London, Nov 29 (efe-epa).- Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham crew was unable to muster more than a 0-0 result against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in Premier League action, but it was enough to retain the No. 1 spot on the table on goal differential, with both the Spurs and Liverpool tied at 21 ranking points.
Chelsea was not a very dangerous opponent during the match, although they are third in the table with 19 points so far this season, but Mourinho wasn’t taking any chances and was particularly determined to avoid a loss, although both squads started out the match striving – somewhat, at least – for the win. The contest ended, however, with Tottenham’s determined effort to prevent the loss and happy with the single ranking point the draw afforded them.
Tottenham showed solid defense during the match, a brick wall that Chelsea was unable to breach. The teams did most of their back-and-forth work at midfield, although there were a couple of tense moments during the first half and the referee invalidated one goal.
Chelsea coach Frank Lampard made offensive changes to try for a victory, but Mourinho did not resort to Gareth Bale, who remained on the bench, and instead sent in Ben Davies for Steven Bergwijn along the way.
Now, the Spurs have garnered 13 points in their five road matches – for their best away result since 1991 – and have racked up an unbeaten streak in League games of nine.
Chelsea took 13 shots to Tottenham’s five, but it was not a match marked by much offense. Instead, the defense dominated virtually throughout the encounter, with Joe Rodon performing nicely on his debut outing with the Premier League in the 10th week of action.
Before the match, a minute of applause was invited – and provided by the players and staff present – in memory of Argentine soccer superstar Diego Maradona, who died last Wednesday at age 60.
Meanwhile, the Wolverhampton Wanderers drubbed Arsenal 2-1 at a coronavirus-empty Emirates Stadium in an away march marked by injury to Raul Jimenez, who had to be taken off the pitch motionless on a stretcher after taking a serious hit to the head.
The Mexican forward collided head-to-head with David Luiz five minutes into the match and was immediately taken to a London hospital, although later he was said to be conscious and responding well to treatment. Luiz played on, although bloodied, sparking some controversy over the decision to leave him in, the team saying that – although banged around – he never lost consciousness.
Arsenal has now gone three Premier League matches without a win – suffering two defeats and battling to a single tie.
The Gunners got behind in the tally total in the 27th minute when Pedro Neto knocked in a rebound after Leander Dendoncker headed one off the crossbar.
Gabriel blasted in a header of his own, however, to bring Arsenal even just three minutes later, but Daniel Podence got the Wolves back on top on a nice move after Neto tried one that bounced off goalkeeper Bernd Leno’s legs, thus putting the Wolves in the table’s sixth spot with 17 points.
Arsenal, currently 14th on the table with 13 points, will now go up against Tottenham a week from Sunday in a derby that will – for the first time since March – see a relatively small number of real live fans in the London stands.