Tottenham extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to a club record 13 games with a 0-0 draw against Chelsea at White Hart Lane.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side controlled possession for much of Sunday’s match but were unable to turn it into goals in a contest which starkly contrasted Tottenham’s 5-3 win in last season’s corresponding fixture.
Jose Mourinho’s decision to drop Diego Costa left his side lacking in attack, with an interchangeable front four – spearheaded by Eden Hazard – only threatening on the break.
John Terry was absent due to injury for Chelsea, and his presence was quickly felt as Harry Kane forced Asmir Begovic into a pair of early saves.
Chelsea grew into the game but did not test Hugo Lloris until the 68th minute, when the Frenchman denied Hazard with an excellent stop.
Neither goalkeeper was to beaten before the final whistle, leaving Mourinho’s side 14th in the table with one win in their last five Premier League matches.
Tottenham – who made one change with Ryan Mason replacing the suspended Dele Alli – applied the early pressure and Begovic showed bravery and skill to twice deny Kane, first at the striker’s feet before taking two attempts to hold a powerful, deflected drive.
Mourinho’s men began to create better opportunities and, after Hazard sent a header off target, Pedro fired a swerving strike from 20 yards over the crossbar.
Tottenham continued to enjoy the majority of possession, although Son Heung-min was unable to make it count when he directed a free header straight at Begovic with 27 minutes played and the Bosnian was forced into further action soon after, diving low to his left to turn Mousa Dembele’s skidding 25-yard hit around the post.
The absence of a recognised striker meant Chelsea lacked a target inside the box, with Oscar’s shank into the side netting ensuring they ended the half without a shot on target.
Kurt Zouma narrowly missed out on a simple finish from a Willian free-kick early in a second period that saw few chances.
Shortly after the hour, Son provided an attacking injection via a one-two with Erik Lamela – on in place of the injured Mason – but his shot was sent straight at Begovic.
It was a rare chance for Tottenham in the second half, and with 68 minutes gone they required a fine save from Lloris stop Hazard finding the net with an impressively executed volley.
Chelsea retreated further in the latter stages and looked to break at pace, but Pedro again failed to test the opposition keeper with a wayward strike from the edge of the area.
Costa remained on the bench despite Chelsea’s need for a goal, and threw his substitutes’ bib away in disgust in stoppage time when Ruben Loftus-Cheek emerged as Mourinho’s final change to cap yet another frustrating outing for the champions.
Key Opta stats:
– Chelsea have won just one of their last 10 Premier League away trips to White Hart Lane (W1 D5 L4).
– The Blues managed just one shot on target in this match – their lowest tally in a PL game since April (1 v QPR on 12th April 2015).
– Chelsea have now gone five successive PL away matches without a win (L3 D2); their worst run on the road in the competition since March 2013.
– This result means that Chelsea are still yet to win back-to-back Premier League games in 2015-16.
– Tottenham have conceded just three goals in their last seven Premier League home games.
– Spurs have lost just two of their last 21 Premier League home matches (W12 D7 L2).
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