Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Chelsea
Chelsea climbed up to sixth place in the Premier League table and back into European contention tonight after beating Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Jorginho gave the Blues a first-half lead from the penalty spot after Eric Dier had fouled Timo Werner. And while Chelsea continued to dominate, that was all it took to beat a lacklustre Spurs.
Tuchel’s task is to get the best out of Chelsea’s talented stars and they looked good tonight – smart on the ball and quick on the press. But Jose Mourinho has some thinking to do after Tottenham simply weren’t able to compete.
Highlights of the game
Chelsea almost scored straight from the kick-off when Cesar Azpilicueta chipped a searching ball forward which Timo Werner met and glanced his header just over the bar.
That set the tone for the half as Callum Hudson-Odoi caused plenty of problems down the right flank and the Blues took control.
They made it count midway through the first 45 when Azpilicueta found Werner again and this time the German striker got the better of Eric Dier who went to ground and felled the Chelsea man, giving referee Andre Marriner an easy decision to award a spot-kick.
Jorginho stepped up and slammed the ball low into the left corner beyond the reach of Hugo Lloris who had guessed the right way. It was the Italian’s fourth goal of the Premier League season all from the penalty spot.
The Blues continued to dominate but Mason Mount fired wide when his chance came.
Chelsea were playing the game just how they wanted to – passing the ball at ease and running rings around Spurs who must have been happy to go into the break just a single goal down.
Hudson-Odoi had a chance early in the second half but he fired wide, while Mount continued to control the game in the middle of the park. And he gave Mateo Kovacic an opening, but this time Dier made an excellent block.
Tuchel made a change with a quarter of the game to play by bringing on Christian Pulisic for the third time in his three games in charge. And when the American tried to get on the end of a Mount cross, Lloris had to be alert to punch clear.
Then Mount combined well with Werner before unleashing a drive which Lloris had to get down to smartly to save.
Edouard Mendy finally had some work to do with 10 minutes remaining when Erik Lamela tried to curl a shot into the bottom corner but the Chelsea keeper saved well.
And that sparked a little flurry from Spurs, as Serge Aurier tested Mendy with a cross and Lucas Moura firing a shot over the bar before Vinicius headed an effort wide.
But it takes more than 10 minutes effort to beat Tuchel’s Chelsea.
The pre-match SBOTOP gave Blues a clear edge at odds of 2.18 to win and they controlled the game with ease until Spurs awoke very late in the game.
Chelsea had 60-per cent possession and won the shot count by 17 to six.
Of course, Mourinho was manager of Chelsea when they won back-to-back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006, but he hasn’t won as a manager against the Blues in his last seven attempts.
This was the first time in his career that he has lost back-to-back home league matches, following a loss to Liverpool last week.
Spurs have a real problem when Harry Kane isn’t playing. They have won just three of their last 14 games without their skipper and they were poor for the first 80 minutes tonight.
It was a fine win for Chelsea, having lost four of their previous five away games in the Premier League.
Spurs’ next appointment is another home fixture, but this time against struggling West Brom.
Sam Allardyce has been called into the Hawthorns to attempt an escape act, and true to form, he has been spending.
He brought in Robert Snodgrass and Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles, but the Baggies have lost five from the last seven games and are in deep trouble.
The Blues have a tough test on Sunday when they head up to Yorkshire to meet Chris Wilders’ Sheffield United.
The Blades have spent the entire season in the drop zone with the vast majority of it rock bottom.
But they are still fighting with dramatically improved Premier League 2021 results by winning three from five, including a 2-1 victory over West Brom which has lifted them to within a point of the 19th placed Baggies.
The latest Premier League 2021 betting odds back both the Blades and the Baggies to take the drop, but while there’s hope they will battle on.
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