Chelsea FC were back to winning ways as they snatched a resounding 2-0 victory over London Rivals, Tottenham Hotspurs at the Stamford Bridge.
Second half goals from Pedro Rodriguez and an own goal from Keiran Trippier were enough to cap off an improved performance from the Maurizio Sarri led team.
Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspurs.
In perhaps one the biggest fixture of the night, sixth placed Chelsea FC welcomed third placed Tottenham Hotspurs at the Stamford Bridge in a typical do or die match for Chelsea tactician, Maurizio Sarri.
The match brought together two teams that weren’t enjoying a good run of form as they looked to avoid back to back defeats. Chelsea was on the spotlight especially after Sunday’s theatrics as the Blues shot stopper, Kepa Arrizabalaga declined to be substituted for Willy Caballero in the Carabao Cup Finals at the Wembley Stadium.
To the surprise of many fans, Maurizio Sarri decided to keep Kepa Arrizabalaga on the bench as Willy Caballero got the nod for a starting role. Probably a deserved punishment for the former’s insubordination on Sunday!
Tottenham Hotspur’s were coming from a shock 2-1 defeat to the Clarets at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Apart from the keeper’s change, Marcos Alonso, Gonzalo Higuain and Matteo Kovacic got back to the starting line up ahead of Willian, Barkley and Emerson who featured on Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final.
For the visitors, they made 4 changes to the team that lost at Burnley as Serge Aurier, Danny Rose, Juan Foyth and Jan Vertonghen and made way for Keiran Trippier, Erik Lamella, Davidson Sanchez and Ben Davies.
With the result playing a vital role in the top Four race, both teams came guns blazing as Gonzalo Higuain rattled the inside of the post in the Spurs goal moments after kickoff. The better chance at the half would fall to Spurs as Harry Winks hit the cross bar with a well worked shot that had troubled Willy Caballero beaten. What a way to close out an entertaining half!
The second half would see the host turn on the pressure as they took the lead in the 57th minute through a well worked neat finish from Pedro. The Spaniard proceeded down the right, cut in past Alderweireld before placing the ball between Lloris’ legs from a tight angle to take the lead.
Chelsea players looked to be quite fatigued for the better half until the 84th minute as the hosts doubled the lead through a treacherous and terrible back pass from Keiran Trippier to his already committed goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. The mixup led to Tripper side footing Lloris only for the ball to roll to the back of the net!
Chelsea would thus take all the three points as Tottenham Hotspurs slumped to their second straight league defeat with another North London Derby looming against Arsenal this weekend. Tottenham thus failed to claim a double victory over Chelsea since 1971.
The win automatically buys time for Maurizio Sarri as he sharpens his arsenal ahead of Sunday’s trip to Craven Cottage to face troubled Fulham FC.
The win takes Chelsea to 53 points, 2 behind fifth placed Manchester United and with a game in hand, as the Premier League top four race takes an interesting shape.
Tottenham Hotspurs, earlier league contenders, are left with 60 points, 4 ahead of 4th placed Arsenal FC! An ultimate showdown it serves to be as the two teams take on each other on Saturday at the Wembley Stadium.