A rousing first half display ultimately meant little as Chelsea dominated the remainder of the match and took all three points by the final score of 3-0.
There was cause for optimism as Nuno Espirito Santo brought forth a lineup featuring a midfield of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg. It was one of the strongest lineups of the season and with Chelsea missing N’Golo Kante, perhaps Spurs could pull off a surprise.
3’ - Wild opening two minutes. Chelsea get on the break almost immediately. Spurs snuff it out and get to the other end for a couple of half-chances. This fixture is never boring.
9’ - Solid start for Spurs. High press is in full swing and the midfield is organized. Just need to piece it together for chances now.
14’ - Hojbjerg is hellbent on covering every blade of grass. He’s all over the place defending passes and breaking up possession.
15’ - Whew. Dier misses a tackle on Mount which frees up the Chelsea attack. Mount plays 1-2 with Romelu Lukaku, but Spurs clean it up and block the shot.
20’ - Chance for Spurs as they break at midfield. Sergio Reguilon times his run perfectly and tries to find Son in the penalty area. It’s cleared by Chelsea but Kane gets another crack with a curler that throws off Kepa. He spills it but eventually gathers the ball.
30’ - Chelsea are answering back and breaking the press a bit better, but Spurs are defending well in the final third. Midfield battle has been intense and Paul Tierney hasn’t shown much of a sign of showing a card, even though there’s been a couple of fouls worthy of one.
34’ - Tanguy and Gio continue to find holes in the Chelsea defense, enough to feed Sonny for a chance on net. His touch is a bit heavy and enough for Kepa to break it up.
43’ - This is your free advertisement about LASIK eye surgery which changed my life almost seven years ago. Contacts are a pain but it looks like Tanguy got it taken care of.
HALF-TIME: No goals but an entertaining half nevertheless.
46’ - N’Golo Kante checks in for Chelsea with Mason Mount sitting down.
47’ - Chance for Chelsea as Marcos Alonso takes a one-time volley that is on target but parried over the net by Hugo. Scary moment to start the half.
49’ - Goal Chelsea - Thiago Silva. Spurs give up a corner and Alonso finds Silva, who beats Dele and heads the ball into the corner. 1-0 Chelsea.
53’ - Another big chance for Chelsea as Alonso is on the end of a free volley that had Hugo beat, but Dier clears it off the line and end the threat. It could easily be 2-0.
57’ - Goal Chelsea - N’Golo Kante. Romero tries to feed Lo Celso, who had no chance to make a turn and ends up turning the ball over. Kante gets a pass and takes a rip from 30 yards out. It takes a deflection off of Dier and bounces off the inside of the post for a goal. 2-0 Chelsea.
62’ - SUBSTITUTION, TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: Double sub as Skipp comes on for Ndombele and Gil on for Lo Celso.
70’ - SUBSTITUTION, CHELSEA: Timo Werner comes on for Kai Havertz.
74’ - Almost 3-0 Chelsea. Another corner that finds Silva, who flicks a header on net. Hugo makes a brilliant save to prevent the scoreline from getting worse.
78’ - Another chance for Chelsea. Dier makes a rather poor effort to stop Lukaku, putting him two on one with Werner against Romero. Werner gets the pass and then....tries something that harmlessly rolls to Hugo.
80’ - Tierney finally pulls his card out of his pocket to book Timo Werner for his challenge on Gil.
81’ - Chelsea with multiple chances but Hugo makes a save on Werner, Romero blocks an attempt, then Hugo parries a cross to end the threat.
86’ - All Chelsea as they get another chance. Rudiger crosses a ball into the penalty area and finds Lukaku. He gets on the end of it for a header but Hugo makes the save.
92’ - Goal Chelsea, Antonio Rudiger. That was coming. Werner has days to run on the right flank and plays an effortless pass toward the spot. Rudiger one-times it and it rolls into the net. 3-0 Chelsea.
FULL-TIME: Chelsea take all three points after throttling Spurs in the second half, 3-0.
Thoughts on the Match
- For about 40 minutes, Spurs were the better side. They played a very high press and would not let Chelsea take a breath without someone being in their faces. Spurs just couldn’t cash in.
- Spurs owned the midfield in the first half as Ndombele, Lo Celso and Hojberg played their roles. Pierre was all over the place and Ndombele and Lo Celso found good moments to pass forward.
- Despite the scoreline, I thought Romero and Dier both played well. They snuffed out several attacks and both made clearances that would have meant an even worse scoreline.
- I like Reggie, but man his passing is not good. He needs to work on it but I’m ready to see what Ryan Sessegnon has to offer to challenge him.
- Kane sucked today, no question. He was dropping deep into midfield and never seemed to be in a good spot to score. His one effort was only scary because Kepa is Kepa and made a mountain out of a molehill.
- I don’t have the energy to talk about how bad the second half was because everything just fell off a cliff.
- Spurs play Wolves on Wednesday in the EFL Cup before the North London Derby next weekend at the Emirates Stadium.