Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Chelsea: Harry Kane goal seals win for hosts
Tottenham boosted their hopes of top-four Premier League finish with a London derby win over Chelsea that increases the pressure on Blues boss Graham Potter.
Oliver Skipp’s thumping 20-yard effort just after the interval put the hosts in command and their victory was sealed when Harry Kane turned home Eric Dier’s knock-down late on.
While the majority of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium were in celebratory mood in the final stages, Kane’s goal saw visiting supporters head for the exit as Chelsea’s recent woes continued.
The Blues have now won just two of their last 15 top-flight matches and sit 14 points off the Champions League places.
This result is likely to place more scrutiny on Chelsea’s expensively assembled squad – with British record signing Enzo Fernandez at fault for the Spurs’ opener – as well as Potter, who recently outlined the toll that criticism has placed on his family and mental health.
Meanwhile, things are on the up for Spurs, who have won four of their past five league matches.
The hosts now sit fourth in the table four points above fifth-placed Newcastle, who have two games in hand, and are expected to welcome manager Antonio Conte back to work this week after his recovery from surgery.
Overall the hosts merited the three points and had come closest to breaking the deadlock in the early stages when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg saw his deflected effort go past a motionless Kepa Arrizabalaga but hit the right-hand post.
The biggest talking point of an underwhelming first half was referee Stuart Attwell’s initial decision to send off Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech after a melee that saw visiting forward Kai Havertz and home defender Emerson Royal booked.
Having administered yellow cards to those players, Attwell dismissed the Morocco winger for a raised arm on the advice of his assistant referee before downgrading it to a yellow after the video assistant referee recommended that the official review his decision.
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Chelsea’s dismal run continues
A team sheet containing six changes from their defeat to Southampton and the inclusion of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a substitute underlined the feeling of uncertainty and flux around Chelsea’s bloated squad.
To underline the point, Gabon forward Aubameyang – who appeared to have been cast aside following January’s lavish spending – was sent on in the 83rd minute to help retrieve a two-goal deficit.
The introduction of the striker came only after midfielders Denis Zakaria and Mason Mount had come on ahead of him with Chelsea chasing a leveller.
The loss of Thiago Silva to a first-half injury did not help the visitors’ rhythm but once Skipp had opened the scoring, with a superb shot Arrizabalaga could only get a hand to, Chelsea hopes of getting anything from the game appeared to quickly recede.
For all their neat and tidy possession, Potter’s side had just two shots on target with only one of those from inside the Tottenham penalty area.
Spurs on the other hand delivered the perfect counter-attacking display, making light of their 41% possession at home to record only their eighth win in 62 attempts against their London rivals in the Premier League.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s 80 touches in comparison to opposite number Fernandez’s 134 emphasised the difference in approaches.
Meanwhile Kane – who ensured that Arrizabalaga felt his presence with a nudge in the first-half – clinically ensured there would be no way back for the Blues as he swivelled to prod in from close range.
- 12Emerson RoyalBooked at 45mins
- 33DaviesBooked at 59mins
- 21KulusevskiSubstituted forSon Heung-minat 79′minutes
- 9RicharlisonSubstituted forPorroat 89′minutes
- 6D Sánchez
- 7Son Heung-min
- 27Lucas Moura
- 6Thiago SilvaSubstituted forFofanaat 19′minutes
- 12Loftus-CheekSubstituted forMountat 62′minutesBooked at 74mins
- 22ZiyechBooked at 45minsSubstituted forZakariaat 62′minutes
- 11João FélixSubstituted forMudrykat 83′minutes
- 17SterlingSubstituted forAubameyangat 83′minutes
- 29HavertzBooked at 45mins
- Stuart Attwell
Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Chelsea 0.
Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Chelsea 0.
Foul by Denis Zakaria (Chelsea).
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Oliver Skipp.
Attempt missed. Ben Chilwell (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Pedro Porro replaces Richarlison.
Foul by Mykhailo Mudryk (Chelsea).
Richarlison (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Mykhailo Mudryk (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Denis Zakaria.
Substitution, Chelsea. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang replaces Raheem Sterling.
Substitution, Chelsea. Mykhailo Mudryk replaces João Félix.
Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 2, Chelsea 0. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Eric Dier following a corner.
Attempt missed. Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Son Heung-Min with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Kalidou Koulibaly.
Foul by Denis Zakaria (Chelsea).
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Son Heung-Min replaces Dejan Kulusevski.
Attempt missed. Reece James (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.
Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Eric Dier.
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