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Spurs get the Blues again

Chelsea aimed to put their recent league struggles behind them as they welcomed a Spurs side still on a high after last week’s mad win.

The home side flew out of the gates, controlling possession and going forward at every opportunity in the opening minutes. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech both went close but Spurs were hanging on. The game evened out as time went on but the Blues still looked the likelier to score.

 

With halftime fast approaching, Spurs thought they had taken the lead. Ryan Sessegnon’s low cross found Harry Kane, who shook off Thiago Silva before firing past Kepa. However, the referee pulled play back immediately for a shove on the Brazilian, and VAR concurred with the on-field decision. Ziyech’s crosses continued to cause problems but there was to be no breakthrough as the teams headed for halftime level.

 

The second half got off to an immediate scoring start thanks to the Moroccan himself. Hudson-Odoi’s driving run and pass found Ziyech at the edge of the box who took one touch before curling a sumptuous strike up and above the defence before the ball nestled into the net. He went close again seconds later but his fizzing shot was punched away by Hugo Lloris.

 

Spurs were looking perilously close to conceding again, Mason Mount this time blazing over from a half chance. However, the second goal arrived soon enough. Mount’s perfect free-kick from the left found Thiago Silva who guided his header past Lloris and into the net. Steve Bergwijn had a sharp chance to halve the deficit but failed to connect with his attempted volley inside the penalty box.

 

Romelu Lukaku had his first on target in the match but Lloris was well upto the task. The game was petering out as the final minutes approached, with both teams pretty much knowing what was coming. Kane drew a sharp save from Kepa from a header following a corner.

Here are the three key takeaways from the match:

CHELSEA SIMPLY TOO GOOD

If it was not evident enough in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, the Blues are too good for their opponents both in terms of personnel and style of play. Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi were attacking the flanks at will while Kane’s superior presence was not enough on its own.

 

Mount had one of his finest games in recent times but Lukaku should have at least scored once. They were perhaps lucky to not go behind in the first half though it certainly would have been harsh. The two goals in the opening minutes after the break were justifiably deserved and Thomas Tuchel’s side never really looked like conceding.

 

GOOD NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR SPURS

Antonio Conte’s first league defeat became the Italian’s third at the hands of his former employers this month. Cristiano Romero’s absence has been a big miss with Japhet Tanganga really struggling, more so after the yellow card. The decision to start with Ryan Sessegnon was surprising but there’s little Sergio Reguilon could have done either. Bergwijn ran and ran all over the pitch, always chasing the loose balls though to little effect. Kane did as much as he could on his own, playing crosses and linking up play all over the pitch. It was far too much pedestrian for most parts of the game and they could have little complaints with the result.

 

TOP FOUR RACE HEATING UP

Manchester United’s last gasp win propelled them up to fourth, with Spurs missing a golden chance to replace them tonight. Arsenal also dropped points but remain level on points with their London rivals, though above them in the table. Spurs do have games in hand, including the postponed North London Derby, and will need to win at least a couple of those to put the pressure back on the chasers nearby. Chelsea, meanwhile, remain third and a point behind Liverpool while also having played two games more than the Reds.

Ratul Ghosh
His name means Red and a fan of devilish food, which equals to his favourite team being Manchester United. Can be found sleeping or in front of the TV otherwise. Hates waking up early but loves staying up late for football.

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