Alli’s knock out blow on Blues
Written By: Robert Halter
Tottenham Hotspur looked to turn the tables on Chelsea, as Spurs had previously lost more Premier League games against the Blues than against any other opponent and conceded ninety two goals in the process but under the floodlights at White Hart Lane in early January, the Lilywhites were out for revenge. In the fifth minute, an over the top delivery by Nemanja Matic found an unmarked Eden Hazard, who dragged his shot wide of the far right post with a left footed shot from the left side of the box. In the eighteenth minute, Blues captain, Gary Cahill, made a lunging goal line clearance to force away a cross into the area by Christian Eriksen. Midway through the first half, after N’Golo Kante lost possession, a strike by Eriksen from outside the area, was whipped past the left post. The Blues then won a free kick on twenty four minutes, after the arm of Toby Alderweireld appended Diego Costa, and a long range free kick by David Luiz, was driven high over the wall and out of play. In the thirty eighth minute, after Cahill was cautioned for man handling Eriksen, from the resulting free kick by Rose, at the back post, Eric Dier, headed the ball back across goal, and Blues shot stopper, Thibaut Courtois, forced the ball away with his outstretched palm of his hand. But it was Spurs that got the breakthrough in stoppage time, after a lay off by Kyle Walker to Eriksen, whose cross found Alli on the central part of the area, and his header crashed into the top right corner of the net. The Blues looked for a quick response in the second half as after collecting a pass by Pedro, a ball across by Kante was met with a low drive by Costa which was kept out by the Spurs captain and keeper, Hugo Lloris at full stretch by his near post. In the forty eighth minute, it was heads up for Chelsea from a knock on by Marcos Alonso off the head of Costa, before Hazard steered a header narrowly wide from the right side of the six yard box. On fifty one minutes, a strike by Eriksen went close as his right footed shot from outside the box missed to the left through an assist by Mousa Dembele. Although Spurs stretched their lead on fifty four minutes, as Eriksen and Alli unlocked the Blues defence again, as Rose won possession and an in swinging cross by Eriksen, was met by the head of Alli, to out smart a flapping Courtois, from the left side of the six yard box to put the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal. The Blues were then kept out by a save from Lloris off a Pedro header in the centre of the goal through an Alonso cross. There was also work to do for Courtois, who was forced to push away a ball in from Eriksen, to stop the advancing Harry Kane from scoring. In the sixty fifth minute, Alli threatened again with a right footed shot from the left side of the box which went over the top left corner after collecting the ball from Jan Vertonghen. The Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte then switched Alonso with Willian before Spurs boss, Mauricio Pochettino took off Dembele for Harry Winks. On seventy six minutes, after Moses caught Rose, a free kick by Eriksen was bent over the wall but past the left post. The Blues then brought on Cesc Fabregas for Kante. Two goal hero, Alli soon required treatment after kicking high into the boot of Matic. In a final Chelsea change, Michy Batshuayi replaced Moses, while as a precaution, Spurs took off Alli for Moussa Sissoko. After a header by Luiz spun over the upright from a cross by Cesar Azpilicueta, Spurs made a final change of Kane with Heung-Min Son, before Chelsea had to look down the barrel and stare defeat in the eye for the first time in fourteen matches at the hands of London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, who remained unbeaten at home in the league during the start of the season.