Tame derby encounter ends in stalemate

Chelsea 0 Tottenham 0

Chelsea remain five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham after a tame draw with their Champions League-chasing rivals at Stamford Bridge.

Juan Mata almost won it for the Blues with a 25-yard free-kick he curled over the Spurs wall and against the post.

Didier Drogba looked well placed to net from the rebound but team-mate David Luiz took the ball away from him as the defender tried in vain to score.

Lampard might have had a penalty.

Drogba replaced Fernando Torres in the starting line-up – one of five changes made by interim boss Roberto Di Matteo following the midweek defeat at Manchester City.

Skipper John Terry was back from injury and there were also returns for Jose Bosingwa, Michael Essien and Daniel Sturridge.

Mata’s second-half effort at last brought the game to life, but Tottenham looked more likely to break the deadlock – and they also hit the woodwork in the closing stages.

Emmanuel Adebayor was denied by Gary Cahill after rounding Chelsea keeper Petr Cech, and the resulting corner from Luka Modric was headed against the bar by Gareth Bale.

Earlier, the home side had appeals for a penalty waved away after Frank Lampard went down under a challenge from former Chelsea defender William Gallas.

In the dying seconds of the first half, Cech saved from Rafael van der Vaart, whose follow-up was cleared off the line by Ashley Cole before Adebayor headed over.

Gallas missed a great chance after the interval when he headed wide.

And Chelsea again thought they might have had a penalty after Benoit Assou-Ekotto brought down Ramires.

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