Tottenham failed to close the gap on the top two after a thrilling 1-1 draw with Chelsea at White Hart Lane.
Both sides were chasing victory to keep pace with the runaway leaders, but cancelled each other out in a free-flowing encounter.
Controversial Chelsea skipper John Terry played 24 hours after discovering he was being charged with racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. Terry vindicated manager Andre Villas-Boas’ decision to select him with a courageous display.
Chelsea needed all of Terry’s experience and courage in the opening exchanges as Spurs threatened to run riot. They were swift and incisive and took a deserved lead when Gareth Bale surged down the left and crossed to find Emmanual Adebayor, who benefited from a hesitant Petr Cech to finish. People following the in-play football betting will have been impressed.
The home side were dominant and left Chelsea chasing shadows at times. They looked set to close the gap on the leaders Manchester City to seven points.
However, Chelsea harbour slight title hopes themselves and hit Spurs on the break. Ashley Cole’s cross found Daniel Sturridge and the Chelsea front man converted past Brad Friedel.
The goal lifted Chelsea and the visitors gained a foothold in the game. Didier Drogba hit the woodwork as Chelsea threatened to take the lead.
Both sides recovered from half-time changes to produce a second half just as exciting as the first. The game ebbed and flowed, but there was no way through for either side. Terry had the final say when he blocked an Adebayor shot on the line in the closing stages.
Neither side lost any ground in the race for the Champions League spots after the 1-1 draw, but the battle for the title looks increasingly like a two-horse race.