My thanks go to Declan Mulcahy for this report:-
Sunday 19 September 2021
Tottenham Hotspur (0) 0 Chelsea (0) 3
Thiago Silva 49
Rüdiger 90 +2
Tottenham Hotspur (4-3-2-1):
1 H Lloris (c), 12 E Royal, 4 C Romero (6 D Sanchez 83), 15 E Dier, 3 S Reguilon: 28 T Ndombele (29 O Skipp 62), 5 P-E Hojbjerg, 20 D Alli; 18 G Lo Celso (11 B Gil 62), 10 H Kane; 7 H-M Son.
Subs Not Used: 22 P Gollini, 2 M Doherty, 14 J Rodon, 33 B Davies, 8 H Winks, 44 D Scarlett
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Thomas Tuchel
1 K Arrizabalaga; 4 A Christensen, 6 Thiago Silva, 2 A Rüdiger; 28 C Azpilicueta (c), 5 Jorginho, 8 M Kovacic, 3 M. Alonso; 19 M Mount (7 N Kante 45), 29 K Havertz (11 T Werner 70), 9 R Lukaku.
Subs Not Used: 13 M Bettinelli, 14 T Chalobah, 21 B Chilwell, 24 R James, 17 Saul Niguez, 22 H Ziyech, 20 C Hudson-Odoi
Booked: Werner (80 foul on Gil)
Referee:- Paul Tierney
Assistants:- Constantine Hatzidakis, Neil Davies
Fourth Official:- Craig Pawson
VAR:- Chris Kavanagh
Assistant VAR:- Sian Massey-Ellis.
Spurs lose a London derby on a day of grieving for Greaves
Thanks to Gary Parker for this image
The death of Jimmy Greaves had been announced earlier in the day.
Jimmy had scored more goals than any other Spurs player and had been a prolific goal scorer prior to that for Chelsea so it was appropriate that these two teams should meet today. In addition Jimmy had made his Chelsea debut as a seventeen year-old at White Hart Lane on 24 August 1957. Spurs were leading 1-0 with five minutes remaining when Jimmy scored on his debut to give Chelsea a share of the points.
History also repeated itself in another unfortunate way. Bill Nicholson, another Spurs legend, died on the morning of a match day too, Sunday 23 October 2004. Spurs were hosts to Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League that day and lost. The outcome was the same today on the passing of another legend.
At least Spurs had a stronger squad to choose from. Romero, Sanchez and Lo Celso had returned from isolation and Son was fit again. Romero replaced the suspended Tanganga. Ndombele came in for Skipp and Son and Lo Celso replaced Winks and the injured Lucas Moura. Emerson made his home debut, Romero his full debut, Lo Celso started his first match of the season and Ndombele his first Premier League game of the season.
Chelsea were missing their preferred goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Arrizabalaga started his first match since last year’s FA Cup final. Kante returned from injury but was on the bench.
There was a minute of applause for Jimmy Greaves before the kick-off.
Spurs played toward the north end in the first half.
Son was deployed ahead of Kane possibly with the thought that his speed might unsettle the older Thiago Silva. He was prominent for the first ten minutes or so but faded thereafter.
Spurs played well during the first half. They took the initiative and a lot of the play was in the Chelsea half. However they failed to create clear cut chances. Dier had a header on target after 17 minutes. About 15 minutes later Lo Celso put Son through in the Chelsea box but Arrizabalaga went down at his feet to make the save. Both players need treatment afterwards.
Just before half time Ndombele was seen for about the only time in the game. He appeared to have a problem with one of his eyes, possibly a contact lens problem. The medical staff were on the field for about two minutes to assist him.
At half time Spurs could feel satisfied with their performance and look forward to the second half.
Thomas Tuchel made a change at the interval with Kante replacing Mount and the formation changed from 3-4-2-1 to 5-3-2 with Havertz joining Lukaku up front and Kante strengthening the midfield.
Chelsea seized the initiative from the beginning of the second half. After two minutes Thiago Silva set up Marcos Alonso whose angled shot was well saved by Lloris. Three minutes later Alonso took a corner on the left. Thiago Silva got the better of Alli before rising to head the ball into the right corner of the net. A few minutes later Dier was well positioned to clear an effort from Alonso off the goal line.
One of Spurs few second half opportunities occurred when a poor clearance from Arrizabalaga fell to Reguilon who set up Alli in the Chelsea box. However Thiago Silva made a fine tackle to avert the threat.
After 57 minutes Kante took a speculative shot from outside the box. Unfortunately it deflected off Dier and wrong-footed Lloris. It was a lucky goal but once it went in the result was never in doubt.
Spurs then took off Ndombele and Lo Celso replacing them with Skipp and Gil.
After about 64 minutes Kane had a shot easily saved by Arrizabalaga. It was notable though for being his only shot on target in the last two league games.
Chelsea continued to dominate. Romero made a good interception, when Werner who had just replaced Havertz was through. Thiago Silva brought a good save from Lloris with a header from another corner by Alonso this time on the right. Lukaku set up Werner but Emerson made a timely tackle.
The only booking of the game came when Gil sought to make a run from his own half but was chopped down by Werner.
Another Chelsea attack resulted in them having three attempts in quick succession. Then Lloris made a point blank save from a Lukaku header.
In time added on Werner crossed from the right and Rudiger scored with a shot through a crowded penalty area for a made in Germany goal.
Spurs began well but were comprehensively out played in the second half. They need to create a lot more opportunities. The three Premier League games Kane has played to date this season have been among the quietest of his career.
The coming week offers challenges. There is a Carabao Cup match away to Wolves. They have made a worse start than Spurs but will surely be motivated to try and beat their former manager.
Then there is the north London derby at the Emirates. The circumstances are curious. Each team has played five Premier League games so far but they have managed only five league goals between them, each a 1-0 win, three for Spurs two for Arsenal. The other five have been lost without scoring a goal, two matches for Spurs conceding six goals and three for Arsenal conceding nine. This will be a game neither team will want to lose.
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