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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Blues blow Spurs away to go eighth in the Premier League while north Londoners suffer one of those nights

By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge


Chelsea 2 v Spurs 0


Forget the tortuous season Chelsea have endured, a double league win over Spurs makes up for that and the 2-0 at the Bridge tonight was proof perfect that the Blues can compete and beat some of the best.

Spurs were not the outfit that were top of the league early in the season, nor the one sitting in the top four for Champions League qualification.

The fact they are now fifth will hurt their fans, but they are still in a healthier position than their west London rivals.

Goals either side of half-time from defender Trevoh Chalobah and striker Nicolas Jackson were enough to see Chelsea reach the nosebleed (for them) position of eight in the league and look to overhaul Newcastle United and Manchester United who are above them.

Both sides started shakily bit quite how Cole Palmer missed an open goal on five minutes is a mystery.

Mykhailo Mudryk put Nicolas Jackson through. The striker put the ball under Guglielmo Vicario's body which managed to slow the pace of the goal-bound ball down. Micky van de Ven then clipped the ball out of the way, but only into the path of Palmer who somehow sliced the ball over the empty net from close range. It was difficult to control, granted, but a golden chance nevertheless.

Alfie Gilchrist had visions of scoring his second ever goal for Chelsea on 17 minutes when a quick break on the left saw the ball come towards him as he approached the penalty area. He left fly with a ripper but the ball ended up in row Z of the Shed.

Noni was next up to tantalise the Chelsea fans with a long run on the right. He cut inside and let fly, probably hitting the same row as Gilchrist's effort.

The Blues had the ball in the back of the net on 24 minutes when Trevoh Chalobah perfectly met a clipped Conor Gallagher pass to send the ball past the desperate dive of Vicario.

As normal, VAR intervened and decide to check firstly an offside and then a possible foul.

Neither warranted a change in decision and the goal was given.

Mudryk almost curled the ball into the far top corner as the home side's net such was the home side's dominance – but it was not translating into goals, while Spurs were holding on, hoping for an improvement, or at least a slowing down by the west Londoners.

Spurs should have levelled on 38 minutes from a set piece when Pedro Porto's excellent free kick was met, unchallenged at the far post by Cristian Romero, but he headed just wide of Djordje Petrovic's right post.

There were no changes by either side at half-time.

It was a good start by the north Londoners.

Palmer, like early in the first had an excellent chance early in the second, following a quick break, the ball fell invitingly for him on the edge of the Spurs area, but he curled the ball high and wide of goal.

Spurs finally felt they had a foothold in the game and started to look increasingly dangerous, especially on the left.

Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou had seen enough and opted to make substitutions on 62 minutes., on came James Maddison, Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – off went Richarlison, Pape Matar Sarr and Yves Bissouma.

But it was the Blues who scored next. A needless fouls 30-yards out saw Palmer produce a wonderful free kick on 73 minutes.

The ball smacked the crossbar with Vicario beaten but Jackson was the first to react and headed the ball I to the back of the net.

Pochettino then brought of tiring Mudryk for midfielder Cesare Casadei on 75 minutes.

Bryan Gill entered the fray for the visitors on 78 minutes – off went ineffectual Brennan Johnson.

Gilchrist went down with cramp with seven minutes left on the clock.

This allowed Pochettino to instruct his players in how to see out the game.

It proved to be the end for the young right-back who was replaced by Josh Acheampong.

Giovani Lo Celso then replaced Emerson Royal for Spurs.

Spurs pushed hard to get a goal back – Maddison saw a goal-bound curler take a late defection for a corner as the clock ticked over the 90 minutes in to the six minutes of added time.

The clock ticked and ticked until the final whistle was blown.

                                                                                                                                                                        

Teams: Chelsea: Petrovic, Cucurella, Badiashile, Mudryk, Noni, Chalobah, Jackson, Palmer, Gallagher, Caicedo, Gilchrist

Subs: Bettinelli, Casadei, Deivid, Sturge, Tauriainen, Castledine, Acheampong, George, Dyer

Spurs: Vicario, Heung-Min, Bissouma, Richarlison, Royal, Romero, Kulusevski, Johnson, Porro, Sarr, Van de Ven

Subs: Austin, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Dragusin, Maddison, Gil, Lo Celso, Bentancur, Moore

Referee:



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