Tottenham v. Chelsea

Ben Fitzpatrick, is a member of the YCL’s Birmingham branch

Tottenham 0-1 Chelsea

Another midweek fixture came to a close at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last night as a struggling Tottenham played host to a Chelsea side that is starting to show signs of rejuvenation under the new management of Thomas Tuchel. Spurs, who had managed just one win in four Premier League matches before this game, were beginning to have questions asked about their tactical ability and how well the squad could manage outside of Harry Kane. Chelsea came into this contest with high hopes and many believing this would be the first big test for the new manager.

The biggest omission in terms of team news for Spurs was, obviously, England international and captain Harry Kane. Mourinho, though, says he is confident the striker will return to action next week and that the injury he suffered on the weekend isn’t as serious as was first feared. Tottenham named three changes to their squad including a formation change from a back three to a back four with Ben Davies dropping to left back. Chelsea named just one change for this London derby with Reece James coming in at midfield, pushing Callum Hudson-Odoi up top and Tammy Abraham to the bench.

The match got underway and, much like the last performances for Chelsea under Tuchel, the visitors had control of the early proceedings. The Blues were almost ahead within seconds as Marcus Alonso fired a cross on to a storming Timo Werner but his header flashed over the bar. Werner would be one to indirectly assist the game’s first and, in fact, only goal after being brought down in the area by a clumsy challenge by Eric Dier prompting referee Andre Marriner to point to the spot. Italian midfielder Jorginho stepped up and converted to Lloris’ right to give Chelsea a deserved lead.

The story was much the same in the second half with Chelsea ending the match with 58% possession and over double the number of shots than Spurs. Efforts from both Callum Hudson-Odoi and Marcus Alonso went wide while Mason Mount’s far post shot was saved well by Hugo Lloris, this time not into the path of any incoming English right backs. Tottenham did have chances to equalize with the best coming from an Eric Dier free kick. In attempt to make amends for giving up the penalty that led to the goal, the center back struck a free kick sweetly but narrowly missing the target. The effort summed up the night for Tottenham who fell to a third consecutive defeat in the space of just a week.

Chelsea, who are currently unbeaten under Tuchel, move up into the top 6 behind West Ham while Tottenham drop to eighth. Both teams have dates with relegation battlers on the weekend with Tottenham hosting West Brom and Chelsea travelling to the dangerous Sheffield United.

Ben Fitzpatrick

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