Spurs produced one of their best performances of the season with a scintillating 3-1 win over rivals Chelsea at Wembley Stadium. Mauricio Pochettino’s side exhibited the perfect balance of high intensity pressing and creativity, which left Chelsea helpless against a rampant Spurs side. The Blues can feel lucky to have only lost the match by two goals such was the dominant display from Spurs.
Spurs went into the game having made their second best start to a Premier League season ever, whereas Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea were yet to be beaten in the 2018/19 campaign. Four changes were made to the side from their last Premier League outing versus Crystal Palace. Eric Dier, Serge Aurier, Heung-min Son and Christian Eriksen returned to the side, the latter having recovered from injury. Juan Foyth was also making his third Premier League start in a row, having forced himself into Pochettino’s plans after impressing against West Ham in the Carabao Cup.
Chelsea named an unchanged starting eleven, showing how Sarri has found a settled first choice lineup, however they were anything but settled once the game started. Harry Kane’s header from Serge Aurier’s cross was comfortably saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea goal after four minutes but by then it was evident that Spurs were going to be the team in the ascendancy.
Son, Kane and Alli Score for Spurs
Soon after, David Luiz fouled Harry Kane which gave Spurs a free kick in a dangerous position on the right hand side. Sure enough, Christian Eriksen swung a perfect ball in and Dele Alli glanced a header past Arrizabalaga to put Spurs ahead inside ten minutes. Although the match was in the early stages, the goal was coming and it was the first Premier League away goal that Chelsea had conceded since August. Alli also continued his remarkable scoring streak against Chelsea, netting his sixth goal in six games against the Blues.
📈 @dele_official has scored six goals in his last five games against Chelsea.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 25, 2018
Spurs did not sit back and continued their explosive start to the encounter. Son and Eriksen combined outside the Chelsea area and the South Korean really should have troubled Kepa but skied his shot after taking it on the half volley. Chelsea had clearly not woken up and Maurizio Sarri’s frustration could already be seen on the Wembley touchline.
The high press from Spurs continued to be a problem for Chelsea, with Moussa Sissoko stealing the ball off Marcos Alonso to start yet another Spurs attack. Son was again played through and brilliantly spun past Antonio Rudiger before firing a shot straight at the Chelsea goalkeeper. It was the second clear cut chance for Son, who was playing high up alongside Harry Kane, and it was beginning to seem like it might be one of those days for the Spurs man.
The only hiccup for Spurs early on was when Juan Foyth appeared to have tackled Eden Hazard from the wrong side in the Spurs penalty area. However, referee Martin Atkinson waved away the appeals from the Chelsea players and Spurs continued their efforts to get a second early on in the encounter.
That second goal came through Harry Kane. The England captain picked up the ball outside the Chelsea penalty area and drove at the defence without coming under any real pressure. Because of this, Kane fired a shot at goal, which David Luiz made a half-hearted attempt to block, and the ball flew past the unsighted Arrizabalaga. Kane will get all the credit for yet another Premier League goal for Spurs, but it was the poor Chelsea defending, particularly from David Luiz, that allowed Spurs to double their advantage.
— Harry Kane (@HKane) November 24, 2018
Yet again, Spurs came at Chelsea and did not rest on their laurels. Kane had a shot blocked and from the resulting corner Spurs almost made it three. After playing it short, Eriksen crossed the ball into the front post area where Toby Alderwerield flicked the ball goalwards and was unlucky to have his shot blocked. His centre back partner Juan Foyth made an audacious attempt to flick the rebound in and was unlucky to see his shot go narrowly wide.
Spurs were not done there in the first half and Heung-min Son had his third chance to get a goal. Again after some excellent build up play, Eriksen’s cross was met by the onrushing Son who did everything right by placing his volley on target, but once more Kepa was there to thwart him.
Within ten minutes of the second half though, Son was finally celebrating. After Spurs won the ball back, Alli released Son on the right hand side so he could use his pace on the counter. He did that to devastating effect, breezing past Jorginho and David Luiz before finishing with ease to give Spurs an unassailable lead. It was Son’s 50th Spurs goal and nothing less than he deserved, as he had been brilliant for Spurs in the first half.
Spurs were still cutting Chelsea open and Harry Kane really should have made it four. A give-and-go between Ben Davies and Christian Eriksen allowed the Welsh full back to fire the ball forward, where suddenly Spurs had a direct run on the back four of Chelsea. Son made the right choice by waiting for Moussa Sissoko, who crossed for the Spurs talisman to give him a chance that he would normally finish with ease. However he fired his effort over, which was just as well with Spurs 3-0 up.
Dele Alli also had a chance to make it four, although his was not as clear cut as Kane’s. The Spurs midfielder looked like he was back to his best with a superb performance from attacking midfield and his guided effort was only a couple of inches too high from giving Spurs a fourth.
However the perfect evening was not to be for Spurs, as Chelsea grabbed a late consolation. Cesar Azpilicueta’s ball in was met by substitute Olivier Giroud and the target man powered his header past Hugo Lloris, who had largely been a spectator for the match.
There was no late surge from Chelsea though and the 3-1 scoreline rather flattered them as a rampant Spurs side blew them away. Their first defeat of the season also meant that Spurs leapfrogged them in the Premier League table.
Spurs v Chelsea Lineups
What the Players Said
After the match, Dele Alli praised the tactics of Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino.
“I think, working with Poch, you know how good he is. He’s an amazing manager tactically. He’s managing the squad well, rotating when he needs to, picking the players that he feels are best on that day.
“That’s important for the team, to have players that are fresh and ready to go. Everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. He makes it very clear, what you have to do. So, going into the game, you know your role and what you have to do. You don’t have to worry about anything else, your football is natural, it’s what you’ve been doing for a long time. So, as long as we’re clear on our roles and responsibilities, we can enjoy playing.” (SkySports)
What Mauricio Pochettino Said
“When you win it looks like the plan was the best from the manager, for me it was about the attitude that a lot of times we have missed in many important games. To compete in this way the tactic or the system are not important because the attitude and the win was fantastic. Now the challenge for us is to keep that level of competition to try and increase and keep because we have talent. The most importan thing is the three points that puts us in a good position in the table. We need to use at some point for the future. We are going to have in a few days a final and then against Arsenal, with this attitude all is possible.” (football.london)
Spurs v Chelsea Man of the Match
WHAT. A. GOAL.
He could've had a hat-trick, but Heung Min Son has finally put it in the back of the net for his 50th #THFC goal
It's a brilliant individual goal to surely bury Chelsea
— Ladbrokes (@Ladbrokes) November 24, 2018
It was extremely tough to call a man of the match for Spurs as the entire team played brilliantly. Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane were all exceptional but Heung-min Son is our pick. He could easily have scored a hat-trick but his relentless pressing allowed Spurs to create numerous chances and finally in the second half he managed to take one. Mauricio Pochettino has to take a lot of credit for allowing Son to play higher up, which many times allowed him the freedom of Spurs’ right hand side.
What’s next for Spurs?
Spurs overcame the first game in a very important week with flying colours and return to Wembley for their crucial Champions League clash with Inter Milan. Then on Sunday 2nd December it is North London derby day as Spurs travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal.
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