Massive midweek contest in the EPL with league leaders Chelsea visiting the unfriendly confines of White Hart Lane and Tottenham. Spurs are playing a back 3 with Dier- Vertonghen-Alderweireld along the back pushing Rose and Walker forward to run the channels. Dembele and Wanyama sit deep in midfield to support Eriksen and Dele behind Kane up top as the #9.
Spurs of course have a long history of coming up short in big moments. But a massive opportunity here to keep Chelsea in range for everyone in the EPL and help their own cause to climb back into UCL position.
Raucous atmosphere early as Spurs come on fast looking to push the pace at every opportunity.
4′ Hazard beats the Spurs offside trap and scuffs his first time volley wide of the far post much to the relief of Lloris who was beaten. Matic with a good ball over the top and Hazard really should have done better.
7′ Spurs with some shaky possession in its own half but eventually get away but Dele can’t draw the foul and its right back to Chelsea as the Blue have been able to sustain some possession the last few minutes.
10′ Demebele weaves through the Chelsea defense and a clever flick towards Kane nearly sees him in but Courtois flashes off his line to snuff out the danger. That was far too easy for Dembele. Somebody/anybody from Chelsea needed to get a foot in to disrupt his glide through.
11′ Walker shrugs off a challenge and surges down the right flank. That’s the whole idea with 3 at the back and Chelsea may see a lot of that tonight unless they can slow what is still a fairly hectic pace.
15′ Rose goes down on a “foul” that on replay looked like Rose was always going to ground. But it gives Eriksen a chance to whip something into the mix. With Alderweild back Spurs have an additional arial threat. Luiz is first to it and an ambitious volley from Walker was always going wide.
17′ Dembele puts a little extra on a clash with Hazard and its sort of adorable seeing Hazard try and reply a moment later.
18′ Ugly challenge on Rose and Pedro gets a well earned yellow. Another chance for Eriksen. Slip pass to Rose comes to nothing but the ball eventually caroms dangerously into the Chelsea penalty area but no Spur can get on the end. Not exactly clinical from Chelsea to clear their lines.
20′ Rose wins a CK as its all Tottenham at the moment. Chelsea doesn’t even appear to want any part of the ball. Just sitting back and absorbing pressure. Chelsea gets everything but the final pass right on the counter and Costa has some harsh words for his teammate Pedro.
23′ careless giveway from Kante and Eriksen takes advantage. In space he measures his shot to the far corner but it just bends away at the last moment.
25′ Chelsea with a free kick and Luiz hits it flush but it screams over the top. Not a bad effort but not especially troubling for Lloris.
30″ Dele in space finds Kane but he can’t keep in feet and ref wasn’t buying his futile appeals.
36′ Chelsea now with a nice stretch of possession and Pedro down the left side finds Costa wide open at the top of the area but Costa’s first touch takes him a little too wide and he sprays his shot.
38′ Eriksen beats Cahill and gets thrown down earning a quick yellow. Spurs with a set piece situation form the right flank. Wonderful cross towards back post and Dier gets a head to it and only a strong left hand from Courtois keeps it out. Dier was really trying to head it back as he had no angle but it was heading towards goal.
40′ Wanyama knocks Hazard to ground to stop a counter and sees yellow for his troubles.
43′ Hazard with a dangerous dipping cross but nobody from Chelsea was making the run and had to be knocked out for a CK. They work it short and this time the cross is right to Lloris.
44′ Chelsea look to break fwd but Alderweild steps fwd time and again to disrupt things. Its a different Tottenham defense with him out there.
45+ GOAL TOTTENHAM Walker on the right side cuts it back to Eriksen who settles himself on the ball before chipping to Dele who had split the centerbacks and powers his header back across to the far post and its 1-0 Spurs on the stroke of halftime.
Precious few in the way of chances with two stout active defensive teams. Frankly, Eriksen’s drive halfway through the first was probably the best opportunity. One pinpoint cross and lax marking is the only difference.
47′ Kante finds Costa who cuts inside Dier and fires low to the near post and Lloris at full stretch palms it away. A minute later, a Chelsea cross steams across the 6 but Pedro can’t quite get there and Tottenham eventually clear. Chelsea directing everything now.
49′ chaos in front of Tottenham goal ends with Hazard with an awkward header that Hazard couldn’t keep it on frame….Kane on the counter a poor effort who had Eriksen in space.
51′ Chelsea finding more space now putting the Tottenham D at full stretch on occasion but have yet to find an equalizer…Wanyama busts up a Chelsea attack and Kane tries to burst through the middle to no avail.
53′ Chelsea controlling the ball and doing well to stretch Tottenham wide which in theory should force Rose and Walker to sit deeper to cover the 3 at the back as Chelsea works touchline-to-touchline. Matic gets bored and tries to beat Lloris from distance instead of continuing to build.
54′ GOAL TOTTENHAM rinse and repeat. Spurs patiently string about 9 passes together around midfield before again Walker cuts back to Eriksen who composes himself and flicks a pinpoint cross to Dele at the back post who again rises between the Chelsea centerbacks to double the Spurs advantage. 2-0 Tottenham
56′ Speculative cross from Kane to nobody really but Rose chases it down and Spurs now building some possession to keep Chelsea’s reply as muted as can be expected. Dier finds himself pressing the Chelsea backline before retreating back to position.
58′ Costa and Hazard work together down the left but Walker is equal to Costa’s advances
59′ Walker outpaces Matic and again Eriksen is in space but his cross takes a deflection which nearly falls to Kane but only nearly.
60′ Pedro 1-on-1 with Vertonghen found the Belgian very much on his back foot but he did enough for the calvary arrives. Every time Chelsea seems to have wriggled free a bit a high-energy Spurs defender is there to slam the window shut.
62′ the second foul is whistled and again Eriksen can serve from the left. First real signs of frustration on display from the Blues. Evidently Eriksen’s service better in the run of play as his low delivery is easily headed clear.
64′ Spurs have taken some air out of the game with some stretches of possession to burn off some Chelsea energy….Chelsea bring on Willan for Alonso
68′ Pedro has no trouble with Walker as he pings in a cross that Vertonghen cuts out….Cahill apparently got his challenge on Kane right because if he doesn’t that’s a 2nd yellow.
72′ Chelsea earn a CK which they play short and then the back pass gets away and disrupts the rhythm. Chelsea still nibbling around the final 1/3 but Spurs have 9 men behind the ball and not many openings.
73′ Dembele off for Winks for Tottenham. Big moment for the youngster.
76′ Rose’s hustle pays off as he continues to abuse Moses in what is turning into a forgettable night for the Chelsea defender. Spurs in no hurry as Eriksen lines up the set piece about 35-yards? from goal. Certainly well within the Dane’s range. He fizzes in a dipping strike but about a 1-yard wide.
79′ Fabregas on for Kante for Chelsea. I’ll never understand why Fabregas doesn’t get more minutes including and especially for Spain. He’s really good. This seems a bit late but perhaps the “final throw of the dice” for Conte.
84′ COME ON YOU SPURS rings out throughout WHL. Again Chelsea stringing some passes together but still can’t get any meaningful touches in the final 1/3 as Tottenham has always had a foot in to deny any true looks at goal
85′ Chelsea makes its last sub Batushyi on for Moses and Sissoko on for Dele as Tottenham makes its final change. The sub Chelsea brought on is the guy Tottenham was hot on during the summer transfer window before going home with Vincent Janssen instead.
87′ Rose gets a yellow I suppose for persistent infringement because the challenge alone didn’t look that bad…Tottenham content now to sit back and thump it clear when given the opportunity.
89′ a Hazard slalom fwd ends up at Pedro’s feet on the left and Winks puts the cross behind…Wanyama sends it clear as Chelsea just throwing things at the wall now a we enter the last few minutes. Luiz tries a power header that goes well over.
90+ “OH WHEN THE SPURS…”
92′ Son on for Kane. Quiet but industrious as ever effort for Kane…Son and Eriksen still pressing Chelsea in Chelsea’s own 1/3 forcing a throw. Love this effort this deep in a match with a 2-goal cushion.
93′ Wanyama again in position to disrupt a Chelsea attack as the final whistle beckons.
FULL TIME Tottenham Hotspur 2 Chelsea 0
You’re welcome Liverpool and Manchester. F*&% You Arsenal though. Forever F*&% You.