Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur passed the latest examination of their Premier League title credentials by earning a share of the spoils against a busy, but ultimately toothless Chelsea outfit.
Stamford Bridge – so often a graveyard for Spurs – held little fear for returning boss, Joe Mourinho.“It’s another game for me, it’s another game for me, no problem at all,” he explained.
“As I was saying since the beginning of the season, we are always contenders to win the next match – nothing more than that.”
“We are going to be there, three possible results. We know anything can happen, but we go there and our objective is to win the game.”
But despite tasting victory only one at Chelsea in just over three decades, Spurs appeared reasonably comfortable throughout, although rarely did they look likely to dent that particular sequence further.
Hakim Ziyech fizzed into Hugo Lloris midriff, while Steven Bergwijn was a fraction too high after exchanging passes with Harry Kane as early opportunities were exchanged amidst a typically frantic opening.
Timo Werner was denied by an assistants flag after his angled effort found the net via an upright. Meanwhile, Edouardo Mendy produced a superb save low to his right to rebuff Serge Aurier’s goalbound attempt.
Spurs were neat, tidy and content to concede possession, while Chelsea favoured intensity, with Werner the outlet. Mason Mount and Kane fired over from distance as genuine chances came at a premium and the pace of the contest fragmented.
The second period offered much of the same. Tammy Abraham was a whisker away from connecting with Reece James’ pinpoint centre, while both James and Kurt Zouma swiftly found themselves in the book as the contest became scruffy and disjointed.
Abraham again went close – the Blues frontman unable to direct beyond Lloris from close range, while Ziyech sent an effort high over as the home side stuck to their principles.
Lloris needed every inch of his frame to rebuff Mount’s dipping strike. Then Mendy had to be on his toes to divert Son’s ball in as Tottenham – having offered so little since the restart – provided a threat of their own.
Chelsea continued to press in the final stages but lacked a cutting edge against a side possessing a well-drilled backline. Olivier Giroud almost profited from a woefully short back-header from Joe Rodon, while Giovani Lo Celso was caught in two minds when handed a chance to snatch it for Spurs – sending his effort harmlessly wide.
The draw sent Tottenham back to the top of the Premier League, edging above champions Liverpool on goal difference. The Lilywhites return to Premier League action on Sunday, December 6 when Arsenal are the visitors to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (4:30pm).
Chelsea: Edouardo Mendy, Reece James, Kurt Zouma, Thiago Silva (Capt), Ben Chilwell, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kanté, Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech (Kai Havertz 83’), Tammy Abraham (Olivier Giroud 79’), Timo Werner (Christian Pulisic 74’) Subs not used: Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK), Antonio Rüdiger, Jorginho, Cesar Azpilicueta
Booked: Hakim Ziyech (foul), Reece James (foul), Kurt Zouma (foul), Mason Mount (foul)
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris (Capt), Serge Aurier, Joe Rodon, Eric Dier, Sergio Reguilón, Moussa Sissoko, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Heung-Min Son (Lucas Moura 90+2’), Tanguy Ndombele (Giovani Lo Celso 65’), Steven Bergwijn (Ben Davies 89’), Harry Kane Subs not used: Davinson Sánchez, Gareth Bale, Joe Hart (GK), Carlos Vinicius
Booked: Steven Bergwijn (foul), Sergio Reguilón (foul)
Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistants: Lee Betts and Ian Hussin
Fourth Official: Mike Dean
VAR: Craig Pawson
Assistant VAR: Stephen Child