After their Champions League defeat to RB Leipzig last week, Tottenham’s boss Jose Mourinho said that leading his team to the game had been like fighting a bullet-free gun. On Stamford Bridge, Spurs and Mourinho not only showed up for their crucial collision with Chelsea without bullets. This time there was no sign of the gun either.
There was even a small sign of something from Spurs. This was their chance to complete the turnaround that Mourinho has undergone since his arrival in North London in November and jumped over Chelsea to the top four. But this looked like a team that no longer has any steam and also players. The coastline flatters them. They were completely defeated.
Chelsea’s 2-1 victory marked a second consecutive win for Frank Lampard over his old boss and the second time in a few days that Mourinho was surpassed by a much younger manager. Julian Nagelsmann came up with Leipzig’s victory over Spurs last week. It is increasingly happening now that Mourinho looks like a manager of his time.
Olivier Giroud stepped in when Chelsea needed him to play a leading role in a 2-0 win against bitter rivals Tottenham
The French striker was ready to shoot low and hard into the near post after the initial striker of Ross Barkley hit the bar
It became even sweeter for Chelsea when Marcos Alonso came in for the second half soon after the restart
Alonso was one of the changes made by boss Frank Lampard when he returned to a back three with wing-backs against Tottenham
Tottenham thought they would be 10 when VAR checked Giovani Lo Celso’s casual stamp on Cesar Azpilicueta
It turned out to be a difficult afternoon for Jose Mourinho when he brought his injury hit Tottenham to his old club and top four rival
The victory of Chelsea, thanks to two beautiful goals from Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso, arrested a series of four games without victory and released them four points from Spurs in the race for the fourth.
It was a big one in a critical phase of the season and Lampard will hope it will breathe new life into life while Spurs struggle more and more without Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
Mourinho raised eyebrows by letting Dele Alli out of the starting line-up after his tantrum when he was replaced by Leipzig and Spurs did not miss a single spark. They were lucky that they also ended the match with 11 men.
Giovani Lo Celso should have been sent for a stamp on Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, but VAR initially decided it wasn’t worth a red card. Strangely enough, the VAR headquarters in Stockley Park then admitted that the VAR, David Coote, had taken the decision wrong and that it should have been a red card. There is nothing wrong with the system. It is only the people who operate it that need to be changed.
There was real intensity from the first whistle when Lo Celso received special attention from Chelsea’s Reece James (right)
Lucas Moura again led the line for Tottenham in the absence of both Harry Kane and Son Heung-min by injury
Mourinho (left) wanted to avenge the defeat that had been inflicted on him earlier this season by Frank Lampard (right) and Chelsea.
EQUAL FACTS, REVIEWS AND LIVE LEAGUE TABLE
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Caballero 7; Azpilicueta 7, Christensen 6, Rudiger 7; James 6, Jorginho 7, Kovacic 6, Marcos Alonso 7.5; Barkley 6.5 (Willian 77, 6), Mount 7.5; Giroud 7 (Abraham 72, 6).
Subs not used: Arrizabalaga, Loftus-Cheek, Zouma, Emerson Palmieri, Gilmour.
Goals: Giroud (15), Alonso (48)
Manager: Frank Lampard
Tottenham Hotspur (3-5-2): Lloris 6; Davinson Sanchez 6, Alderweireld 6, Vertonghen 6; Tanganga 6, Ndombele 3 (Lamela 62, 5), Winks 5, Davies 5; Lo Celso 4, Lucas Moura 5; Mountain wine 5 (Alli 78, 6).
Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Dier, Skipp, Fernandes.
Goals: Rudiger OG (89)
booked: Winks, Lo Celso
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland) 6
- League One
- League Two
- Scottish premiership
- Scottish Div 1
- Scottish Div 2
- Scottish Div 3
- Ligue 1
- Series a
- La Liga
Chelsea had dominated early possession, but it was Spurs who created the first scoring opportunity. Jorginho, the master of the short, simple pass, struck the edge of his own box and gave the ball away. It was worked on Lucas Moura, who bypassed a defender and then unleashed a low drive that pushed Willy Caballero away.
Chelsea hit back. Hugo Lloris had to dive sharply to the right to put a low Mason Mount shot into his near post and when Ross Barkley fired a shot over the edge from the edge of the area that Lloris was relieved when he just saw wide fly.
Chelsea let their pressure count after fifteen minutes. Spurs let Olivier Giroud follow his defense to a long ball ahead. His shot was saved well by Giroud and when Ross Barkley hit the rebound, the visitors seemed to have escaped.
But the second rebound fell on Giroud and this time Lloris couldn’t stop his fierce left foot shot. It was the Frenchman’s first Premier League start since November and his first goal since last April.
Ten minutes before the break, Spurs shook off their slowness for a moment and began to press for an equalizer. Azpilicueta made a great block to deny Lucas Moura and Caballero had to stretch to overthrow a Davinson Sanchez header.
But his plans to retaliate within 15 minutes when Giroud opened the score on Stamford Bridge
Andreas Christensen was wearing a protective face mask while working to arrange Chelsea’s backline in the early exchanges
It turned out to be a frustrating game for Tottenham’s Harry Winks (right), as he was the first player to be booked in the game
Tottenham’s blunt attack was exacerbated when Alonso shot forward and shot into the corner from a long distance
Spurs fans, grouped in the Shed End out area, thought they had scored when Japhet Tanganga moved on to an Alderweireld rake card.
He controlled the ball incorrectly on the volley, but Caballero was thrown out of his goal and was caught on the wrong foot. For a moment it seemed as if Tanganga only had to tap the ball into the net, but the pace was too high and he could not quite reach it before it became wide.
Chelsea, however, continued three minutes after the break.
They broke the right side and slid the ball over the face of the Spurs box, Mount spread it to Barkley and Barkley brought it to Alonso. Alonso met it as sweetly as anyone could and the ball ran flawlessly past Lloris’ vast left hand.
Tottenham was lucky that Lo Celso was allowed to stay on the pitch shortly afterwards when he seemed to be stomping on Azpilicueta while lying on the lawn. Lampard gestured to Mike Riley that Lo Celso had deliberately stepped on the Chelsea skipper, but the incident was checked by VAR and Lo Celso was allowed to continue.
Hugo Lloris could only win that he was beaten twice because Tottenham’s hope for a top four finish was affected by a rival
It turned out to be an uncomfortable introduction to the bench for Tammy Abraham when he slipped inside and bumped into one of the posts
Tottenham got a comforting goal when Erik Lamela’s strike was deflected past Willy Caballero and to the bottom of the net
But it was Lampard who was allowed to celebrate a famous double about his old boss when Chelsea could return to winning ways
Chelsea almost advanced further when Mount deceived his marker to the right and played in a perfect cross for substitute Tammy Abraham.
Abraham tried to lead it past Lloris, but the goalkeeper from France quickly came down to smother it. A few minutes later, another Lo Celso error, this time on Mount, gave Chelsea a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Alonso curled it over the wall, but it can come off the face of the crossbar.
Spurs withdrew a goal two minutes before time when substitute Erik Lamela’s shot hit Antonio Rudiger’s back leg.
Bend deflected Caballero’s foot and dribbled into his near post, but Spurs did not earn anything from the game and the time ran out before they could continue to threaten Chelsea.