Today’s London derby was a much-anticipated game. between Tottenham Hotspurs and Chelsea. Many people thought the blues would continue their run of unbeaten games, but others also thought Tottenham would also give their all because of their lust to contend for the top of the league.
Chelsea’s unbeaten start to life under Maurizio Sarri had supporters dreaming of a title challenge. Saturday’s meeting with Tottenham was the long overdue wake-up call, with the Blues slumping to a 3-1 loss to their most hated rivals.
Tottenham scoring very early in the first half with Dele Alli in the 8th minute with a header from a cross of Christian Eriksen found the ball at the net of the opposition.
Soon after a long range shot which seemingly looked like a weak ball, managed to also find the back of the net. David Luiz slightly shifting his body away from the ball made Kepa, the goalie for the blues confused and let the ball slide right past him into the net. Which made it two-nil down against Chelsea.
Also early in the second half, a spectacular solo goal from Son Heung-min almost sealed the game as Chelsea had to scrap one back from a header from Giroud. And ended in a 3-1 win for Tottenham and a disastrous loss for the fellow London team Chelsea.
As this result leaps Tottenham ahead of Chelsea in the league table with 30 points and Chelsea with 28 points.
But this results was lingering in the shadows to spring up. Chelsea has had a tough time controlling games ranging from Bournemouth and Derby County at home, to BATE away in the Europa League.
The Blues had plenty of possession but did very little with it. Indeed, Spurs would have scored far more than three goals had Kane and Son been more clinical, with several clear-cut opportunities squandered.
David Luiz was particularly poor for two of the goals, failing to block Kane’s long-range shot, which was well-struck but shouldn’t have found its way past a very busy Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Brazilian was then far too easily fooled by Son as the Korean breezed past him to make it 3-0 to Tottenham.
Like the rest of his defence and indeed midfield in front of him, Luiz was bullied by a team playing at a much higher intensity right from the first whistle, as Chelsea made yet another sluggish start.
Still, it wasn’t just a question of attitude. There were obvious tactical issues here too, as playmaker Jorginho was successfully man-marked for the second game in a row, this time by Alli.
N’Golo Kante, meanwhile, again looked uncomfortable in his new role on the right, provoking further questions over his suitability to a more advanced role.
Chelsea’s over-reliance on Hazard remains a huge concern, particularly as the Belgian has now gone nine games for club and country without a goal.
Sarri, to his credit, had repeatedly played down his side’s hopes of challenging for the Premier League title in his first season at Stamford Bridge. He knew that returning his side to the top-four was the more realistic goal, quite rightly pointing out that Chelsea had problems up front and at the back, with several defenders struggling to meet his demands.
Tottenham have now won back-to-back against Chelsea for the first time since 1987 but they have also delivered the obvious but nonetheless painful message to their London rivals that Sarri was right all along: this Blues side should not yet be considered title challengers.
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