BPL Recap: Spurs’ Stamford Bridge Curse Continues, David Moyes Enjoys United Win, More

IMAGE, CHELSEAFC.COM

By MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

Having not won at Stamford Bridge since 1990, Tottenham will have to wait another year to break the curse.

Their most recent showing will be one Spurs won’t soon forget, suffering a heavy 4-0 defeat. The result makes it increasingly more difficult for Spurs to crack into the Top Four.

Although the first half was played quite even, Tottenham went into a downward spiral 11 minutes into the break. Jan Vertonghen slipped under pressure and sent an errant pass back towards his own goal. Samuel Eto’o, in a real predatory striker move, pounced on the loose ball, giving Chelsea the lead. After Jose Mourinho made comments about the age of the Cameroonian striker, Eto’o made it a laughing matter with his goal celebration. He bent over holding the corner flag, emulating an old man.

Chelsea than doubled their lead four minutes later. Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul clumsily clattered into Eto’o from behind. Kaboul received a red card for his troubles and the problems compounded for Spurs when Eden Hazard buried the penalty kick in the 60th minute.

The third and fourth goal were fortuitous. Oscar sent in a low cross that Sandro, filling in for the red-carded Kaboul, didn’t deal with. The Tottenham midfielder slipped over and the ball rolled over him as Demba Ba found the back of the net. The fourth and final goal came after Kyle Walker inexplicably headed the ball back towards his own goal. Ba again was on hand to collect the ball as he beat an on-rushing Hugo Lloris.

Chelsea continues to pile pressure on to the club’s directly beneath them, who didn’t take part due to the FA Cup. With the result, Tottenham sees it’s Champions League hopes for next year slowly slipping away.

Other Results From The Premier League

1. Cooling The Hot SeatDavid Moyes’ job security was in question after Manchester United’s defeat to Olympiakos in the Champions League. With a victory against West Brom, he can breathe easier — even if it’s slightly.

West Brom pressured United early on, but that pressure was eased as the Red Devils took the lead shortly after the half hour mark. Robin van Persie sent in a free kick and Phil Jones got his head to it. The power was in the free kick and Jones’ touch directed it towards goal, beating Ben Foster.

The Baggies started the second half brightly, but at 65 minutes, Wayne Rooney pushed United further ahead. Rafael picked out Rooney with a cross and the English striker finished at the back post with a headed effort.

The Red Devils added a third with eight minutes remaining. Danny Welbeck was picked out by Rooney’s through ball and the second half substitute lofted the ball over an on-rushing Foster to score.

West Brom have yet to record a victory under manager Pepe Mel and slip deeper into the relegation reckoning, one place above the drop zone. United look like some form of European soccer is attainable, even if it’s the Europa League. The Red Devils currently sit in sixth place, five points behind Tottenham.

2. Leading By Example – Cardiff City needed a win against fellow Premier League strugglers Fulham and were able to get it, running out 3-1 winners thanks to captain Steven Caulker’s brace. Although Cardiff is still in the drop zone, they move closer to the daylight of survival, currently sitting in 18th.

Caulker got the first of his two goals in first half stoppage time through some fortune. Craig Noone’s cross was deflected and fell right at the feet of the Cardiff captain to open up the scoring in the match.

Fulham appeared to be getting back into the match after Giorgos Karagounis’ corner was flicked on by Johnny Heitnga, which Lewis Holtby turned into the back of the net in the 59th. However, it was only a faint glimmer of hope as Caulker scored his second to restore Cardiff’s lead. Caulker turned in Noone’s cross with his head at the back post in the 67th.

The game was then tipped for good in Cardiff’s favor after a Sascha Reither own goal.

After two managerial changes, Fulham continue their slide into relegation fodder, remaining at the bottom of the Premier League table. Cardiff have some hope and with the nearest team only three points clear of the relegation zone.

3. Puncheon’s Error Costs Crystal Palace– Crystal Palace was looking to move their way closer to securing Premier League survival. However, a self-inflicted error cost them that chance — and any points against Southampton.

It was former Saints player Jason Puncheon with the costly mistake. Jay Rodriguez latched onto Puncheon’s weak header as the striker pushed the ball into space. Palace’s keeper Julian Speroni rushed and slid into a tackle. However, the tackle was ineffective as the ball rolled under the keeper. Rodriguez was able to slot the ball home.

Palace failed to create much going forward, while Southampton was unlucky to not win by more. Southampton remained in a comfortable mid-table position, while the pressure is turned up on Palace.

4. Slightly Helpful Draw– Stoke and Norwich are both sitting above the relegation zone, but neither is comfortably quite yet. Three points would have gone a long way in easing those concerns. However, both clubs had to settle for a share of the points. Although more was required, any points are vital in staying above the relegation scrap heap.

The Canaries went ahead as Bradley Johnson rose above everyone to head Robert Snodgrass’ free kick into the back of the net. Stoke equalized through Jonathan Walters’ penalty kick goal. Sebastian Bassong was ruled to have fouled John Guidetti in the box, giving Walters the penalty kick chance.

Walters was red carded five minutes later, but was fortunate to see it not cost his team.