Chelsea sat deep, kept it tight and relied on our superior talent to win us the game. Maybe not what some expected given how expressive we’ve been for most of this season, but the trophy is the ultimate justification.
MOTM Terry. Not just for the goal (although that does edge him in front of any other contender), but a faultless defensive performance. I don’t know exactly what it is about him, but the way he is the guy who constantly gets in the way, constantly gets his head on a dangerous ball, constantly makes the vital challenge or the vital interception; it is unique. He is by far the best defender we have ever had, and quite possibly the best defender I have ever seen anywhere. The performances other defenders get praised for having once a blue moon, he has every week.
Ivanovic was also excellent (probably the best right-back around at the minute), with Azpilicueta not far behind him. Hazard was very lively too, our best attacking player, while Costa worked hard, making sure the Spurs defenders didn’t get any peace and doing well for his goal (although this was another game where I was somewhat frustrated by his inability to hold the ball up; I know he isn’t that player and he has plenty of other qualities, but I would expect him to be better than he is at that aspect of his role given his physique).
The midfield did it’s job, making it tough for Spurs to play through the middle; but I find it hard to say that either Ramires or Zouma actually did well (although I am a fan of both).
Fabregas and Willian were poor IMO. Fabregas’s form has been poor for pretty much all of 2015. I hope we aren’t seeing the reality of the Barca fans perpetual criticism of him as a “half season player”. Willian worked hard as always, but his touch seemed strangely off and he got little right. Any criticism of those two however must be moderated by highlighting Fabregas’ excellence for the second goal, and Willian’s delivery for the first.
Spurs did quite well, and Pochettino is a good manager, but they (and he) only play one way. We spent as little time as possible knocking the ball around in deep midfield, which effectively negated their press. They want to play in the final third against isolated defenders, not front to back against an organised unit, so we had no problem with letting them have the ball in deeper areas and plugging gaps. Let them have the ball where they don’t want it, give them no time on the ball where they do. It was an intelligent set-up, and Spurs had no answer, which allowed our superior quality to tell.
First trophy of the season. City drop points leaving us 5 points clear with a game in hand. Top, top day.
Contribution by cam4blue