Chelsea versus Spurs was the most anticipated match of the week as former manager AVB took on his old club. 226 after being sacked AVB found himself facing his old players and coaches, and remained calm through the build-up to the game. From a Chelsea perspective this game meant more than just facing their old manager. It meant tightening their grip at the top of the table and sending a message out to the rest of the league.
In the first half Chelsea worked their way into the game, and took the lead via a fantastic Gary Cahill volley in the 17th minute. It was similar to the goal he scored for Villa against Birmingham way back when he was an unknown lad. Nevertheless Chelsea continued to dominate a lackluster Spurs team throughout the first half. Whether it had anything to do with the loss of Bale and Demebele, or Spurs lack of preparation we will never know.
As the second half went underway it was a completely different game. Chelsea had looked like they were still in half-time mode, as Spurs took control of the game. Spurs equalized within 2 minutes as William Gallas scored a fortunate header in the 47th minute via a Huddlestone free kick and Vertonghen cross. Just minutes later Defoe put Spurs 2-1 up as a misfired strike from Lennon found Defoe’s feet and he netted his 200th career goal. Spurs continued to dominate Chelsea and had waves of attacks luckily for the sleeping Chelsea Cech was there to bail them out. Ultimately this game was basically three halves as Chelsea finally woke up.
Around the 57th minute Chelsea began to get back in the game they strung together passes in the midfield, and the royal trio of kings road took over. Oscar Hazard and Mata continued to interchange and dictate play, it paid off when in the 66th minute Oscar’s cross was poorly cleared by Gallas and fell to Mata who delivered an intelligent strike into the bottom corner. Just three minutes later a Hazard found Mata with a brilliant reverse ball and the little Spaniard put Chelsea 3-2 up as he latched onto the pass and slotted the ball past Friedel. Chelsea continued to dominate specifically Mata and Hazard, as the two ran Tottenham’s defence ragged. At one point Kyle Walker tried to bully Juan Mata on the pitch and paid the price for it later. As Mata nicked the ball off him and set up Daniel Sturridge in the 90th minute to kill the game, and silence the Spurs fans, and a previously cocky AVB.
In summary this game sent a message to the rest of the Premiership, as it is now evident that Chelsea are for real. Their world class trio of Mata Hazard and Oscar is proving to be a handful for any team as their continued interchange is a nuisance for all defenders. Chelsea are 4 points clear off the top on 22 points, and with a big game against Manchester United to come wining that fixture would surely cement them as title favorites. As for now Shakhtar Donetsk will be the next team asked to deal with the new Chelsea. (Final score Tottenham 2-4 Chelsea.)
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