Spurs 2-0 Chelsea
Report from the Lane
04 January 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Dele Alli scored a brace of headers to secure a magnificent win over league leaders Chelsea at White Hart Lane on Wednesday evening.
Our in-form midfielder scored in each half – the third game in a row he has netted twice – as we produced a performance of power, poise and passion to dominate our London rivals in front of a rocking Spurs crowd.
It had been an even first half played with real intensity, although we shaded the contest in terms of possession without either side creating anything clear-cut, the closest opportunities coming when Eden Hazard and Christian Eriksen fired efforts wide at either end.
That was until stoppage time at the end of the first period when Kyle Walker found Eriksen down the right, he had time to take a touch and send over a delightful cross which Dele headed over Thibaut Courtois and into the net, the perfect time to score.
And while Chelsea started the second half brightly, Hugo Lloris denying Diego Costa with a smart save shortly after the interval, we doubled our advantage in the 54th minute with an identical goal. Once again, Walker played a pass in to Eriksen, the Dane delivered another fine cross and Dele nodded it into the back of the net.
In truth, that was pretty much the end of the drama as we soaked up spells of Chelsea pressure without Lloris needing to make a save, Eriksen sending a free-kick wide at one end and David Luiz heading well over in the closing stages at the other.
The final whistle was greeted with huge applause from the Spurs faithful as it signalled our fifth straight victory in the Premier League, ended Chelsea’s record-equalling 13-game winning sequence and moved us up to third in the table.
A good night all round!
Mauricio Pochettino made three changes to the team that started at Watford on New Year's Day - Walker and Jan Vertonghen returning from suspension for Kieran Trippier and Kevin Wimmer while Mousa Dembele was back in for Heung-Min Son. We started with a back three of Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier, four in midfield with Dele and Eriksen playing in behind Harry Kane up top.
Close: Eriksen just wide from distance – 23mins
With White Hart Lane crackling with excitement at kick-off and the two teams in superb form, it was no surprise that the game began in great style, with both teams playing neat, attacking brands of football and no quarter given by either side. The visitors had the first chance after five minutes when Hazard’s half-volley drifted a yard wide of the far post, Dembele almost set Kane free with a dinked pass on the edge of the area before Eriksen almost broke the deadlock. Dembele dispossessed Costa and found the Dane who advanced towards goal and hit a right-foot shot which just angled away from goal.
Goal: Spurs 1-0 Chelsea – Dele Alli – 45+1mins
The game ebbed and flowed with a wonderful tempo and we started to dictate proceedings while always being wary of Chelsea’s attacking potential. They hit us on the break on 36 minutes with Hazard picking up the ball on the left, cutting inside and finding Costa but his shot was high and wide. Two minutes later, Courtois palmed away Dier’s header at the back post from Danny Rose’s free-kick, before we grabbed the lead in first half stoppage time. Eriksen had time to deliver a measured cross from the right and Dele planted a perfect header back across goal and over Courtois’ despairing dive.
Above: Hugo Lloris celebrates at the Lane on Wednesday night.
Chance: Hazard nods wide – 47mins
The visitors began the second period in determined fashion and should have pulled level. First Lloris got down well low to his right to tip away Costa’s drive and from the next phase of play, Alderweireld’s clearance was headed towards goal by Marcos Alonso and Hazard, unmarked at the back post, could only stoop to head wide when he should have done better.
Goal: Spurs 2-0 Chelsea – Dele Alli – 54mins
We rode out that Chelsea storm and grabbed a second goal in identical circumstances to the first, with the same three players all involved. Walker down the right found Eriksen, who again sent over the perfect cross for Dele to climb high and beat Courtois with his header to send the Lane into raptures! From there, we managed the game very well and in spite of a couple of spells of Chelsea possession, we never looked in danger of conceding.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"It was a very tough game. We were playing one of the best teams in Europe and I thought we played very well, we were competitive and that’s important. It was a very solid performance, fantastic. For me, we were competitive from the start. Okay, we can talk about different things, tactical situations, but as a team we were competitive and showed great character."
Dele Alli said
"It was a really professional performance. It was important we scored the second goal, it’s never comfortable at 1-0 but after we scored the second goal it was a comfortable win. It was one of those nights at White Hart Lane - unforgettable, the fans were amazing and didn’t stop singing and we were happy to get the win for them."
Spurs (3-4-2-1): Lloris (c); Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Walker, Wanyama, Dembele (Winks 74), Rose; Eriksen, Dele (Sissoko 86); Kane (Son 90+2). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Davies.
Chelsea (3-4-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses (Batshuayi 85), Kante (Fabregas 79), Matic, Alonso (Willian 65); Pedro, Costa, Hazard. Substitutes (not used): Begovic, Ivanovic, Zouma, Chalobah.
Goals: Spurs – Dele 45+1, 54.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Wanyama, Dele, Rose; Chelsea – Pedro, Cahill.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
We begin our FA Cup campaign this weekend when Aston Villa visit White Hart Lane for a third round clash on Sunday. Now a Championship outfit, Steve Bruce’s side currently sit in 12th place in their division, with eight wins and 11 draws from 25 matches so far. On their previous visit to the Lane last season, we won 3-1 in the Premier League.