Looking to respond to our midweek loss to Monaco in the Champions League, we produced a fantastic first-half display at Stamford Bridge, capped by Eriksen’s first domestic goal of the season – a rasping, opportunistic strike from just outside the box shortly after Harry Kane saw his close-range effort chalked off for off-side.
But the quality of the Danish international’s shot was matched by Pedro shortly before the interval, the Chelsea man’s precise curler evading the fingertips of the airborne Hugo Lloris and creeping inside the far post despite our dominance of the opening 45 minutes.
The Blues struck again six minutes after the restart through Victor Moses, who had been left with too much space down Chelsea’s right as we tried to contain Diego Costa at the near post.
From there, we couldn’t quite get the wind back in our sails and the hosts saw out the game to go back to the top of the table.
Mauricio Pochettino made two changes from Tuesday night's match in Monaco with Kyle Walker back in for Kieran Trippier at right-back and Christian Eriksen replacing Harry Winks. Kevin Wimmer started at left-back in place of the suspended Danny Rose with Heung-Min Son seemingly stationed particularly wide to shoulder the attacking duties on that flank.
GOAL: CHELSEA 0-1 SPURS – CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN – 11mins
Kane found the back of the net early on after getting on the end of Eriksen’s in-swinging free-kick, only to be ruled off-side, but the deadlock was smashed soon afterwards in emphatic fashion by the Dane. Dele Alli’s flick found the midfielder on the edge of the area and he unleashed a venomous left-footed strike past the helpless Thibaut Courtois.
SAVES: COURTOIS KEEPS KANE AND DIER OUT – 32-33mins
Eric Dier nearly doubled our lead when he rose to meet Eriksen’s corner, but the defender’s low header was smothered by Courtois. The Belgian goalkeeper was soon to deny us again when he tipped over a fierce Harry Kane strike from range as our encouraging start to the game continued.
GOAL: CHELSEA 1-1 SPURS – PEDRO – 45mins
Against the run of play, the home side drew level on the stroke of half-time thanks to a fine strike from Pedro. With enough space to turn on the edge of the box, the forward curled an effort into the top corner with his right foot, past the outstretched Lloris.
Above: Eric Dier stands tall over Diego Costa.
GOAL: CHELSEA 2-1 SPURS – VICTOR MOSES – 51mins
Buoyed from going into the break level, Chelsea set out to double their tally from the offset in the second period and it did not take them long to do so. Costa was shepherded to the byline on the left but he managed to squeeze the ball across goal and it was met by Moses at the back post with time and space on his side. The Chelsea man’s shot beat Lloris and, despite the best efforts of Jan Vertonghen to block it on the line, it found the back of the net.
CHANCE: COSTA SPURNS OPPORTUNITY - 76mins
Marcos Alonso’s whipped ball in from the left-hand side found an unmarked Costa in the box, but the striker mistimed his header and the ball bounced off his shoulder from close range with only Lloris to beat. Alli had wriggled free at the other end moments earlier but was adjudged to have strayed off-side and blasted wide anyway, while Chelsea substitute Willian – often looking to get on the ball in space in our half late in the game – steered over the top with a minute of normal time left.
MAURICIO POCHETTINO SAID
“If we analyse the whole game, I think we deserved more. That is football. It difficult to explain, you are better and yet you lose 2-1. It’s about scoring or not scoring goals. We feel proud about the performance and the players. It was a good performance.”
ERIC DIER SAID
“I thought we were fantastic for 44 minutes and then it was very disappointing to concede just before half-time - that changed things a lot and I think that’s where we need to have a strong mentality and not let it change the way we play. It was tough in the second half, they had a lot of confidence after that. It was two disappointing goals to concede, both came from nothing really and that’s disappointing.”
Chelsea (3-4-3): Courtois; Luiz, Cahill (c), Azpilicueta; Moses (Ivanovic 80), Matic, Kante, Alonso; Pedro (Oscar 83), Hazard (Willian 77), Costa. Substitutes (not used): Begovic, Fabregas, Batshuayi, Chalobah.
Spurs (4-3-3); Lloris (c); Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Wimmer; Wanyama, Dembele (Janssen 83), Eriksen; Son (Winks 65), Alli (Nkoudou 73), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Trippier, Carter-Vickers, Onomah.
Goals: Chelsea – Pedro 45, Moses 51; Spurs – Eriksen 11.
Yellow cards: Chelsea – Luiz 19, Willian 85; Spurs – Dembele 26.
Referee: Michael Oliver.
Bob Bradley’s Swansea City visit White Hart Lane next Saturday (December 3) off the back of their dramatic 5-4 triumph over Crystal Palace. Danny Rose scored the winner when the Swans last came to the Lane back in February as we claimed a 2-1 victory on that occasion.