Sunday, April 21, 2024

Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Chelsea: Willian nets brace in ill-tempered festive derby win for Blues

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Tottenham’s festive visit of their neighbours Chelsea did not go the way that they wanted as the Blues departed the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a 2-0 victory on Sunday evening.

Willian, who infamously rejected a move to Spurs, gave his side the perfect start as he curled home a fantastic opener in just the 12th minute. Frank Lampard’s troops doubled their lead seconds before half-time as VAR awarded a penalty for a bizarre foul on Marcos Alonso by Paulo Gazzaniga in the area, with Willian stepping up to make it 2-0.

Two goals down, the hosts were then a man light as Heung-Min Son was sent off for violent conduct for kicking out at Antonio Rudiger, albeit following a VAR check. Despite the disadvantage, Spurs continued to push for a foothold but Chelsea held firm to get their season back on track and solidify their position in the Premier League top four.

Willian silences boos in North London

Spurs struggled to deal with their capital opponents in the opening stages of the game and the constant pressure from Chelsea eventually told. Exchanging passes with Mateo Kovacic from a short corner, the Brazilian showed quick feet to skip past Serge Aurier and sent a wonderful effort curling into the bottom corner of Paulo Gazzaniga’s net.

Following the opener, Chelsea had a relatively comfortable first 25 minutes before Spurs finally gave their fans some encouragement. Harry Kane at first blazed over Moussa Sissoko’s cut-back, with Son also lifting a chance over the crossbar from a tight angle.

VAR awards penalty on stroke of half-time

With the break quickly approaching, a truly bizarre incident saw the Blues eventually double their lead. Following a collision between Alonso and Gazzaniga in the penalty area, there were huge calls for a spot-kick but referee Anthony Taylor somehow awarded a Spurs free-kick. However, VAR intervened and after a couple of minutes eventually awarded the penalty. Willian was the man to take the kick and coolly converted to give the visitors a two-goal advantage heading into half-time.

The Blues thought they had a third just after the break as Gazzaniga spilt the ball from Alonso’s shot and Tammy Abraham tucked in the rebound. The forward’s strike was ruled out for offside though.

Son sees red following review

With VAR intervening for the penalty, Spurs were then handed another huge blow with Son being handed his marching orders. Falling in a challenge with Rudiger, the South Korean appeared to kick out at the Chelsea man. The video assistant referee then recommended the referee to change his original decision and send Son off.

As a result, the Blues had further chances to wrap up the three points through N’Golo Kante and substitutes Reece James and Michy Batshuayi but to Tottenham’s credit, they got back well and prevented the lead from being stretched. Two was enough however as Lampard got one over on his former boss Jose Mourinho in the race for the Premier League top four.

Final Thoughts

Despite their excellent form under Mourinho in recent weeks, this was an uncharacteristically quiet performance from Tottenham Hotspur. Their forward players struggled to get into the match at all due to Chelsea’s excellent defending. The Blues also had an ace in their pack in the form of Willian who put on a dazzling showing in North London in a deserved Chelsea victory.

Match Report

Tottenham Hotspur: Gazzaniga (5); Vertonghen (5) (Rose (6), 74); Alderweireld (6), Sanchez (6), Aurier (5); Sissoko (6), Dier (4) (Eriksen (5), 46′); Son (5) Alli (5), Moura (5) (Ndombele (6), 74′); Kane (5).

Chelsea: Kepa (6); Tomori (6), Rudiger (7), Zouma (7); Alonso (6), Kovacic (7) (Jorginho (6), 68′), Kante (7), Azpilicueta (7) (James (N/A), 80′); Mount (7), Willian (9); Abraham (7) (Batshuayi (N/A), 80′).

Goals: Willian (12′, 45+3′ PEN)

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Yellow Cards: Zouma (31′), Alli (42′), Kovacic (42′), Gazzaniga (45+3′), Sissoko (58′), Rudiger (77′)

Red Cards: Son (62′)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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