Match Report: Chelsea vs Spurs
It was a phenomenal result for Tottenham Hotspur on Easter Sunday as they outclassed Chelsea away at the Bridge, defeating the champions three goals to one. It has been 28 years since Spurs have won at Stamford Bridge and it was Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen who put an end to that hoodoo. The defeat was a huge blow to Chelsea, who are 8 points adrift of the top four. The FA Cup has suddenly become an essential campaign for the Blues.
Both teams came out determined and neither side looked the clear favourite in the first quarter of the match. The tempo of the match was quick, but both sides did an excellent job at frustrating each other in the final third. Willian found an inch of space in the 20th minute and forced Hugo Lloris to defend his bottom right-hand corner. Chelsea had the ball in the back of the net shortly after, but the goal was disallowed. Kante had floated a delightful ball over the Spurs defence for Marcus Alonso to volley in, but he was slightly offside in his position.
However, Chelsea scored on the half-hour mark. With a burst of pace, Victor Moses curled a cross into the centre of the box. As Hugo Lloris failed to punch the incoming ball to safety, Alvaro Morata beat Sanchez in the area to head it home for the Blues. It was a cracking header, but questions have to be asked of Lloris’s positioning on that one.
Spurs had a chance to equalise almost immediately after Dele Alli curled a superb ball into Eriksen with the outside of his boot, but the charging Chelsea keeper defended his goal well in a one-on-one. Eriksen looked hungry and drew the score level on the stroke of halftime. From around 30 yards out, the Dane produced a moment of magic. Caballero could only stand still and watch as the exquisite shot of Eriksen moved in the air and dipped over his head at the last second. World Class.
Spurs did well to keep Chelsea out as the game resumed. Heung-Min Son, who was quiet all game, forced a world-class save from Caballero with a monstrous curling shot from outside the area in the 60th minute. Then Spurs scored their second goal not a minute later. With extraordinary vision, Eric Dier rocketed a ball 50-yards over the top of the Chelsea men towards Dele Alli. Alli brought the ball down with style and slotted it past Caballero with aplomb. Four minutes later, on his 100th Premier League appearance, Dele Alli bagged his brace and put Chelsea to bed. A scrappy goal, absent of creativity and skill like the first two, Alli capitalised on a series of deflections and Chelsea’s inability to clear their lines. In a heart-warming moment that captures a glimpse of the team spirit that imbues this current Spurs team, the players ran over to the touchline to celebrate their third goal with England striker Harry Kane.
To the delightful surprise of the Tottenham Hotspur (and England) fans, Harry Kane returned to the pitch with 15 minutes to go. He looked strong and seems to have recovered from his ankle injury even sooner than anticipated. Chelsea provided waves of attack but lacked precision when presented with opportunity. Spurs thoroughly deserve the win and established significant distance between the top four and Chelsea.
Chelsea vs Spurs Attendance
Stamford Bridge: 41,364
Starting Line-ups: Chelsea vs Spurs
Chelsea: Caballero, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rüdiger, Moses, Fabregas, Kanté, Alonso, Willian, Hazard, Morata
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Davies, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Trippier, Dembélé, Dier, Lamela, Alli, Eriksen, Son
“That type of game will help us achieve what we want. After nearly four years, a lot has happened at the club and I’m happy with how we are evolving. I remember four years ago when I arrived at Tottenham our challenge was to bridge the top four and now we’re competing with the top sides.”
Man of the Match
Dele Alli took home the Man of the Match award this week. After a disappointing stint in the England team midweek, Alli proved his mettle against Chelsea with two solid goals. The first was top-class; it makes you almost forget that Alli is in fact only 21-years old. He has a lot of potential, we have not seen the best of Dele Alli yet.
What’s next for Tottenham Hotspur?
Its another away game for Spurs on the weekend as they set sail for the Midlands to take on Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium.