Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Premier League Match Report - Chelsea v Spurs, 02.05.24
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Chelsea v Spurs, 02.05.24


Chalobah, 24
Jackson, 72

Attendance:- 39,806

Referee:- Robert Jones
Assistants:- Ian Hussin, Wade Smith
Fourth official:- Tim Robinson
VAR:- Michael Salisbury
Assistant VAR:- James Mainwaring

Chelsea (4-2-3-1):- Petrovic; Gilchrist (sub Acheampong, 85), Chalobah, Badiashile, Cucurella; Caicedo, Gallagher (Capt.); Madueke, Palmer, Mudryk (sub Casadei, 75); Jackson (sub Tauriainen, 90+4)

Subs not used:- Bettinelli; Sturge, Castledine, George, Dyer; Washington

No bookings

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Vicario; Pedro Porro, Romero, Van de Ven, Emerson Royal (sub Lo Celso, 86); Sarr (sub Maddison, 63), Bissouma (sub Hojbjerg, 63); Johnson (sub Gil, 78), Kulusevski, Son (Capt.); Richarlison (sub Bentancur, 63)

Subs not used:- Austin; Dragusin; Skipp, Moore

Booked:- Van de Ven (foul on Jackson)

The Chelsea curse continues

Stamford Bridge, 02.05.24

Thanks to Eugene Gasper for capturing this image

Do you remember those halcyon days of April 2010 when we beat both Arsenal and Chelsea 2-1 in consecutive games? Gareth Bale scored in both games, and we had the little magician Luka Modric in midfield. Spurs famously went on to qualify for the Champions League when they beat Manchester City 1-0.

Welcome to the parallel universe of 2024 when we lost consecutive games to Arsenal, then Chelsea, and surely surrendered any chance of Champions League football next season.

Tonight's defeat was to a Chelsea side coached by our former leader Mauricio Pochettino. Chelsea's tenth Premier League double over Spurs was achieved with 14 players listed as injured, and a bench which included no less than seven youngsters with little experience of Premier League football.

The Chelsea curse continues, and we have managed just one win at Stamford Bridge in 38 attempts. On this form (three of our recent defeats have been suffered without even a goal to our name) we might yet be overtaken in the race for a Europa League place.

Mauricio Pochettino had to give 20-year-old Alfie Gilchrist only his second Premier League start. Gilchrist did a very good job of keeping Heung-min Son quiet. Son was making his 299th Premier League appearance, drawing level with third-placed Darren Anderton in our list of such appearances for the club. This was Pochettino's 400th game as manager/coach in English football, 293 of which had been with Spurs. After a dismal season, Chelsea are well-placed to snatch a European qualification, climbing to eighth with this win.

Postecoglou made five changes. Werner and Davies were injured on Sunday and were replaced by Richarlison and Emerson, respectively. Richarlison led the line but made little impact. Johnson played on the right, and Son on the left. Three of the Spurs changes were for Hojbjerg, Bentancur and Maddison to be benched. Kulusevski played the central role, where he too made insufficient impact. Sarr and Bissouma started in the middle, but neither completed the game. "Big Ange" still cannot work out his best team and midfield, it seems.

In the first half, Chelsea had more shots, on and off target, and more corners than Spurs, whereas we edged possession. We reversed those figures by the end of the game but couldn't make the Chelsea keeper work hard enough.

Whichever generation off Chelsea player represents their team, the players seem to know the importance of this fixture all too well. Their players seemed to swamp us everywhere on the pitch. Chelsea attacked us effectively down the flanks with Palmer and Madueke (once a Spurs Academy player) giving Emerson a hard time whilst Cucurella and Mudryk tested Pedro Porro.

Nicolas Jackson, who scored a hat-trick in the wild 4-1 defeat in November, scored again tonight. Four of his eleven Premier League goals have thus been scored in our net.

16-year-old Mikey Moore was given his first experience of the Spurs first team bench.

Chelsea kicked off and played towards The Shed End. After only four minutes Mickey van de Ven made a great goal-line clearance after Mudryk had sent Jackson clear. Vicario got a touch on the shot, but the ball was still goal-bound and needed Van de Ven's intervention. At the other end Brennan Johnson had a shot blocked having been fed by Kulusevski.

Spurs were denied a penalty when Madueke tugged Emerson in the Chelsea box. Spurs haven't won a game in five attempts this season when this referee - Rob Jones - has been in charge. Few decisions went our way tonight, but we did commit too many fouls in dangerous areas. Both of Chelsea's goals resulted from free kicks. Van de Ven cleared from the feet of Cucurella after Mudryk's pass. Spurs were unconvincing at the corner and conceded a second, but that was cleared. Cucurella cut the ball back from deep on the left and Gilchrist latched onto the ball at the back of the box but fired over.

Chelsea goalkeeper Petrovic failed to hold a cross by Johnson but was able to push the ball well clear. Chelsea were looking the more threatening side and Johnson had to clear in his box from Badiashile after a ball from the right. Mudryk threatened again, but Vicario was able to pick up. Madueke hit a left-footed shot wide.

Chelsea opened the scoring with a long free kick from the right by Gallagher, which was headed home all too easily by Chalobah. VAR investigated both the possibility of offside by the scorer and a foul by Cucurella on Pedro Porro, but the goal stood, and Chelsea celebrated twice.

Vicario was able to collect the ball when Mudryk was again fed by Cucurella. Mudryk then hit a shot wide of Vicario's left post after Palmer's pass. Postecoglou was seen getting really angry on the touchline. We rarely see such emotion from our coach.

Richarlison was fouled just to the right of the Chelsea area. Pedro Porro took the free kick, but Romero headed wide at the back post. Johnson won a corner on the right, after which Pedro Porro wildly over-hit an attempted cross. The same two players combined on the right before Sarr hit a shot wide. Another Johnson effort was heavily deflected and collected by Petrovic.

There were no changes at half-time. Spurs had another huddle before they kicked off. Kulusevski had a shot blocked, and Petrovic parried out a cross by Sarr with Son lurking.

Spurs' play-out style is so predictable and even Romero failed on one occasion. A Pedro Porro free kick was cleared, and Chelsea countered. Palmer, their top scorer, uncharacteristically hit a left foot shot off target. Kulusevski showed skill in the Chelsea box, but Gilchrist defended well. Spurs fans were getting behind their team at this stage. Emerson fired over after a pass from Bissouma.

Postecoglou made three changes after 63 minutes with Bentancur, Maddison and Hojbjerg replacing Richarlison, Sarr, and Bissouma, respectively. Hojbjerg hit an early low 25 yard drive, but the keeper collected comfortably.

Van de Ven was shown the only yellow card of the game. He had seen his shot blocked and had to chase back as Chelsea countered. Jackson was Mickey's victim near the half-way line.

Spurs' best chance yet came after a move through the middle featuring Maddison, Son and Bentancur before Johnson missed the target. Son had been offside in the build-up anyway.

Chelsea had yet another free kick after Kulusevski's foul on Cucurella. Palmer took the kick and it bounced down off the bar with Vicario flying and getting a touch as the ball came down. Jackson swooped to score with glee.

Chelsea fans were crowing now, and Spurs fans drifted away as the match moved towards its inevitable conclusion. Vicario pushed over another free kick by Palmer. Spurs had half-chances, but it was all too little, too late.

After the game, Postecoglou said his team lacked "belief and conviction" stating it was "on me to fix it." I would say the team lacks guile too. That's on the coach to fix too. Next up is a trip to Anfield where Spurs have won on just two of their last 36 league visits to Anfield, most recently in May 2011. No-one will fancy our chances there then.

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