Chelsea overcame a poor first half to defeat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 and keep the unbeaten run going ahead of their clash against Manchester City next Saturday. Chelsea’s defence showed their class at both ends of the pitch as they sustained enormous pressure in the first half, and scored goals in the second half to win the London derby.
Tottenham started brightly and were all over Chelsea in the opening minutes of the game as the visitors struggled to get out of their half. The Blues had to rely on some last minute tackles and defending to get unscathed heading into the break as Spurs dominated most parts of the game.
Introduction of Kante, combined with an urgency that was sorely missed in the first half led to Chelsea dominating play in the opening minutes of second half. Lloris denied Marcos Alonso’s volley with an acrobatic stop, but couldn’t do much when Thiago Silva headed home Chelsea’s opening goal in the 49th minute into the bottom corner. The Blues almost doubled their lead a couple minutes later, only for Eric Dier to clear Alonso’s effort off the line.
Chelsea continued to dominate possession and scored the second goal in the 57th minute through Kante, whose shot deflected wickedly off Dier and rolled into goal. The visitors had none other than themselves to blame for not scoring more goals as the combination of Lloris’ saves and indecisiveness in the final third from forwards helped Spurs massively. Chelsea however scored their third goal through Rudiger in the stoppage time, who swept his low finish off Werner’s cut-back to hand Chelsea their fourth win of the season.
Speaking to reporters after the win Tuchel admitted he wasn’t happy with his team’s performance in the first half. The German added “We did not change the system, but maybe that’s the whole point. We just changed the system with more belief, more quality, sharper. We relied on skilful play in the first half and I felt we forgot to bring the right attitude to this game.”
“As a team, we gave away too many chances. We had the feeling every 50/50 duel went against us and that had to change. If you have N’Golo on the bench and you want to step up these patterns of the game, he’s the player you bring.”
“We wanted to improve our compactness, our ball wins, have a higher intensity and work rate in our match to win balls actively and play the match in the opponents’ half. The reaction was needed and we showed it. We played a very strong second half to deserve this win.”
On asked about Mendy’s potential return, Tuchel said “We tried everything throughout the week and yesterday in training, it was so-so. It comes from the last-minute kick against Zenit in the Champions League. He did not feel comfortable to go for a full stretch or to land on it. He didn’t feel comfortable to fight at set-pieces or corners. I’m happy Kepa a crucial role today and kept a clean sheet.”
Source: Football London