Pressure Mounts For Under-fire Hoddle  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 4 Tottenham Hotspur 2

Frank LampardThe storm clouds gathered over Stamford Bridge for visiting manager Glenn Hoddle after another disappointing display.

In a match of great significance for both managers, it was Hoddle who was left with an early season headache after watching his side tamely concede an early lead en route to defeat against the Chelsea millionaires.

In contrast, Blues boss Claudio Ranieri - burdened by the weight of expectation following a summer of unparalleled spending - lifted the pressure with a win that took his side into third spot.

After an arduous opening to the game, Tottenham stunned the home support, including their new messiah Roman Abramovich, in the 25th minute when Freddie Kanoute gave Spurs the lead with a fine solo effort. Darren Anderton played a one-two with Steve Carr on the right flank before floating the ball into the box.

Kanoute beat Mario Melchiot in the air and was able to chest the ball down before slotting it past Cudicini.

It almost got worse for Ranieri's men in the 32nd minute. Anderton swung in a free-kick from the right and Zamora had a free header, but the former Brighton striker snatched at his chance and glanced the ball wide of the far post.

However, Tottenham's lead was short lived after the home side equalised after 34 minutes.

Jesper Gronkjaer delivered a good deep cross from the right and Lampard met it at the far post with a downward header which somehow squeezed past Keller as he fell back into his net.

Spurs did not recover and Chelsea took the lead after 37 minutes. A long ball out of defence was chested down by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for Damien Duff, and he slid it behind the Spurs defence for Adrian Mutu to have a clear chance to slide the ball beyond Kasey Keller - although there was a strong suspicion of offside about the goal.

If Hoddle felt frustrated by the first goal, he would have undoubtedly neared boiling point after Mutu's.

Tottenham looked like a side that had run out of ideas in the second half and Mutu, who has made a lightening start to his Chelsea's career, piled on the misery with a third goal for the Blues in the 75th minute.

Spurs were given a glimmer of hope when Kanoute scored his second goal of the game in the closing stages after a fine turn and shot hit the inside of the post before fortuitously falling back to the feet of the former West Ham star, who guided the ball into the empty net.

However, any hope of unlikely recovery were quashed when Joe Cole worked the ball majestically to Hasselbaink, who guaranteed all three points with a cool finish under the legs of Keller. 

Man of the Match: Adrian Mutu - Once again Mutu proved that the 16 million transfer fee was money well spent. The former Parma front man has made an immediate impact with five goals in less than a month and looks set for a glittering career at the Bridge.


Chelsea Cudicini, Babayaro, Desailly, Terry, Melchiot, Gronkjaer (Gallas 70), Petit (Makelele 65), Lampard, Duff (Cole 73), Hasselbaink, Mutu.
Subs Not Used:
Ambrosio, Gudjohnsen.
Lampard 35, Mutu 37, 75, Hasselbaink 90.

Tottenham Keller, Carr, Gardner, Richards, Taricco (Konchesky 68), Anderton (Dalmat 60), Redknapp, Ricketts, King (Bunjevcevic 39), Zamora, Kanoute.
Subs Not Used:
Burch, Postiga.
Zamora, Taricco, Redknapp, Dalmat.
Kanoute 25, 87.

Attendance: 41,165

Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

The Soccerlinks Hit List