Belfast Telegraph

Superb Mata fires Chelsea to win

Juan Mata scored twice in two minutes to crush Andre Villas-Boas' hopes of exacting revenge on his former employers as Chelsea claimed a 4-2 victory over Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

A comprehensive away win looked on the cards as the Blues dominated a poor Spurs team in the first half, taking the lead through a fine Gary Cahill volley.

Villas-Boas, sacked by Chelsea 226 days ago after a dismal eight-months in charge, inspired a turnaround in his team's fortunes in the second half as Spurs surged ahead through William Gallas and Jermain Defoe. But the Blues stunned their former manager with two Mata goals nearly 20 minutes from the end, before Daniel Sturridge grabbed a late goal to seal the win.

After a first half dominated by Chelsea, Spurs looked a totally different side after the break, launching wave after wave of flying attack.

Villas-Boas remained calm, but he was soon off his bench punching the air again when Defoe snuck in between two defenders to clip the ball past Petr Cech from Aaron Lennon's pass.

Spurs threw everything at the visitors, but they could not beat Cech again and Chelsea made them pay with two crucial goals from Mata in two minutes.

First the Spaniard latched on to Gallas' poor clearance to beat Brad Friedel and he then lost the Tottenham defender soon after to latch on to Eden Hazard's pass and make it 3-2.

Only a top save from Friedel prevented the Spaniard completing his hat-trick moments later. Emmanuel Adebayor came on and made an immediate impact, nodding the ball to Gylfi Sigurdsson, but despite some excellent skill, the Iceland international could only shoot over.

Fernando Torres curled a chance to put the game to bed wide and Adebayor stabbed at a chance when Cech spilled the ball, but the Chelsea stopper smothered the ball.

Sturridge, a late replacement for Oscar, made the points safe in the 91st minute.


From Belfast Telegraph