Video nasty as Kalou ignites title race

Chelsea 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1: Blues move within three points of United but the case for a helping hand from technology is strengthened

The unanswerable case for video technology was made yet again here yesterday evening as Chelsea benefited from two goals that all available evidence suggested should not have been allowed. It could not be said with any certainty that the whole of the ball had crossed the line for Frank Lampard's equaliser on the cusp of half-time after the latest howler by the accident-prone goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

In fact, the verdict from all the camera angles available to Sky Sports in their live coverage was that it had not done so. To compound Tottenham's sense of injustice, Salomon Kalou was narrowly offside as Didier Drogba set him up for the winning goal a few minutes from the end of a typically frantic derby. Thus can some of the season's biggest issues be influenced, in this case potentially costing millions of pounds.

Spurs will certainly be out of pocket if, as now seems likely, they miss out on Champions' League football next season. Stranded four points behind Manchester City, whom they visit on 10 May, they are even vulnerable to sixth-placed Liverpool, who could deprive them of a place in the Europa League. Two days before that game, Chelsea undertake their own trip to Manchester, hoping that Arsenal have done them a favour at the Emirates today by beating United and keeping the gap at the top to three points.

Carlo Ancelotti employed the politics of compromise in picking both Fernando Torres and Drogba to start and although the latter was formidable, Torres again achieved far less and was withdrawn after an hour. There was little indication that having finally scored last Saturday after more than 12 hours in a Chelsea shirt it had made a new man of him. The one benefit of his arrival has been to inspire Drogba, whose shooting made Gomes a nervous wreck. "Didier played for the team," his manager said, after admitting: "We were lucky. The decision [for the first goal] was wrong."

Lampard pointed out that after the even worse mistake that cost him a goal for England against Germany at the World Cup, "I was due one of those". His uncle, Harry Redknapp, was dignified in his acceptance of the error while making his frustration clear: "The linesman has had a guess and guessed wrong. Until we get technology it's going to keep happening."

Spurs played well, with Luka Modric excellent and Rafael van der Vaart deeper than usual, in a line of four across the midfield. The Dutchman played an important role in a stunning goal after 18 minutes. Gareth Bale directed a throw-in towards him to hook adroitly over his shoulder for Sandro, who took a step forward and from 30 yards hammered the ball past Petr Cech.

That all happened after Drogba was denied one of the goals of the season when he lined up a free-kick 35 yards out and thudded it against the bar. Spurs seemed to be heading to the dressing room with their lead intact after Gomes touched Michael Essien's header over the bar. In added time, however, Gomes fumbled Lampard's drive towards his line in familiar hapless fashion, then grabbed it back. After brief consultation, the referee Andre Marriner indicated Chelsea had their equaliser.

Drogba had obviously decided to capitalise on any lingering unease in the goalkeeper's mind. When he hit another ferocious shot seven minutes into the second half, Gomes was not sufficiently confident to attempt a catch, but grateful that it was at a comfortable height to parry away.

Ten minutes later the Ivorian audaciously struck a free-kick at least 40 yards out and Gomes did little more than pat it away at Kalou, who with his first touch after replacing Torres, could not control his shot.

Kalou made amends soon after Sir Alex Ferguson had left the stadium, but again the replays suggested the goal should not have been allowed, for he was offside as Drogba knocked the ball forward.

Attendance: 41,681

Referee: Andre Marriner

Man of the match: Drogba

Match rating: 7/10

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all