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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Ziyech wonder goal and Silva header sends Spurs to first league defeat under ex-Blues boss Conte

By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 2 v Spurs 0

Hakim Ziyech produced a wonder strike early in the second half to calm the nerves of the Chelsea fans who felt their top four challenge was in danger of wavering after a run of poor results. A glancing header by Thiago Silva secured all three points for the Blues against a Spurs side who had not lost a league game under Antonio Conte’s tutelage.

The west Londoners are third, with a 10 point gap between them and champions-elect Manchester City. Liverpool are a point ahead with a game in hand.

But it was the Morocco midfielder who lit up the stadium three minutes into the second half.

Inspired by a run by Callum Hudson-Odoi on the left, Ziyech picked the ball up on the right-side edge of the Spurs penalty area. He took one touch before letting fly with a sensationally powerful left-footed curler which sailed high and wide of Hugo Lloris, leaving the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

Eight minutes later and it all over - a Mason Mount free kick on the left was met on the head by the excellent Silva whose glancing header, again gave Lloris now chance.

Spurs, with a four game advantage over Chelsea, albeit with an 11-point deficit, had their chances. Harry Kane and Steven Bergwijn found Kepa in fine form to deny them, while Kane only has himself to blame for pushing Silva before slotting home.

Chelsea had a great chance within 40 seconds when excellent work the right saw Cesar Azpilicueta and Mount combine to feed Romelu Lukaku. But the Belgium could only hit the ball with an outstretched right boot and the ball went over the bar.

Hudson-Odoi was close two minutes later when a deep Ziyech ball saw the wide man head the ball inches wide at the far post.

A Ziyech curler on 11 minutes was punched away by Hugo Lloris as the home side pressed for the opener.

A Harry Winks run and shot, save by Kepa on 14 minutes was the away side’s first shot on target.

The heat started to rise on the pitch when Matt Doherty stamped on the ankle of Malang Sarr - VAR intervened but gave nothing while referee Paul Tierney never even saw it.

A couple of minutes later and Mount bounced Ryan Sessegnon into the advertising hoardings.

Lukaku missed another excellent ball by Mount, while the follow-up by Hudson-Odoi should have seen him take on Japhet Tanganga, but again he turned away from goal to play the ball back.

Kane hit the ball into the back of the net with five minutes left on clock but he pushed Silva before slotting home - a decision Tierney got right.

Silva had the last chance of the half, heading over from a Mount corner.

There were no changes by either side at half time.

Like the first, Chelsea pushed the north Londoners back. Unlike the first, the west Londoners breached the Spurs defence with that sensational goal.

On 47 minutes, Hudson-Odoi displayed a winger’s move by taking on a player and zipping down the left wing.

He cut inside on the edge of the Spurs area, and slid the ball onto Ziyech.

The attacking midfielder took a touch before curling the perfect ball high and wide of Lloris, leaving the goalkeeper rooted to the spot as the ball arrowed to his top right-hand corner.

Number two came on 55 minutes. An inward curling free-kick by Mount on the left was perfectly placed allowing Silva to take a diving, glancing header that left Lloris with a futile dive to his left and the ball cruised past him.

Kepa at the other end had to make a low save two minutes later as Spurs almost notched a goal back. Good work by Kane on the left saw his ball fed into the Chelsea area, where it fell to Bergwijn. His half volley lack serious pace and Kepa snaffled the danger ball.

Kane then forced Kepa into a fine save with four minutes left. The England skipper’s unchallenged header saw the Spain stopper dive to his left to parry the ball away from goal for a corner.

That was it in terms of chances.

Teams: Chelsea, Kepa, Rudiger, Jorginho, Silva, Kovacic, Lukaku, Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Azpilicueta, Sarr

Subs: Bettinelli, Alonso, Kante, Pulisic, Werner, Chalobah, Saul, Barkley, Havertz

Spurs: Lloris, Doherty, Hojbjerg, Sanchez, Winks, Kane, Dier, Sessegnon, Bergwijn, Tanganga, Davies

Subs: Gallini, Reguilon, Gil, Royal, Rondon, Moura, Skipp, White, Scarlett

Referee: Paul Tierney


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