Guus ducks it?

21 March 2009 07:49
Tottenham 1-0 ChelseaSoccer Saturday analysis

Phil Thompson believes Guus Hiddink might have paid for being over-cautious.

The Chelsea boss suffered his first defeat since taking charge as his side succumbed to Luka Modric's 50th-minute goal in a tense derby at White Hart Lane.

Although the Blues bombarded their hosts late on, they rarely looked like continuing their fine form under the Dutchman on a day when they could have closed the gap on leaders Manchester United.

And Thompson was left wondering, if Hiddink's selection as much as Spurs' improvement, was responsible.

"Spurs played very well," he told Soccer Saturday.

"They defended so well in the first half, Chelsea just couldn't get through them. I thought it was a fair reflection, 1-0 was just about right.

Selection"He (Hiddink) started off with (Juliano) Belletti on the right side of midfield, and when you've got the likes of (Florent) Malouda and (Salomon) Kalou on the bench, that was very defensive-minded.

"He was way off the pace as well Beletti, so you might be right in thinking he could've done better there with his selection."

But Thompson was just as happy to heap the praise on a Spurs side that made it back-to-back wins over top-five teams following last week's success at Villa.

And although Modric's clinical finish took the capital bragging rights, the former England defender was more impressed with performers at the other end of the pitch.

"It might be that this result was always going to come for Chelsea, but Spurs have got themselves together and are looking good," he said.

Fantastic"Ledley King has played three Premier League games in the trot, they had a great result last week and he and Jonathan Woodgate were outstanding.

"In the first half, certainly the first hour, (Didier) Drogba and (Nicolas) Anelka never got a kick. Late on Drogba had a few chances, but they were half-hearted and in fact the best one came from John Terry - but Huerelho Gomez was fantastic and made an outstanding save."

But as disappointing as the outcome was for Chelsea, Thompson refused to write them out of title contention, insisting the race for the Premier League "will still be those three teams in with a shout".

Source: SKY_Sports