MATCH REPORT

Report: Tottenham Hotspur 3 Chelsea 1

A frustrating evening at Wembley ended with our first defeat of the campaign as the Blues were beaten 3-1 by Tottenham, with Maurizio Sarri's side unable to recover after conceding two goals in the opening 16 minutes.

We were made to pay for a sloppy start when Dele Alli headed the hosts into an early lead, and just eight minutes later Harry Kane extended their advantage with a low drive which deceived Kepa, who was otherwise superb.

We had our moments in the first half, with Eden Hazard denied what looked like two clear penalties, but when Tottenham scored a third through Heung-Min Son nine minutes after the restart what was already an uphill task was made all the more difficult. 

Substitute Olivier Giroud pulled one back when he headed home from a Cesar Azpilicueta cross, but unfortunately the damage had been done.

Alvaro Morata continued up front for the Blues and there was also a start for Mateo Kovacic, who had overcome a small injury.

David Luiz and Toni Rudiger continued their partnership at the heart of the back four and Marcos Alonso, scorer of a brace in last season’s corresponding fixture, was also selected.

Kovacic was joined by Jorginho and N’Golo Kante in midfield, with Eden Hazard and Willian tasked with supporting Morata in attack.

The home side forced a couple of corners inside the first minute, the second of which was headed over the bar by Eric Dier, who was under pressure from David Luiz, and Kepa was then forced to come off his line and gather as Ben Davies attempted to release Alli with a ball over the top.
 

Kante did well to win the ball back deep inside the Tottenham half as we launched our first attack of the game, with the Frenchman finding Hazard, who switched it outside to Willian. The Brazilian whipped a delivery into the box and Morata did well to get there ahead of Toby Alderweireld, but the striker’s cushioned flick dropped just over the bar.

That attempt aside, we’d started the game slowly, and we were soon made to pay when Tottenham took the lead. David Luiz brought down Harry Kane wide on the right, and from Christian Eriksen’s free-kick, Alli glanced a header into the roof of the net.

From their next attack the hosts should have extended their advantage, but after exchanging passes with Eriksen, Son fired inches over the bar with just Kepa to beat, and our Spanish goalkeeper was called into action moments later once again, thwarting the same player at the near post after he had got away from Rudiger.

The Blues had what looked like a legitimate penalty appeal turned away when Hazard was bundled over in the box by Juan Foyth, but if that decision was a source of frustration worse was to come as Tottenham doubled their advantage after just 16 minutes, Kane’s low drive from distance creeping in at the near post.
 

The Blues, needing a response, went close through Willian, who flashed an angled drive just wide of the far post, and Morata was unlucky to see a left-footed strike from just outside the penalty area charged down.

Our response to the second goal in an attacking sense had been a positive one, but as the half-hour mark approached we almost fell further behind. Eriksen delivered from the right and Kepa did well to palm away Alderweireld’s flick, with the loose ball hooked narrowly wide by Foyth.

Despite the scoreline, the feeling remained that a Chelsea goal could potentially alter the complexion of the contest, and it almost arrived from Hazard eight minutes before the break, the Belgian collecting the ball and driving forward before his fierce drive was beaten away by Lloris.

As half-time approached we had another penalty claim as Hazard went down inside the box again, this time under the challenge of Sissoko, but the appeals were ignored, and as we headed back inside at the end of a frustrating half we had it all to do.

Sarri opted against making any changes at the break and we started the second half on the front foot, moving the ball quickly and looking to get at the Tottenham defence. When Alonso crossed and Kante helped it into the path of Willian, the Brazilian's strike was defelected up and over the bar, but moments later, and from their first attack of the half, the home side scored again.

Alli released Son down the right-hand side, and although initially there appeared little on, the Spurs man evaded the challenges of both Jorginho and David Luiz before rolling the ball past Kepa.

A couple of changes followed, Sarri introducing Ross Barkley and Pedro for Kovacic and Morata respectively. Pedro took up a position wide on the right, with Willian on the opposite flank and Hazard through the middle.


 

Tottenham continued to pose an attacking threat and should have scored again soon after twice in quick succession, Kane firing over the bar from point-blank range after being teed up by Serge Aurier, before Alli curled one just over the top.

A third and final Chelsea change was made with 15 minutes left on the clock as Olivier Giroud replaced Willian, and the French striker reduced the deficit by rising to power an Azpilicueta cross into the bottom corner late on.

There was still time for Pedro to fizz a powerful drive inches over the bar, but overall it was a disappointing night for the Blues, and we now turn our attention to the Europa League, and Thursday's game against PAOK.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta (c), Rudiger, David Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic (Barkley 57); Willian (Giroud 75), Morata (Pedro 57), Hazard.
Unused subs: Caballero, Christensen, Zappacosta, Fabregas.
Scorer Giroud 85
Booked Rudiger 18, Hazard 45+2, Jorginho 72

Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Aurier, Alderweireld, Foyth, Davies, Dier, Sissoko, Son (Lamela 78), Alli (Winks 86), Eriksen, Kane.
Unused subs: Gazzaniga, Vertonghen, Walker-Peters, Moura, Llorente.
Scorers Alli 8, Kane 16, Son 54

Referee Martin Atkinson
Crowd 55,465

 

 

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