Stalemate at the Bridge - match report and debrief
Chelsea 0-0 Spurs
Sun 29 November 2020, 18:32|Tottenham Hotspur
A tight and tense London derby ended goalless against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge as defences came out on top on Sunday, but the point gained moved us back to the top of the Premier League and extended our unbeaten run to nine in the competition.
The two teams went into the contest boasting two of the three best scoring records in the league and the best two defensive statistics as well, so the game was likely to go one of two ways and it turned out to be a stalemate!
It was an excellent afternoon for centre-half Joe Rodon, making his first start and full Premier League debut for us following his move from Swansea City, and he looked right at home on this stage in the face of some strong Chelsea pressure at times.
The Blues had lots of the ball in the opening minutes but we then hit them with a swift counter on eight minutes, ending with Steven Bergwijn lifting a shot over the bar. Two minutes later, Timo Werner beat Hugo Lloris with a fine right-footed curler but it was ruled out for offside.
We had our first shot on target in the 15th minute after we recycled the ball from a corner and Serge Aurier hit a shot which forced a smart save from Edouard Mendy, diving to push the ball away to his right. It was very much a tactical battle, both sides dropping back out of possession and waiting for the counter-attacking opportunities to arise, while keeping it tight in front of their own goal. Chances came and went in the lead up to half-time, Mason Mount firing over from 20 yards, Harry Kane doing likewise with a 30-yard free-kick and Ben Chilwell put another effort over just before the interval.
The home side enjoyed the lion’s share of possession as the second period opened up, Tammy Abraham just unable to get on the end of two tempting Reece James crosses from the right while the Chelsea forward almost connected with Werner’s centre from the other side on 64 minutes, Eric Dier just doing enough to prevent the danger. Hakim Ziyech then lashed over after controlling Chilwell’s cross.
We were finding it difficult to get anything going in attack during the second half, our first opportunity after the break not coming until the 71st minute when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg flicked on Heung-Min Son’s corner to the back post but James cleared under pressure from Kane.
A superb save from Lloris kept the scores level 10 minutes from time as he dived full-length to his left to tip away Mount’s fierce 25-yard shot after it opened up for the Chelsea midfielder in the centre of the park.
There was late drama in stoppage time for both sides. First Rodon’s header back to Lloris was pounced on by substitute Olivier Giroud but he couldn’t lift the ball over his compatriot and Lloris gathered, while Lucas Moura seized on a loose ball moments later and found Giovani Lo Celso, but his effort went well wide.
Solid defence holds the key
Clean sheets at Stamford Bridge are something of a rarity for us, as we’d only kept one in our last 17 matches at Chelsea in all competitions. That came in a 0-0 draw in March, 2012, so keeping the Blues out on this occasion was a great achievement from the lads.
In fact, that was our fourth successive clean sheet in all competitions having also kept out Ludogorets, Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion – as well as our third shut-out in Premier League away games. Our nine-game unbeaten run remains the current best in the Premier League.
Jose Mourinho made just the one change to the team that started against Manchester City last time out in the Premier League as Rodon came in for his first start and full Premier League debut in place of the injured Toby Alderweireld.
Jose Mourinho took us into the dressing room after the goalless draw. “It’s a good point, but there is a point I want to make, which is to tell our supporters that our dressing room is not a happy dressing room. That is a great thing. It shows the dynamic, it shows the ambition, the confidence. We come here and if we play a little bit better, we win, but we had a good performance, a solid performance. We take a point, that point keeps us at the top of the league, and we are not happy. That is the best feeling you can have.”
Reaction on Spurs TV
Chelsea 0-0 Spurs
Chelsea (4-3-3): Mendy, James, Thiago Silva (c), Zouma, Chilwell, Kante, Kovacic, Mount, Ziyech (Havertz 83), Abraham (Giroud 79), Werner (Pulisic 74). Substitutes (not used): Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Jorginho.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Aurier, Rodon, Dier, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Sissoko, Son (Lucas 90+2), Ndombele (Lo Celso 65), Bergwijn (Davies 89), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Hart, Sanchez, Bale, Vinicius.
Yellow cards: Chelsea – Ziyech, James, Zouma, Mount; Spurs – Bergwijn, Reguilon.
Referee: Paul Tierney.
Venue: Stamford Bridge.
Weather: Thick cloud, light winds, nine degrees.