Thriller at the Lane
Chelsea lost ground in the Premier League title race as Avram Grant's side blew the lead three times in a dramatic 4-4 draw at Tottenham on Wednesday.
The Blues had only themselves to blame for failing to keep pace with leaders Manchester United after leading 3-1 and then 4-3 with five minutes to play in one of the games of the season at White Hart Lane.
Didier Drogba opened the scoring early on only for Jonathan Woodgate to equalise. Michael Essien and Joe Cole put Chelsea in charge but Dimitar Berbatov and Tom Huddlestone levelled for Spurs.
Cole's second goal looked to have won it but there was a sting in the tail when Robbie Keane equalised two minutes from full-time.
Instead of sitting level with Arsenal and within touching distance of United, Grant's team are now five points off top-spot and two behind Arsenal, who they face on Sunday. This could be the night Chelsea regret most if they don't reclaim the title.
Grant said: "It's very disappointing. One of our strengths is we defend well against corners and free-kicks but in the last two games Spurs scored five goals from set-pieces. I don't know how to explain this.
"We wanted three points but we are still in the race and we will continue fighting like we did before."
Juande Ramos was more concerned with Ashley Cole's nasty tackle on Alan Hutton and the Spurs boss said: "In this case the referee decided it was a yellow card but we've seen tackles that were much less serious given red cards."
Memories of their League Cup final defeat to Spurs were still raw for Chelsea but the chance to maintain their pursuit of the title was more important than settling old scores.
They got the perfect start as Drogba opened the scoring after three minutes.
John Terry was the unlikely provider as the Chelsea defender looped a perfect cross to the far post, where Drogba had space to direct his header back past Paul Robinson into the net.
It was an electrifying start by the Blues. Joe Cole had the ball in the net again moments later, but this time it didn't count as the England winger strayed offside before sliding in the rebound from Drogba's shot.
Just as Chelsea were beginning to play with a swagger, Spurs levelled in a manner that was painfully familar for the visitors.
Woodgate had won the League Cup with his first goal for the club and he tormented Chelsea once more. In the 12th minute, Jermaine Jenas curled over a free-kick and Woodgate rose above Drogba to power home a close-range header.
But Chelsea hit straight back. Cole's penetrating run in the 20th minute took him towards the Spurs penalty area and he squeezed a pass through to Essien, who cleverly lifted his shot over Robinson to restore the lead.
The temperature of an already fiery clash rose when Cole caught Hutton with a nasty lunge. The tackle drew an angry response from both benches, with Spurs demanding a red card, while Grant had to be restrained after trying to berate Hutton for exaggerating the foul.
Referee Mike Riley eventually booked Cole but the argument was still continuing as the players went down the tunnel at the break.
It would have been easy for Chelsea to lose their focus. To their credit they emerged after half-time with renewed vigour and took the first chance that came their way in the 52nd minute.
When Claude Makelele's pass found Joe Cole on the edge of the penalty area the England winger still had plenty of work to do. He did it with aplomb, holding off Pascal Chimbonda before scoring with a shot which crept in over Robinson.
Tottenham have little to play for and could easily have thrown in the towel. Instead they reduced the deficit nine minutes later when Berbatov looped a header over Carlo Cudicini from Keane's corner.
Grant's side were creaking now and they were undone by a set-piece for the third time as Spurs levelled in the 75th minute. Keane's corner flashed across goal to Huddlestone and he lashed a superb strike past Cudicini.
Incredibly that wasn't the end of the drama. With 10 minutes to go Joe Cole skipped past Chimbonda and calmly buried his shot into the roof of the net.
Still Spurs refused to accept defeat and Keane broke Chelsea's hearts in the 88th minute when he beat Cudicini with a brilliant curling shot from 25 yards.
Berbatov should have complete a remarkable encounter in stoppage time but Cudicini somehow kept out his powerful shot.