Tottenham Hotspur beat Chelsea 2-0 in a Premier League match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Sunday. Oliver Skipp and Harry Kane scored the goals in the 46th and 82nd minutes, respectively. That left Chelsea with a third consecutive defeat across all competitions. This was also the first time the Blues lost at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
With that victory, Tottenham remains in the fourth position in the league table with 45 points from 25 matches. Chelsea languishes the 10th spot with 31 points from 24 games. The Blues have now lost seven of their last 13 league matches. Graham Potter’s position in the Chelsea dugout becomes increasingly vulnerable.
We will now take a look at the couple of factors that stood out in the match.
Chelsea finished the match with 55% ball-possession, though at one stage in the first half, they had more than 65%. However, they did little with the ball, as Spurs were generally the team with the more probing attacks. The home side played in a 3-5-2, with Harry Kane and Richarlison up front. The latter came off in the second half, with Son Heung-Min replacing him.
Pierre Emile Højbjerg kept threatening with probing runs in the attacking third. Oliver Skipp scored with a shot from 20 yards out to put the home side ahead. Chelsea’s misery was compounded by the fact that Thiago Silva had to replaced by Wesley Fofana early in the first half after the former suffered an injury following a collision.
Tottenham then scored a second, as the visitors pressed hard for an equalizer. Son’s corner was headed down by Eric Dier before it reached Kane. The club’s record scorer made no mistake in slotting the ball home from a couple of yards out. It did not help Chelsea’s cause that Raheem Sterling was entrusted the task of marking Kane. The former Manchester City and Liverpool man failed to properly mark his international teammate on the goal.
Chelsea had splashed a lot of money on a plethora of players this season. They have spent more on transfers than any club has ever done in a single season. Yet remarkably, the results continue to be unflattering.
João Félix seems to lack the physicality required to excel in the Premier League. As a result, the Portuguese is partially responsible for Skipp’s goal. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remained a peripheral figure after coming in as a sub in the second half. Sterling tried in vain to cut in from either flank and lacked support from his fellow forwards.
Enzo Fernandez did his bit and more as a deep-lying playmaker. The Blues were primarily dependent on the long balls played by the Argentinian to generate their attacks. Therefore, it often made them predictable as the Tottenham defenders mostly knew what to expect.
Mykhailo Mudryk injected some much-needed pace and energy down the left flank after replacing Félix. However, it was a bit too late to make a serious impact; not that Chelsea’s other players performed any better. They seriously lacked a proper number 10. While Mason Mount came on in the second half to play that position, he provided little in that regard.
Kai Havertz hardly had any significant touch inside the opposition penalty box. Even Chelsea’s usually reliable fullbacks Reece James and Ben Chilwell looked rusty and struggled to send in crosses on a regular basis.
Chelsea hosts Borussia Dortmund in the return leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie in March. They trail 1-0 after the first leg, leaving the supporters pessimistic on overturning the deficit.