Spurs v Chelsea: Great Games - Number 3
As we continue our build up to Chelsea's visit to White Hart Lane this weekend, we're going to take a look at Chelsea's biggest ever win at White Hart Lane. On December 6, 1997, Chelsea hit Spurs and new boss Christian Gross for six.
Ruud Gullit's Blues were on fine form this afternoon as Spurs had no answer to the trickery of Gianfranco Zola or the goal threat of Tore Andre Flo.
Tottenham endured a terrible season in 1997/98 under Gerry Francis. The Spurs board decided to act and axed the former QPR chief. Rivals Arsenal had gone abroad to bring Arsene Wenger to the club and Spurs opted to go down the same route. Unfortunately they went for Swiss boss Christian Gross.
Gross lost his debut game against Crystal Palace 1-0, but bounced back to beat Everton at Goodison Park before Chelsea arrived at the Lane. Spurs were involved in a battle against the drop, while Chelsea were fighting it out with Manchester United, Blackburn and Arsenal for the title.
In what started as an action-packed game, with chances for both sides, Ruud Gullit's men took the lead through Tore Andre Flo five minutes before half-time. Gianfranco Zola danced his way past a Spurs defender before launching an inviting cross into the box, which the big Norwegian headed past a helpless Ian Walker.
But Spurs got back on level terms three minutes later through Ramon Vega. Andy Sinton delivered an inch-perfect free-kick to the back post and Vega headed it into the back of the net.
However, the second half was all Chelsea. Three minutes in and Roberto Di Matteo put the Blues back in front. Zola used his strength to play in Petrescu. The Romanian cut inside and his shot deflected off a Spurs defender but right in to the path of the Italian.
Chelsea continued to dominate the game and went three up on the hour mark with a delightful goal by Dan Petrescu. He latched on to a long ball over the top and steered it past an indecisive Walker.
Four minutes later Flo made it four. The Norwegian and Zola played a one-two before he lashed the ball home. Spurs still created chances to get back into the game but couldn't find a way past De Goey.
Chelsea made it five when, that man again, Zola played in Mark Nicholls who cut inside the defender to give Walker no chance and Tore Andre Flo wrapped things up with his hat-trick. Flo beat the offside trap and with only Walker to beat, and the points secured, he chipped the ball over Walker's head to cap off a remarkable win. Walker got a hand on the ball but couldn't prevent it from going in.
Chelsea ended the season in the top four. Tottenham finished just four points off the drop zone.
Come back tomorrow where we will be taking a look back at a much tighter game between the two from 2001.
Calling all Spurs and Chelsea fans: What has been your greatest game between the two at White Hart Lane? What do you think the score will be this Saturday? Can AVB become the first Premier League manager to defeat the Champions of Europe? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.
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