After a disappointing defeat to United at home, the Blues bounced back to show spirit and character to sink Tottenham at the Bridge. Frank Lampard took on Jose Mourinho’s side for the second time this season and became the first manager to do a league double over the Portuguese tactician with a 2-1 victory.
There were four changes to the starting XI and Lampard opted to go for a 3-4-3 formation. Olivier Giroud has been a professional with handling the lack of game time and he was rewarded with a start alongside Ross Barkley and Marcos Alonso. Ruben Loftus-Cheek returned to the substitutes bench after a long injury layoff but didn’t make an appearance.
It was a blistering start to the game with Chelsea throwing everything at Spurs right from the beginning and the visitors struggled to get out of their own half. The effort and dominance put in by the hosts were rewarded soon when Jorginho’s first time ball carved the Spurs defence open but Olivier Giroud’s strike was saved by his international teammate Hugo Lloris. The rebound fell to Barkley who hit the post but the rebound from that was struck past Lloris by Giroud to lay down his marker after a long absence. He has had 14 goal involvements in his last 14 appearances for the Blues.
Chelsea’s high press with Giroud, Mount and Barkley supported by the wingbacks meant Tottenham couldn’t find a way to create much but they still managed to get a few attempts in the first half. Willy Caballero who retained his place between the sticks did well to keep them away. Chelsea continued with their attack but couldn’t find the net again before the break.
However, they got the second early in the second half when Marcos Alonso returned to his best to haunt Spurs again with a beauty of a strike from outside the box to emphatically double Chelsea’s lead following good build-up play from Mount and Barkley.
Tammy Abraham was brought on late in the game and the England international created instant impact when he almost scored off Mount’s pass in front of goal but Lloris did well to prevent it from going in. Tottenham started to creep back into the game but they couldn’t get anything out of it except for an unfortunate own goal from Antonio Rudiger. Erik Lamela’s shot was deflected off his boot and Caballero couldn’t do anything about it. Chelsea held on for the last few minutes to take the full three points.
VAR was the talk of the game once again as Tottenham escaped a red card. Giovani Lo Celso stamped on Cesar Azpilicueta’s shin but the officials deemed it not worthy of a red card stating ‘he had nowhere else to put his foot’. Soon after while the game was still on Stockley Park admitted that it was a mistake to not send him off. VAR was brought in to prevent these incidents and it has failed miserably. It is the second this week that has happened against the Blues and it is a disgrace to the game.
However, with the victory, Chelsea now have a 4 point lead over Tottenham and lay six points away from the third-placed Leicester. The Champions League returns to the Bridge on Tuesday and Chelsea prepare to take on Bayern Munich in the round of 16.