Tottenham tumbled at Chelsea again!

Brian Jeeves

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – Stamford Bridge – Report

Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham’s Stamford Bridge hoodoo struck for the umpteenth time as bitter rivals Chelsea recorded a 2-0 Premier League victory that all but ended the Lilywhites’ hopes of a top-four finish.

An eventful contest back in November saw nine-man Spurs beaten 4-1 by the West Londoners in N17. Ange Postecoglou outlined the mindset change in his side during the time: “For us, it’s a constant evolution of overcoming different challenges we’ve had since then,” he explained. 

“It’s fair to say that up until that point, we were in good shape from a squad point of view. We had a good rhythm in terms of games. 

“Since then we’ve had some disruptions in many areas and had to overcome those challenges, some well, some not so well. For the most part, we’ve been fairly consistent.

“Chelsea, their recent form has been very good. They’ve got some real talent and Mauricio is an excellent manager, so I think irrespective of all of that, you’re playing away from home, at their ground, it’s a London derby, so you know it’s going to be a tough game.”

Booking a Champions League berth is something of a long shot for both sides. Nevertheless, the spikey, competitive edge showed little sign of diminishing. Micky van de Ven spared Spurs in the early moments, making an acrobatic goalline clearance to deny Nicolas Jackson as the injury-hit Blues made a lightning start.

Spurs have only won once at Stamford Bridge in approaching four decades – a 3-1 Premier League triumph in April 2017. Alfie Gilchrist and Noni Madueke fired over as the Blues looked to extend that particular wretched statistic.

Indeed, the writing was on the wall. Spurs had offered very little. Midway through the opening period, they fell behind. Trevor Chalobah arrived unchallenged to meet Conor Gallagher’s cross. VAR took a long, unnecessary look before awarding the goal.

Spurs lacked zest and looked leggy. Gallagher was a whisker away from doubling the dose with a curling attempt from eighteen yards. Cristian Romero should have levelled the score with the Lilywhites’ first meaningful attempt but headed wide from close range after Pedro Porro had delivered from the right.

Papa Matar Sarr’s strike was deflected behind after Brennan Johnson had fashioned an opening. Meanwhile, another Johnson centre rebounded viciously but was dealt with expertly by Djordje Petrovic.

Perhaps returning with a flea in their collective ear, the Spurs offered somewhat more of a threat during the early moments of the second half. Richarlison was thwarted after Porro had picked him out. Chelsea, now forced to play on the counter-attack, with Jackson and Cole Palmer causing a threat.

Petrovic beat away Porro’s angled attempt, while Emerson Royal was too high as Chelsea were forced further and further back. But the North Londoners toil provided little or nothing. Chelsea punished them. Palmer’s dead-ball attempt hit the underside of the bar. Jackson was on hand to head into an empty net.

The result left Tottenham seven points adrift of Aston Villa, who sits in fourth place. They return to Premier League action on Sunday, March 5, when they face Liverpool at Anfield (2pm).

Chelsea: Petrovic, Cucurella, Badiashile, Chalobah, Gilchrist (Acheampong 85′), Caicedo, Gallagher (Capt), Palmer, Madueke, Mudryk (Casadei 75′), Jackson (Tauriainen 90+4′) Subs not used: Bettinelli, Deivid, Sturge, Castledine, George, Dyer

Booked: None

Goals: Chalobah 24′, Jackson 72′

Tottenham Hotspur: Vicario, Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Royal, Bissouma (Hojbjerg 63′), Sarr (Maddison 63′), Kulusevski, Johnson (Gil 78′), Richarlison (Bentancur 63′), Son (Capt) Subs not used: Austin, Skipp, Dragusin, Lo Celso, Moore

Booked: van de Ven (foul)

Goals: None

Referee: Robert Jones

Assistants: Ian Hussin and Wade Smith

Fourth Official: Tim Robinson

VAR: Michael Salisbury

Assistant VAR: James Mainwaring

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk