Chelsea 3-0 Spurs
Report from Stamford Bridge
03 December 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Two goals in three minutes in the first half paved the way for our 3-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
We started well and were on top when Eden Hazard fired home in the 19th minute and when Didier Drogba doubled the lead three minutes later, it was a mountain to climb against a team who had kept 11 clean sheets in 14 matches ahead of this encounter.
We were enjoying the lion's share of possession again when the unbeaten Premier League leaders put the game to bed thanks to another clinical finish, this time from Loic Remy.
Mauricio Pochettino made one change to the team that started Sunday's 2-1 victory against Everton with Erik Lamela in for Roberto Soldado, who was on the bench.
We gave as good as we got in the early exchanges and Harry Kane struck the crossbar with a header on seven minutes after a combination between Ryan Mason and Aaron Lennon resulted in the latter delivering a pinpoint cross.
Kane then shot across goal after shrugging off the attentions of Gary Cahill and embarking on a charge goalwards.
The deadlock was broken in the 18th minute when Hazard combined with Drogba to set himself free inside the area and drilled a powerful low shot that Hugo Lloris made contact with but could not prevent rippling the net.
The lead was doubled three minutes later when a miscued Lloris clearance came back with interest as Oscar played into the path of Drogba, who made no mistake with a clinical finish.
The promising beginning had been unravelled by some ruthless forward play and a regrouping was called for. Nabil Bentaleb and Mason were impressive in attempting to compose the team from the middle, as well as sparking some attacking intent. The key, you suspected, was to plug the gaps and not concede again before the break.
Mason's shot was routinely fielded by Thibaut Courtois after strong running down the left from Davies. Lamela then played Kane in for what looked a clear run on goal, but Courtois saved and the flag was up in any case.
Lloris made a smart low save to deny Willian just before the break as the team were struggling to contain the attacking tide, surrendering possession too easily and being planted on the back foot.
There were no changes made at half-time, while Chelsea introduced Kurt Zouma in place of Cahill in central defence.
Eriksen tried his luck five minutes into the half without troubling Courtois as the team sought to build momentum and place some sustained pressure on the home side. They succeeded to an extent but Nemanja Matic was providing something of a shield in front of his back four.
The noise from the away section was reverberating around the stadium as we made a double substitution with the introduction of Nacer Chadli and Paulinho. Lennon made way for Chadli, with Paulinho taking over from Mason.
Lamela scooped into the run of Chadli on 64 minutes, with Chadli just losing out to his countryman Courtois in the race for the ball.
On 72 minutes on what was a rare break, Chelsea netted a third when substitute Loic Remy held off the attentions of Vertonghen and slotted past Lloris.
The final action of note saw Lloris deny Willian and Courtois at full length to turn away Chadli's strike from 25 yards.
Mauricio Pochettino said
“We played very well at the start of the game but we conceded the first goal and then the second three minutes later and that made it difficult,” reflected Mauricio.
“Chelsea were then comfortable and it was difficult for us.
“If we scored maybe the game would have been there for us but I’m disappointed because I think we deserved more.
“In the second half we managed the game well until they made it 3-0. We need to be more clinical. Chelsea were and that made the difference.
“Okay, it’s difficult after losing 3-0, but I think there are positives to take. We need to analyse the game but I think we are in a good way.”
Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill (Zouma, 46), Terry (C), Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas (Mikel, 76); Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Drogba (Remy, 67). Substitutes (not used): Cech, Filipe Luis, Schurrle, Salah.
Spurs: Lloris; Chiriches, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies; Bentaleb, Mason (Paulinho, 58); Lennon (Chadli, 58), Eriksen, Lamela (Soldado, 73); Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Dier, Kaboul, Naughton.
Goals: Chelsea - Hazard (19), Drogba (22), Remy (73).
Yellow cards: Chelsea - Matic. Spurs - Chiriches.
Referee: Mike Dean.