Match Report

Match report: Chelsea 2 Tottenham 2

Chelsea had to settle for a draw in our last pre-season friendly before the 2021/22 campaign begins, as we were pegged back by Tottenham despite dominating large spells of the game.

It was one-way traffic for almost the whole of the first 45 minutes as we came out firing on all cylinders, with Spurs having no answer as we charged forward and pinned them well back into their own half throughout.

Hakim Ziyech gave us the lead with a powerful strike into the bottom corner following excellent work by N'Golo Kante to win the ball back in the middle, but despite Timo Werner and Marcos Alonso testing goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, we couldn't build on our advantage for all our dominance.

We did extend our lead after the break, with Ziyech getting his name on the scoresheet for a second time at the end of a slick passing move down the left involving Werner, Kai Havertz and Alonso, and 2-0 was no less than our performance to that point had deserved.

However, following seven substitutions by Thomas Tuchel, to go with the two he had made at half-time as he eases his players back to full fitness for the start of competitive action next week, Tottenham struck back twice through Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn, the first with a big slice of fortune via a deflection off Antonio Rudiger, to level the scores before the end.

The evening started on a high, with the Champions League trophy we won in May paraded around the pitch for the first time by Cesar Azpilicueta and the rest of the Chelsea squad.

They received a standing ovation from the Blues supporters packed back into Stamford Bridge, as well as a 250-strong cohort of NHS staff welcomed to the game by the club to thank them for their tireless work keeping us all safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Once the action began in earnest, there was an early shout for a foul on the edge of the box when Timo Werner appeared to get a push in the back when trying to get on the end of a ball over the top, but referee Keith Stroud waved it away.

However, the first shot of the day came from Tottenham, when Son Heung-Min tried a low effort from just outside the penalty area, which took a dangerous deflection, but Edouard Mendy got down to turn it around his right-hand post.

We responded well, though, with first Werner and Kai Havertz combining for a quick counter-attack, although it came to nothing, and then Hakim Ziyech unable to keep his curling shot down from the inside-right position after good work on the wing by Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Marcos Alonso was the first Chelsea player to have an effort on target as he got his head to Hudson-Odoi’s cross. It was easy for Spurs keeper Pierluigi Gollini to gather, but we didn’t have to wait much longer before we opened the scoring.

It was a goal that owed much to the brilliant reading of the game and timing in the challenge that we have come to expect from N’Golo Kante. When our skipper on the night put in an excellent tackle in the centre-circle to dispossess Lucas Moura, the ball broke for Ziyech and the Moroccan needed no second invitation as the Tottenham players backed off, travelling unchallenged to the edge of the box before firing low in the bottom corner.

Ziyech nearly added to his tally just a few minutes later, too. This time it was a blocked shot by Werner that fell to the winger’s feet, before he skipped past a challenge and curled narrowly wide of the far post.

We were now well in control of the game, with the cheers from the Chelsea fans at every successive pass ringing out around the Bridge as we kept possession for long spells, and Werner did put the ball in the net after rounding Gollini in the box, but the linesman’s flag was already up for offside.

Werner was nearly the next beneficiary of Kante’s interventions to dispossess Tottenham in dangerous positions, winning the ball off Dele Alli and Eric Dier in quick succession before it fell to the German, but his low shot lacked the power to beat Gollini.

Havertz and Ziyech both had further efforts saved by the Spurs keeper, meaning the score remained 1-0 at the end of a first half Chelsea completely dominated, with Kante and Mateo Kovacic running the show in midfield, while Hudson-Odoi in particular posed a constant threat out wide.

There were two changes at the break from Tuchel, with Tiemoue Bakayoko replacing Kante in midfield, Rudiger taking the captain's armband, and Christian Pulisic coming on for Hudson-Odoi at wing-back.

There were a couple of early scares for the Blues in the second half, as first Trevoh Chalobah and then Kurt Zouma had to produce brilliant interventions to deny Son when he looked odds on to score, but instead it was Chelsea who got the next goal.

Ziyech was the scorer again, this time sweeping low past Gollini from inside the box after a quick exchange of passes out on the left between Werner and Havertz released the underlapping Alonso, who stretched to cut the ball back towards Hakim just beyond the penalty spot, where he made no mistake to claim his second goal of the evening.

Werner and Pulisic both drew further saves from Gollini, but against the run of play Tottenham pulled a goal back. There was a big slice of luck, or two, in their goal, as first a double-ricochet on the edge of the box ended with the ball falling to Lucas Moura's feet in space, and then the Brazilian's shot took a big deflection off Antonio Rudiger to wrong-foot Mendy and end up in the back of the net.

Tuchel responded by making seven changes to his team, with only Chalobah and Mendy remaining from the players who started the game, the goalkeeper taking on captain's duties.

It was nearly a dream introduction for one of those substitutes, Tino Anjorin, as almost immediately the youngster showed great skill to beat two defenders while cutting in from the right side and drove a powerful low shot towards the far post with his left foot, only being denied by a an impressive save from Gollini to tip it around the post.

The closing stages of the game were becoming a much more even contest, with chances at both ends of the pitch, and Ethan Ampadu needed to show great awareness to get back and clear off the line when a Ben Davies shot made its way past Mendy.

However, with 20 minutes remaining Tottenham levelled the scores, as Steven Bergwijn broke down the left and used his pace to make room for the shot against Chalobah, with Mendy unable to keep out his low effort at the near post.

We attempted to hit straight back, but Pulisic couldn't keep his first-time effort down under pressure and then another Anjorin effort was closed down.

There was to be no winner as the Blues had to settle for a 2-2 draw against our London rivals, although Tuchel can be pleased with a decent performance from his team, especially in the first half when we completely dominated the match.

Chelsea (3-4-3): Mendy; Chalobah (Miazga 80), Zouma (Ampadu 63), Rudiger (Sarr 63); Hudson-Odoi (Pulisic h-t), Kante (c) (Bakayoko h-t), Kovacic (Lotus-Cheek 63), Alonso (Zappacosta 63); Ziyech (Anjorin 63), Havertz (Abraham 63), Werner (Kenedy 63)

Unused subs: Kepa, Bettinelli, Batshuayi

Scorer: Ziyech 16, 49

Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Gollini; Doherty (Aurier 80), Tanganga, Dier, Reguilon (Davies 73); Skipp, Hojbjerg (Winks h-t); Lucas Moura, Alli, Bergwijn (Scarlett 80); Son

Unused subs: Whiteman, Rodon, Omole, Carter-Vickers, Sissoko, John, Clarke

Scorers: Lucas Moura 56, Bergwijn 70

Referee: Keith Stroud

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