A fixture that has always been filled with drama, has delivered: Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho was ready to take on his former club and former player, as they hosted Chelsea at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It’s the second time Jose had faced Frank Lampard as a manager, and the second time Lampard has triumphed.
Frank Lampard’s change to three at the back raised a few eyebrows, as well as the inclusion of Marcos Alonso in the Starting 11 after not being included in the Match day squad listings for several weeks after a poor start to the season. Cesar Azpilicueta started ahead of Reece James in the wingback position and Jorginho had been dropped from the midfield as a result of the 3-4-3 system.
It was a must win for the Blues and every single Chelsea fan wanted a early Christmas present in the form of beating their biggest rivals, and Frank Lampard proving everyone wrong after criticism in recent weeks.
The referee blew his whistle and Chelsea got the game underway.
Tottenham started the game well, applying the pressure to the Chelsea back-line, with Fikayo Tomori looking very shaky at the start of the game after two weeks out. A few misplaced passes and it proved to be a nervy start by the Blues. But as the game started to flow, Chelsea started to turn the heat on.
Chelsea were awarded a corner in the 11th minute, and Willian played it short. A one-two with Kovacic opened up the Spurs defence, and Willian went past his man and scored a fantastic goal, picking out the bottom right corner and giving Paulo Gazzaniga no chance.
It was a fantastic start from the Blues, and they drew first blood in the London Derby, and after the goal, it was all Chelsea, with the Tottenham team getting nowhere near Chelsea, and Chelsea being first to every ball. Going forward, Chelsea looked threatening, and Willian and Mason Mount were absolutely terrific.
It wouldn’t be a London Derby without a fight. Later on in the half, Dele Alli climbed over Mateo Kovacic and brought him down, with the two players squared off before it was stopped by Harry Kane, and both players received bookings.
After the rush of blood between Alli and Kovacic, Gazzaniga faced a similar situation of his own. A long ball was played to Marcos Alonso, Gazzaniga came in recklessly and took the Spaniard out. In a bizarre turn, Anthony Taylor awarded a free kick to Tottenham, despite protestations from the Chelsea team screaming for a penalty. The decision went to VAR and they awarded a penalty. Willian stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way. It was 2-0 Chelsea and Frank Lampard could not hold back his celebrations. As soon as Willian scored the penalty, Jose Mourinho walked straight down the tunnel, in a picturesque moment that will live long in the memory of Chelsea fans.
The half-time whistle blew and Chelsea went into the break with their heads held up high after a fantastic performance, and looked to finish the job off in the second half.
The second half kicked off and Mourinho had brought on Christian Eriksen, with the Number 10’s sole aim being to try and change the tempo. But it was still all Chelsea.
Things got bad to worse for Tottenham, as Son got sent off for violent conduct after an altercation with Antonio Rudiger. VAR made the right decision and sent the Korean off. The decision caused a lot of Spurs fans to be upset and it got ugly. Bottles were being thrown and Antonio Rudiger was faced abuse from the stands.
The game became comfortable for Chelsea and they controlled the game. Frank Lampard made the right substitutions to see it out, as Tammy Abraham, Kovacic and Azpilicueta were substituted off. Jorginho, Michy Batshuayi and Reece James were introduced into the game in their place.
Spurs had their first shot on target through Harry Kane in the 89th minute but it was straight at Kepa, reinforcing their blunt display. There were ironic cheers from the Chelsea fans towards Mourinho as they sang “you’re not special anymore”, and the full time whistle brought Christmas cheer, as Chelsea got 3 vital points against their rivals.
Chelsea totally outclassed Tottenham in the game and which saw Frank Lampard defeat his mentor yet again and his change in tactics were absolutely spot on.
Willian was undoubtedly the starman for Chelsea. An absolutely fantastic performance by the Brazilian who ran the show today, but plaudits go out to the whole team for a strong display, and Frank Lampard’s tactics cannot go unnoticed. A massive win for the Blues going in to Christmas and undoubtedly shows the capability of such a young side as it progresses.