow card.

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87’ – CHANCE: Sigurdsson spins a super half-volley just wide with Petr Cech beaten.

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KEY STATS

Spurs have won only three of their 43 Premier League games against Chelsea.

Tottenham have conceded more Premier League home goals to Chelsea (39) than any other team.

None of Chelsea’s strikers have scored a Premier League goal yet this season.

Chelsea have made the same start as they did in 2007-08 when Jose Mourinho departed after six Premier League matches.

Chelsea haven’t scored more than two goals in any of their last 12 Premier League games.

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TALKING POINT: Torres lucky to stay on pitch, unlucky to be dismissed: The Spaniard should have walked at 1-0 when he slapped Vertonghen, but should not have been dismissed when he was shown a second booking after a fair aerial challenge with the Belgian defender.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham): Made some excellent saves from Torres and Schuerrle and met every high ball he came for.

PLAYER RATINGS

Tottenham: Lloris 8; Walker 7, Naughton 6, Dawson 6, Vertonghen 7; Paulinho 6, Dembele 7, Townsend 6, Eriksen 6, Sigurdsson 7; Soldado 6; Subs: Holtby 6, Chadli 6, Defoe 6

Chelsea: Cech 6; Ivanovic 6, David Luiz 7, Terry 7, Cole 7; Mikel 6, Lampard 6; Ramires 7, Oscar 5, Hazard 6; Torres 6; Subs:Mata 7, Schurrle 6, Azpilicueta NA

THE MATCH IN A TWEET

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