1. Tottenham can cling to hopes of winning the title

Ten points behind Manchester City and eight off Manchester United at the start of the evening Spurs knew a win would kill Chelsea's title aspirations and send a serious message to the north-west regarding their own credentials. A draw leaves this eventuality distant but not impossible, especially as Spurs have a game in hand. After eight minutes their status as credible challengers was apparent when Gareth Bale cruised down the left before playing in Emmanuel Adebayor, who completed the business. The strut and sense of self-determination Harry Redknapp has instilled continued to be evident until these qualities were tested when Daniel Sturridge equalised mid-way through the first half but Spurs have still be taken very seriously.

2. Redknapp and AVB drew tactical showdown

Redknapp's approach is more straightforward than that of André Villas-Boas, who is still tinkering with his style and personnel. For the Tottenham manager selection and tactics when everyone is fit is simple: this team choose themselves, then go out and hope to exploit the thrust of Bale, the artistry of Luka Modric, Scott Parker's midfield brickwall and Adebayor's killer finishing: Spurs opener derived from this approach after the Welsh flyer shredded Chelsea down their right. Villas-Boas wants more pace injected through his side and left Frank Lampard on the bench for the leaner Raul Meireles. The way in which his team drew level and then soaked up the pressure from the home team will have been heartening to AVB.

3 Sturridge continues to push for Euro 2012 starting place

Even the very best can miss a glaring goal from four yards out, difficult angle or not, as the Chelsea No23 did after 12 minutes – the credit here lay in Sturridge having the cunning and hunger to race in after Juan Mata's blistering 25-yarder to try to snaffle up a parry from the Tottenham goalkeeper, Brad Friedel. As Chelsea's prime force this season, Sturridge is surely a shoe-in for Fabio Capello's England squad for Euro 2012 and after 23 minutes he continued to make the case for why he should start in the XI next summer. In doing so Sturridge also illustrated why he will be lethal operating down the middle which is his favoured position as he anticipated Ashley Cole's cross to equalise and take his tally into double figures for the campaign.

4. John Obi Mikel may have blown his chances

He was unlucky to depart near half-time due to an injury but is this really the player over whom Manchester United prised £12m from Chelsea to cancel their option on him so that Mikel could sign for the London club five years ago? The Nigerian had been sharp within seconds of kick-off, snuffing out the threat of Adebayor, but the sluggishness of thought and deed allowed Modric to slip past him easily moments later. In this Villas-Boas formation, Mikel was the central midfielder in the middle trident meaning that he was often first receiver and charged with starting the move forward. When short passes or simple lay-offs are required he is comfortable but Mikel lacks the dynamism of a Parker and the time for Oriol Romeu may have come.

5. What a signing Emmanuel Adebayor has been

The close of the first half had Adebayor pirouetting on the edge of the Chelsea area before unloading a left-foot shot that worried Petr Cech, who made the save low down. This followed an early dart down the Chelsea left that caused the visitors their opening scare of the evening. Better still was the striker's ninth goal in his 14th Tottenham appearance which came on eight minutes. Directing his run with a precision that left John Terry trailing, he finished Bale's low cross from the left to give Spurs the lead. Taken on loan from Manchester City for the season, the calculation at the Etihad may have been that Tottenham would not be serious enough title pretenders for Adebayor's goals to hurt them: the jury is still out on that one.