Tottenham Hotspur eked out a comprehensive 2-0 home victory over a beleaguered Chelsea side in Sunday’s lunchtime showdown – their first league win over the Blues since November 2018.
Chelsea had won just two of their last 15 games before kick-off, but having recorded a victory in each of their last three visits to Spurs, there was a sense of optimism that their abysmal run of form could end in north London.
The Blues looked lively in the opening period of the game. Joao Felix and Raheem Sterling tested Fraser Forster, but the English goalkeeper responded with strong saves.
Having controlled much of the early proceedings, things quickly turned sour for Graham Potter’s side when Thiago Silva went down injured in the 20th minute.
The Brazilian was replaced by Wesley Fofana, who was nearly guilty of gifting Tottenham an opening goal. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s strong hit was deflected by the Frenchman before striking the right post.
In a London derby famous for dramatic and contentious incidents, it seemed Chelsea would lose another starter when Hakim Ziyech was sent off in first-half injury time for violent conduct on Emerson Royal.
However, referee Stuart Atwell, having initially brandished a red card, rescinded his decision and reduced Ziyech’s punishment to a yellow after a visit to the pitchside monitor – a decision that highlighted the end of a heated and scrappy first half.
Spurs, who played without manager Antonio Conte in the dugout for a fourth successive game, took less than a minute to break the deadlock after the interval.
Royal saw his close-range shot saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga. But after a poor clearance, Oliver Skipp nicked the ball away from Felix before rifling a fierce shot into the top corner to net his first-ever Premier League goal for Spurs.
Chelsea’s response to going behind was timid at best. Despite controlling possession, they failed to do anything worthwhile and were made to pay for their lacklustre approach.
Heung-min Son’s corner was flicked onto the back post by Eric Dier, and on hand for a tap-in was Harry Kane to double his side’s lead.
Tottenham are now four points clear of fifth-placed Newcastle United, although they have played two games more.
Chelsea remain in mid-table, closer to the bottom three than the top four, having failed to win for an eighth successive Premier League match – their worst run since 2001.
Fraser Forster (7/10) – Made some good saves in the first half but nothing unexpected. A calming influence in a strong Spurs backline.
Cristian Romero (7/10) – Was his usual aggressive self which formed the bedrock of an impressive performance. Chelsea struggled to get past him.
Eric Dier (8/10) – Did not have to do much at the back but was good value for his assist in Kane’s goal.
Clement Lenglet (7/10) – Looked shaky at times, but Chelsea’s indecision in the final third means he did not have much to do.
Emerson Royal (7/10) – A strong performance from the Brazilian down the right-hand side. Did well to quell the danger from Sterling and Chilwell but could have done more for his team offensively.
Oliver Skipp (9/10) – Couldn’t have picked a better time to score his first-ever Premier League goal for Spurs. And what a goal it was. Was also rock solid in midfield, giving precious little away.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (7/10) – Put in a vintage shift in the middle of the park and was unlucky not to open the scoring with his deflected effort.
Ben Davies (6/10) – Had a quiet game as he wasn’t much involved in the attacking phase of the game.
Dejan Kulusevski (6/10) – Strong performance from the Swede, although contributed little to Spurs’ attack.
Richarlison (6/10) – His work rate caused problems for the Chelsea backline but was kept relatively quiet for most of the game.
Harry Kane (8/10) – The game opened up more for him following Silva’s injury, and got a goal to show for a well-rounded performance.
Son Heung-min (7/10)
Pedro Porro (NA/10)
Kepa Arrizabalaga (5/10) – Booed by home fans for wasting time in the first half. Should have done better for Skipp’s goal.
Reece James (6/10) – Looked like he was still managing an injury and didn’t get forward as much as he normally does. Did well to keep Richarlison quiet.
Thiago Silva (5/10) – Fortunate to have escaped punishment for a cheeky elbow on Romero but unfortunate to only last 20 minutes in the game before being withdrawn with a knee injury.
Kalidou Koulibaly (6/10) – Had another strong performance at the back.
Ben Chilwell (5/10) – Kept Kulusevski quiet for much of the game. Offered little going forward.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (5/10) – Was anonymous throughout the game. Failed to establish any authority in the middle of the park.
Enzo Fernandez (5/10) – Showed glimpses of his quality, but that was just about it.
Hakim Ziyech (4/10) – Was poor in possession, offering next to nothing in attack, and was lucky to escape a red card for a needless challenge in the first half.
Joao Felix (5/10) – Was lively in the opening parts but slowly drifted out of the game. Poor by his standards.
Raheem Sterling (5/10) – The only bright spark in a rather clueless Chelsea attack. A threat early on but was taken out of the game soon after by Emerson and Romero.
Kai Havertz (4/10) – Lacked any sort of presence up front.
Wesley Fofana (6/10)
Denis Zakaria (3/10)
Mason Mount (4/10)
Mykhailo Mudryk (NA/10)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (NA/10)
- Postecoglou confirms huge injury blow for Tottenham ahead of Crystal Palace clash
- FA Cup quarter-final TV picks confirmed, ITV will show headline fixture between Man Utd and Liverpool
- Preview: Man City vs Man United – stats, team news, line-ups
- Crystal Palace shareholder John Textor slams Premier League financial rules
- Conor Gallagher determined to stay at Chelsea despite contract stand-off and Tottenham interest
- Eric Dier makes permanent switch to Bayern Munich from Tottenham
- Premier League manager of the month nominees for February revealed
- Paul Pogba receives four-year ban for doping
- Man United fans in uproar as Old Trafford relocation plans spark outrage
- Liverpool to make one last attempt to bring back Michael Edwards to lead post-Klopp rebuild