Thursday, January 19, 2017

Tottenham 2-0 Chelsea: Five things we learned as Spurs end Blues’ winning run

Milos Markovic in Editorial, English Premier League 4 Jan 2017

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Dele Alli sealed the win for Spurs against Chelsea / Image via goal.com

Everything has an end

The White Hart Lane crowd was treated with a spectacle on Wednesday night as Tottenham put an end to Chelsea’s impressive 13-match winning run to jump on to third place in the standings and put great spice in the ongoing Premier League title race.

Chelsea were not looking like their usual selves tonight, lacking an edge, idea and character to win the game. Instead, they ended up on the losing end thanks to Dele Alli’s brace of headers, one in each half and both at Eriksen’s assists.

Here are the five things we learned from tonight’s match at White Hart Lane:

Tottenham gave Chelsea a taste of their own medicine

Mauricio Pochettino’s team choices proved to be of crucial effect in Tottenham’s big victory over city rivals Chelsea.

His brave approach and 3-4-2-1 formation – which at times resembled a clear 3-4-3 style Antonio Conte is so keen on – was meant to be a courageous response to Chelsea’s flying system and we must say it did the trick.

It is as if Chelsea did not expect Spurs to be so direct and concrete in their attacks, especially in the first half of the game, when Blues were pretty much contained in their own half. Tottenham gave Chelsea a taste of their own medicine with composed and calm performance and a well-organised display Chelsea had no answer to.

Wanyama and Dembele as the two strong columns right in front of the defence line proved to be an impenetrable obstacle for Chelsea, who were left frustrated for the good part of the game.

Having conceded in the dying moments of the first half, Chelsea tried to get back in the game at the beginning  of the second term, but Dele Alli’s second header of the game proved too big of a blow for the Blues, who never quite managed to pose a serious threat to Hugo Lloris after that.

Premier League’s best defences in contrasting modes

Tottenham and Chelsea headed into the Wednesday’s game – and remained after it – two of the best Premier League defences.

Only 14 and 15 conceded goals, respectively, speak volumes of two sides’ impressive work-rate at the back and solidity both sets of fans can be proud of.

Today’s game has seen two contrasting modes from respective defence lines however, with Tottenham thriving at the back, whereas Chelsea defenders struggled to get their foot in the game with poor defending.

Following a series of clean sheets in December, Chelsea have now conceded in two games in a row. Truth be told, the two conceded goals against Swansea last time out did little damage to the final result as Chelsea won 4-2, but should have been interpreted as early warning signs of things to come.

Nervous Costa is no good to Chelsea

Chelsea fans surely remember that particular moment when Diego Costa appeared to have thrown his bib in Jose Mourinho’s direction in protest.

Many of those same fans believed that temperamental Costa would be sold rather quickly after Antonio Conte had arrived. The Italian manager could be characterised as the same, or at least similar type of person as the Spanish striker, as both of them weak their hearts on the sleeve and won’t back down in front of a challenge.

Diego Costa remained at the club however, and transformed himself into a goalscoring machine he truly is and was at Atletico Madrid. Costa headed into the game with 14 goals to his name, but Wednesday night at White Hart Lane turned out to be quite a frustrating affair for the Chelsea striker.

We have that Pedro incident to confirm it as well, as it was quite apparent that nervous and anxious Diego Costa can’t do any good for Chelsea in this game.

Dele Alli’s impressive run continues

He might have started the season somewhat quieter that he would have liked it, but Dele Alli’s return to form has been a timely one.

The PFA Young Player of the Year winner scored the total of ten Premier League goals thus far in the season, but it needs to be pointed out that six of those came in the last four appearances.

Alli continues to present himself as the most important member of Tottenham’s team, and as a leader of England’s new generation, who plays with great aggression in attack.

His ruthlessness was on display on Wednesday night and his two impressive headers are just deserved reward for all the determination he puts in game in and game out.

Premier League title race back on track

Chelsea headed into the game against Spurs with a five-point lead ahead of Liverpool, hoping to open the eight-point gap which would have been a fantastic morale-boost for the team.

What is more, the Blues were keen to record the 14th consecutive win in the Premier League which would have seen them level Arsenal’s record from 2002.

The pressure seems to have taken the better of Antonio Conte’s men, who struggled dearly and conceded another two goals.

Chelsea’s defeat at White hart Lane means that Liverpool are back in the title race, but Tottenham as well, as Pochettino’s men are now in third place trailing seven points behind Chelsea.

All in all, we are definitely in for another extremely exciting year in the Premier league.

TOTTENHAM: Lloris 6.5 – Dier 7, Alderweireld 7, Vertonghen 7 – Walker 6.5, Dembele 7 (Winks 6.5), Wanyama 7, Rose 6.5 – Eriksen 7.5, Alli 8 – Kane 6 (Son Heung-Min 6)

Unused subs: Davies, Trippier, Vorm, Wimmer.

CHELSEA: Courtois 6 – Azpilicueta 6, Luiz 6.5, Cahill 6 – Mozes 6 (Batshuayi 6), Matic 6.5, Kante 6 (Fabregas 6), Alonso 6 (Willian 6) – Pedro 6.5, Costa 6, Hazard 6.5

Unused subs: Begovic, Chalobah, Ivanovic, Zouma.

REFEREE: Martin Atkinson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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