Tottenham vs Cheslea was always going to be about Keane and Lennon

I loved Mourinho’s post-match interview – he comes out, praises Tottenham (generously, I imagine), and plays the victim quite brilliantly by putting all the spotlight on the referee, whose decisions were, in Mourinho’s point of view, questionable.

But the highlight of the match was the quality of football on display, and the genuine passion with which it was contested.

Chimbonda, Dawson, Lennon, Keane, Jenas – all very, very good for Tottenham.

For Chelsea, they’re always good – Essien, Robben, Carvalho, Drogba. And that goal by Makelele – it’s a wild swing until it ends up in the net, but after that who cares.

Was the disallowed goal rightly disallowed? Was Terry given a fair second yellow?

I don’t know really – it’s a matter of interpretation, and some times the ref gives it in the favour of one side, the other times he favours the other team. The problem with refs will stay until the authorities do something about it, although with the amount of public pressure being laid on them, added with the reduced numbers of refs coming through the ranks (read a recent article on this in the Guardian I think), something’s gotta give.

But I think refs realise, and managers eventually realise as well, that some decisions are just too 50-50 to decide by the letter of the law. You gotta make a snap decision, and if its wrong, you have to get on with it (unless it is blatantly stupid and happens to a person who can’t deal with defeat, and then you have to hear about it 3 weeks on – if you haven’t figured it out by now I’m talking about Henry’s disallowed goal).

But most of it we can fix using vid replays.

But that’s for another day. Today we celebrate Tottenham’s return to the top 10 (finally), the stutter that’s left Chelsea 3 points behind Manchester United, and a Premiership weekend where it all, apparently, went according to plan (even the Liverpool win, which gives them the boost to go on and beat Arsenal next weekend – hopefully).

I don’t think Tottenham could have beaten Chelsea if Drogba’s goal hadn’t been disallowed. Still, even then I don’t think they could have beaten Chelsea if Keane and Lennon had not attacked that well, and Chimbonda and Dawson hadn’t defended so well near the death.

All credit to Tottenham for showing the spirit to win here – in middle of the all the fuss about Mourinho and the ref, we forget that this was a quality, quality game of football.

West Ham win confirms Arsenal's failure to learn (videos)
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  1. El 7 November, 2006
  2. Peter 7 November, 2006
  3. A 7 November, 2006
  4. Toby 7 November, 2006
  5. Azar 7 November, 2006