Blues have the upper hand on Spurs
Written By: Robert Halter
Chelsea looked to maintain their record of winning more Premier League games against Tottenham Hotspur than any other opponent as both teams met in London’s SW6 end of November. In the fifth minute, after Harry Kane was tugged by Marcos Alonso, from the resulting free kick by Christian Eriksen, which was not defended by Gary Cahill and David Luiz, the Blues got a reprieve, as when Kane tucked away the rebound his goal was ruled offside. Three minutes later, after Kane was tripped by Pedro, a direct free kick was driven over the crossbar by Eric Dier. The Lilywhites finally got their reward in the eleventh minute with a thunderbolt out of the blue, as Eriksen riffled a left footed shot from outside the box into the bottom left corner, after picking up a pass from a fine run forward by Dele Alli. Two minutes later from a back heel by Kane, a looping strike by Eriksen, spun off the back of Alonso, before flying over the upright. Midway through the first half after inter play between Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama, the ball was struck over from the outside of the area by Wanyama. On twenty nine minutes, after Wanyama pushed Eden Hazard to the floor, a low free kick by Luiz was fired directly into the reach of Spurs shot stopper and captain, Hugo Lloris. In the thirty first minute, as Wanyama spread the ball out to the right, Kyle Walker cut inside Alonso, before Blues keeper, Thibaut Courtois, made a near post save, and then from an Eriksen corner, a powder puff header by Dier, was comfortably caught by Courtois. But a minute later, a ball from inside his own half by Kevin Wimmer, carved an opening for Kane, whose well struck effort was parried over the upright by Courtois. In the thirty eighth minute, from an over the top delivery on the left by Heung-Min Son, the ball was volleyed forward by Walker, before Erkisen skied his strike out of play. On forty two minutes, after build up play with Son and Wanyama, another strike by Spurs missed the target as Dembele was unable to keep his effort down. Two minutes later, from a poor kick out of goal by Lloris, the ball fell into the path of Hazard, but his low daisy cutter went straight towards Lloris. But just before half time, the Blues were back in the game with a majestic strike by Pedro, as he swivelled and turned, before bending the ball into the top right corner, after a long pass to him from Nemanja Matic. Early into the second half, N’Golo Kante failed to trouble Lloris with a tame effort, following an assist by Hazard. But in the fifty first minute, the Blues turned the game around from a perfect delivery by Diego Costa, as he put the ball across from the left by line, and from the right side of the area, Victor Moses struck a low effort past Lloris that deflected off Jan Vertonghen, into the centre of the goal. Chelsea grew in confidence and within two minutes, Alonso smashed the ball high into the crowd at the back of the stand, after a cross from the right by Costa. In the sixty third minute, the Lilywhites broke forward with Eriksen and Kane, but a resolute Courtois recovered the situation by blocking out Eriksen’s strike at the bottom left corner of the goal. Spurs then changed Son with Harry Winks. A miscued effort by Alli was caught offside from a through ball by Kane in the seventy first minute, before Alli was replaced by George-Kevin Nkoudou. On seventy six minutes the ball spun wide off Costa’s head, after a long range cross by Alonso, before the Blues brought on Willian for Hazard and then changed Moses with Branilav Ivanovic and finally replaced Pedro with Oscar while Spurs brought on Vincent Janssen for Dembele. Tottenham rallied late, when Nkoudou’s left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left was saved by Courtois, after an assist by Winks. With the minutes ticking away, Dier had a blast from long distance after Wanyama and Eriksen’s link up play but the Blues retaliated as Willian struck over from a cross on the left by Alonso but it was Chelsea running out winners to top the table leaving Spurs without a win at Stamford Bridge since February 1990.