On this day: Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea share four goals

Back on this day in 2008, Chelsea lose ground in the title race as they play out a 4-4 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

Six years ago today, just three points separated leaders Manchester United and Chelsea in third place. Along with Arsenal, the three clubs were producing one of the tightest title races in recent times.

The Red Devils, who were taking on Bolton Wanderers on the same evening, recorded another victory thanks to an early double from Cristiano Ronaldo, which meant that Chelsea had to keep pace against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

Spurs had claimed the recent bragging rights by winning that year's League Cup final between the two teams, but it was the Blues that took an early initiative in this encounter. Centre-back John Terry, who had gone forward to attack a set-piece situation, crossed towards the back post for Didier Drogba to nod in from close range with just three minutes played.

Didier Drogba celebrates scoring for Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur on March 19, 2008.© Getty Images

That advantage would last just nine minutes, though, as Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate sent a headed effort beyond the reach of Carlo Cudicini in the away side's net.

In what had descended into an end-to-end half of football, Chelsea's lead was restored with 20 minutes on the clock as Joe Cole threaded a pass through for Michael Essien. Having taken one touch, the midfielder then lifted the ball over an advancing Paul Robinson from the edge of the penalty area.

While there were no more goals before the break, there was a major talking involving Chelsea defender Ashley Cole. Many felt that his late and high challenge on Spurs defender Alan Hutton warranted a red card, but following a melee between the two sets of players, he only received a caution from referee Mike Riley - not that Cole was happy with the decision as he hurled expletives at the official.

Joe Cole celebrates scoring for Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur on March 19, 2008.© Getty Images

When the teams returned after the restart, it appeared that Chelsea had sealed the points when Joe Cole added a third goal in the 52nd minute. The England international got the better of Pascal Chimbonda, before seeing his effort loop into the net from a tight angle off Robinson.

However, the hosts refused to accept their fate and the arrears were reduced in the 61st minute by Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov, who looped a header into the far corner of the net. Then, with 15 minutes left to play, Tom Huddlestone drove a left-footed shot that left Cudicini little chance to level up proceedings.

Parity would last just five minutes, though, as a slip from Chimbonda presented another opening for Joe Cole and he duly obliged by smashing the ball into roof of the Spurs net.

Yet, just as the away supporters were celebrating three priceless points, Spurs frontman Robbie Keane scored the goal of the night in the 88th minute to salvage a share of the spoils for the home side. After the ball had cannoned off the back of Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho, Keane curled the rebound away from a diving Cudicini and into the top corner, sparking pandemonium among the home faithful.

Robbie Keane celebrates scoring for Tottenham Hotspur against Chelsea on March 19, 2008.© Getty Images

Spurs could have in fact won the clash in stoppage time, but Cudicini was somehow able to divert Berbatov's shot wide of the target when a fifth Tottenham goal looked inevitable.

After the final whistle, Chelsea manager Avram Grant said: "It was a good game for the supporters but not for us because we wanted to win and we haven't done it. When you lead a game three times and don't win, the players are not so happy, especially when we have shown such a good spirit, but we are still in the title race and we will continue fighting."

Meanwhile, Tottenham's coach Gus Poyet added: "It was a great game of football for everybody except the two goalkeepers. It was a strange game because we were always chasing, but almost won it at the end and could have nicked the three points but for a fantastic save by Carlo Cudicini from Dimitar Berbatov."

SPURS: Robinson; Hutton, Woodgate, King (Bent), Chimbonda; Lennon, Jenas (Huddlestone), Zokora, Malbranque; Berbatov, Keane

CHELSEA: Cudicini; Ferreira (Shevchenko), Carvalho, Terry, A Cole; Essien, Makelele, Lampard, J Cole (Ballack); Drogba, Kalou (Alex)

Julio Baptista of Arsenal is challenged by Didier Zokora of Tottenham during the Carling Cup Semi Final 1st leg match on January 24, 2007
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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