Tottenham dismantled London rivals Chelsea with a storming performance at Wembley which saw Spurs run out 3-1 winners in a heavyweight Premier League clash on Saturday evening.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side set the tone from early on, injecting power and intensity into the match which forced Chelsea onto the back foot from the off. Spurs created waves of early pressure which were always likely to pay off, and they were rewarded just eight minutes in.
?Christian Eriksen swung in a pinpoint cross from a free kick which ?Dele Alli arrived to flick home inside the box to hand Spurs a deserved lead. A succession of chances followed, with Son Heung-min failing to convert the pick of the bunch, but ?Tottenham did not have to wait long for their second.
With Harry Kane on the ball outside the ?Chelsea box, there seemed little on for the forward before David Luiz committed a criminal defensive error. The Brazilian virtually stepped aside to leave a gaping space for Kane to fire into the net for Spurs’ second just 15 minutes in.
Spurs rode out the first half comfortably, maintaining high intensity and forcing Chelsea to play backwards, before adding to their lead on the 54th minute as Son produced a dazzling run through the visitors’ defence before firing low into the net for Spurs’ third. Olivier Giroud’s late header on the 85th minute was a scant consolation for the visitors.
Key Talking Point
One of the most pleasing aspects of the game from a Tottenham point of view was the strong start that Spurs made to the game. Mauricio Pochettino’s men were much the quicker out the blocks, posing a sharp and direct threat to Chelsea from the off at Wembley.
Spurs took the game to Chelsea with real confidence and authority in the opening ten minutes and the pressure paid off as they stormed into a 2-0 lead after just a quarter of an hour in the match. Tottenham’s aggressive and energetic start virtually won them the game from the start.
Substitutes: Lamela (6), Winks (6)
WORST PLAYER: It was far from a poor performance from Eric Dier, with every Tottenham player contributing to a fine performance, but the England midfielder was arguably Spurs’ least effective player on the night. Sissoko was excellent alongside him in midfield, but Dier had little impact.
Key Talking Point
Spurs nullified Chelsea’s attempts to get a foothold in the early stages of the game with high energy and intensity which simply kept the visitors off the ball and devoid of any control. In short, Chelsea lacked an effective plan B in the game.
Moussa Sissoko’s bustling energy and power was particularly key in holding midfield alongside Eric Dier, as Chelsea’s three in the middle of the park were virtually negated from the first half of the game. Spurs squeezed Chelsea in the middle, forcing them to play backwards and therefore suppressing their influence in the central areas.
Substitutes: Barkley (6), Pedro (5), Giroud (6)
STAR MAN: Having played much of the game with his back to the wall, Kepa was largely responsible for keeping the score down to just two in Tottenham’s favour by half time. The Spaniard was sternly tested with Chelsea’s defence continuously breached by Tottenham’s pace and power in attack.
Kepa was not at fault for Tottenham’s goals, with the deficiencies in defence ahead of the Chelsea goalkeeper more to blame for Spurs’ seizing of their chances, and the Spaniard pulled off a number of decent saves which flew under the radar to keep his side in the first half. A low save to deny Son at the end of the first 45 minutes was particularly impressive.
WORST PLAYER: Chelsea’s vulnerability in defence was characterised by the shaky performance of David Luiz. The Brazilian looks a good fit for Maurizio Sarri’s stye of play when Chelsea are on the ball, but highly suspect and guilty of defensive deficiencies when the opposition attack.
Luiz’s lack of discipline and resolve was laid bare as Tottenham scored their second of the match, as the defender stepped aside to allow Harry Kane a criminal amount of space to fire into the net. Luiz’s poor defensive display handed Spurs the opportunity which hardly seemed to exist.
Tottenham face a huge Champions League clash at home to ?Inter on Wednesday in a match which could go a long way in deciding their fate in Group B. Spurs are currently three points behind the Milan giants in third and will know that victory is a must if they are to have any realistic hope of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Back In the Premier League, Spurs’ next outing is of comparable magnitude as Pochettino’s side travel across north London to face ?Arsenal in a colossal derby encounter at the Emirates, before facing a struggling ?Southampton side at Wembley the following midweek.
Chelsea, meanwhile, face PAOK next up in a Europa League clash on Thursday in which the Blues can further stamp their authority on Group L. Sarri’s side are six points clear at the top of the group.
The Blues then resume their Premier League campaign with a west London derby against former manager Claudio Ranieri’s ?Fulham next Sunday, before travelling to face a high-flying ?Wolves side three days later.