John Terry rescues Chelsea at White Hart Lane
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John Terry headed a second-half equaliser to rescue a 1-1 draw for Chelsea at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday as the managerial battle between Jose Mourinho and his former apprentice Andre Villas-Boas ended in stalemate.
The two Portuguese coaches would have enjoyed contrasting experiences as the game ebbed and flowed with the hosts dominating the first half and taking a deserved lead when Gylfi Sigurdsson finished a flowing move.
Mourinho's decision to introduce Juan Mata for the second half turned the encounter in Chelsea's favour, however, and the Spaniard's curling free kick was headed in by Terry 20 minutes after the interval following a spell of intense pressure from the visitors.
Chelsea looked favourites to take all three points until referee Mike Dean's controversial decision to send off Fernando Torres 10 minutes from time.
Torres, who was booked earlier in the game for a coming together with Jan Vertonghen, was given a second yellow card after an innocuous aerial challenge with the same player.
The headline writers billed the encounter as a battle between two friends-turned-enemies who were in opposing dugouts for the first time, four years after Villas-Boas quit Mourinho's backroom staff at Inter Milan to follow his own path.
The pair had been close, Villas-Boas working under Mourinho at Porto and Chelsea before their spell together in Serie A signalled the end of their working relationship.
Mourinho, famed for creating teams with impenetrable backlines, may have been casting envious glances at a Tottenham side who came into the match with the best defensive record in Europe's top five leagues, having conceded just one goal.
That record did not look under threat in a cagey first half that came to life after 19 minutes when Sigurdsson slotted the home team ahead after Denmark's Christian Eriksen had again underlined his quality in the playmaker role.