Chelsea did what they do best this season and that is bottle it.
Chelsea’s lineup was standard the only exception being the unavailability of Courtois. The game started of well and Chelsea were able to restrict Spurs through the middle of the pitch where a 5 4 1 formation was keeping the front four of Spurs at bay. Rare Spurs attacks were repelled and Chelsea counter attacked with speed but the end product was lacking which has been the story of the season. At the 30th minute Rudiger broke into the Spurs midfield and was able to pass it to Moses on the right who gave a decent cross into the box which Morata was able to head into goal. There was poor judgement on Lloris’s part but that should not take anything away from Morata’s finish.
Chelsea continued to dominate the game but time and time again were not clinical enough. Chelsea have not played poorly in recent games but individual mistakes have cost us the most and another one came in the 46th minute. An overplayed cross was kept in by Dele Alli on the right, Moses was able to take the ball from him only to play a poor chip pass to Willian which was intercepted by Davis. Davies was able to pass it to Eriksen who rifled a shot down the middle which had a ronaldoesque dip to it. Too many times this season goals against Chelsea have come from them trying to play intricate passes when what is needed is a simple clearance. Chelsea of last season would have come back from this setback but recent form suggested only one team was going to achieve a comeback.
The second half saw a rejuvenated Spurs take the game to Chelsea, to say that Chelsea had no fight or played poorly would be harsh, there have been games where Chelsea have been poor but the fact is that Chelsea’s best efforts this season have not been able to compete with the other top teams in the league. Spurs got their break in the 62nd minute when Dier played a decent ball to Alli who had made a run in behind Christensen, through on goal Alli was able to finish smartly to give Spurs the lead. The final nail in the coffin came in the 66th minute, Son’s shot was saved by Caballero but instead of booting the ball out of play Christensen fumbled and Alli was on hand to knock the ball into the net. Spurs were able to manage the game for the remaining minutes to achieve a first victory at Stamford Bridge in 28 years without a certain Harry Kane.
Conte was quizzed on his future in the post match press conference and gave his routine answer of “im not worried”. Conte was further asked why in recent history Chelsea have not been able to mount any real title defence. Conte refused to answer the question stating that he would keep his thoughts to himself and that saying them would probably get him into trouble. Conte never blames his players but has outlined that the lack of finishing and poor judgement has cost Chelsea this season. A top four finish is still mathematically possible but would require an implosion of epic proportions from either Spurs or Liverpool, a push for the FA Cup still remains but that should not be enough to rectify Chelsea’s failings the season.
As far as Spurs are concerned they are 8 points clear of Chelsea and for this season (league wise) they are the best team in London. Their slow and steady progression finally yielded a victory at Stamford Bridge and an impressive one at that, if you are Spurs fan. Spurs should probably win a trophy to back their claims to supremacy, hopefully Jose can end that hope for them before we end that hope for Jose (can’t help but be optimistic). For now Spurs have a moment of “success” to focus their season DVD on.