Tottenham Hotspur 5 Chelsea 1
Iversen, Sherwood, Forsell
Worthington Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg
(Spurs win 6-3 on aggregate)
Tottenham buried their Chelsea hoodoo in superb style to book themselves a Worthington Cup final date with Blackburn. Glenn Hoddle's side earned their first victory over the Blues in 27 matches to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit at White Hart Lane.
Steffen Iversen set them on their way after just two minutes against a woeful Chelsea, who had Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink sent off to complete a miserable night. A stunning strike from Tim Sherwood put Spurs ahead on aggregate, and Teddy Sheringham's volley early in the second half effectively decided matters.
After Chelsea were reduced to ten men after 55 minutes, Simon Davies and substitute Sergei Rebrov made it 5-0 before Mikael Forssell grabbed the visitors' sole riposte.
Iversen, starting his first game since August in place of the injured Les Ferdinand, clearly enjoys the semi-final stage of this competition. [al][/al]
It was his goal at Selhurst Park which saw off Wimbledon in the second leg in 1999, when Spurs went on to lift the trophy.
Tottenham started the match bristling with purpose and levelled the tie on aggregate within two minutes.
Sheringham, returning after suspension, cleverly allowed a long ball from Ledley King to drift over him into the path of Mauricio Taricco.
The Argentine wing-back saw his shot beaten out by Carlo Cudicini into the path of John Terry, but as the Chelsea centre half dithered, Iversen nipped in to fire home left-footed from six yards out.
Stunned by that early blow, the Blues suffered another after ten minutes when Dutch winger Boudewijn Zenden was stretchered off after a touchline challenge from Sheringham. Sam Dalla Bonna entered the fray and appeared to have helped Chelsea gain some measure of midfield parity, but Tottenham seized command with a stunning strike from Sherwood on 33 minutes.
Darren Anderton's corner to the edge of the box was a familiar tactic, but no Chelsea defender picked up Sherwood, who lashed a thunderous shot right-footed into the roof of the net, his first goal since November 2000. [ar][/ar]
Gus Poyet, who moments earlier had seen a snap-shot superbly tipped over by Cudicini, might have added a third before the interval when his header was blocked by Terry.
Emmanuel Petit went close at the other end, but Chelsea's hopes of getting back into the tie were all but extinguished five minutes after the break.
Anderton's cross from the left was beautifully chested down by Poyet into the path of Sheringham, whose right-foot volley was of the highest quality.
Chelsea's misery was compounded after 55 minutes when Hasselbaink was dismissed in what appeared a clear case of mistaken identity.
Mario Melchiot raised a hand to Sheringham's face, but his fellow Dutchman was given his marching orders instead, to his obvious consternation.
Chelsea sent on Mikael Forssell and Gianfranco Zola in a last throw of the dice, but Spurs put the issue beyond doubt 15 minutes from time.
Davies, who had earlier gone close from a similar position, beat Cudicini at his near post after being set up by the outstanding Anderton.
Rebrov, on as a substitute for Iversen, rounded off a triumphant night four minutes from time by tucking home the fifth.
Forssell conjured a superb individual goal for Chelsea in the closing moments, but it was scant consolation.
Tottenham: Sullivan, Perry, King, Gardner, Davies, Poyet (Leonhardsen 83), Sherwood, Anderton, Taricco, Sheringham, Iversen (Rebrov 83).
Subs Not Used: Kelly, Etherington, Thelwell.
Booked: Poyet, Sheringham.
Goals: Iversen 2, Sherwood 33, Sheringham 50, Davies 76, Rebrov 87.
Chelsea: Cudicini, Desailly, Gallas, Terry, Melchiot (Zola 70), Petit (Forssell 66), Stanic, Zenden (Dalla Bona 11), Lampard, Hasselbaink, Gudjohnsen.
Subs Not Used: de Goey, Ferrer.
Sent Off: Hasselbaink (55).
Goals: Forssell 90.
Att: 36,100 Ref: M Halsey (Welwyn Garden City).
One could be forgiven for turning up with a sense of forboding, it had been so long since we had beaten them, we'd put in plenty of good performances against them but never seemed to have got the rub of the green when it mattered.
That was all about to be put right. And in some style!
The buzz during the game was amazing, the atmosphere electric. When Simon Davies scored the Chelsea fans upped and left en masse leaving maybe half a dozen sitting there enduring the agony. Seeing the away end completely empty sums their fans up rather nicely.
What are your memories of this great game?