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Stirring comeback at the Bridge in Mind Series opener

Chelsea 2-2 Spurs

Wed 04 August 2021, 21:39|Tottenham Hotspur

Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn were on target as we came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Chelsea in our first match of The Mind Series at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Trailing to Hakim Ziyech's opener after a challenging first half against the European champions, we conceded again to the same player moments after the restart, but produced a spirited response to haul ourselves back level, Lucas making it 2-1 before Bergwijn fired through the legs of Edouard Mendy with 20 minutes left.

Our much-improved second half display was built on an outstanding Spurs debut for Pierluigi Gollini, the goalkeeper recently signed from Atalanta making a string of superb stops between the sticks and allowing us to stay in the contest.

Substitute Ben Davies went closest to winning the game as we finished on the front foot, but his cross-shot was cleared off the line by Ethan Ampadu.
The result means we remain unbeaten under Nuno Espirito Santo and head into Sunday's north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with positive momentum on our side.

Midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg joined Gollini in picking up his first minutes of our pre-season campaign as part of the starting line-up, with Serge Aurier appearing for the first time this summer as a second-half substitute.

We struggled to make an impression on the hosts during the first half with Ziyech having three attempts at goal, scoring the second one on 16 minutes. It came after N'Golo Kante robbed Lucas on half-way and sent Ziyech storming right down the centre of the pitch, the attacker crashing a low shot into the bottom corner from 18 yards out. Timo Werner subsequently had the ball in the net but was flagged off-side, while Gollini saved well from both Werner and Kai Havertz in the lead-up to half-time.

After hanging in there at times during the first half, we almost grabbed a leveller within seconds of the restart, but Heung-Min Son couldn't make the most of the chance as Mendy spilled Lucas' driven cross into his path. Son looked a real threat during that period of the game, but a second goal for Chelsea on 49 minutes threatened to take the wind out of our sails, Ziyech's shot from Marcos Alonso's cut-back taking a deflection off Eric Dier on its way into the net.

We only grew stronger though. While Chelsea made wholesale changes, Nuno made tweaks here and there and we pushed on, Matt Doherty denied a penalty under Alonso's challenge before Lucas received a return pass from Dele and fired home via a looping deflection off Antonio Rudiger to reduce the arrears on 56 minutes.

We still needed important stops from Gollini either side of that goal to deny Werner and Christian Pulisic before arguably the best save of the match from the Italian stopper as he clawed away Tino Anjorin's shot down to his right mid-way through the second half. And moments later we were level as Lucas won the ball in midfield, Son broke forward and fed Bergwijn in the left channel and the Dutch forward blasted a shot underneath Mendy for 2-2 with 70 minutes played.

Tammy Abraham's shot was blocked as Chelsea tried to respond before Oliver Skipp's determined work sparked a great chance for us with 12 minutes left, but it ended with Davies' low angled effort being cleared a couple of yards out by the retreating Ampadu. We looked the more likely to win it in the closing moments but honours ended even, putting us on three points - one for the draw and one for each goal scored - going into the last game of the round robin tournament at home to Arsenal on Sunday.

Reaction on Spurs TV

Nuno's view

Head Coach Nuno said at full-time: "It shows character, it shows determination, it shows belief and hard work. The boys really worked hard. Many of them made 90 minutes and at this moment in pre-season, that’s good. That’s what we want to build, to prepare the boys for what’s coming. It was a tough test and a good test for us."

Highlights on Spurs TV

Chelsea 2-2 Spurs

Chelsea: Mendy, Zouma (Loftus-Cheek 63), Chalobah (Miazga 80), Rudiger (Ampadu 63), Hudson-Odoi (Pulisic 46), Kovacic (Anjorin 63), Kante (c) (Bakayoko 46), Alonso (Kenedy 63), Ziyech (Abraham 63), Havertz (Zappacosta 63), Werner (Sarr 63). Substitutes (not used): Kepa, Bettinelli, Batshuayi.

Spurs: Gollini, Doherty (Aurier 80), Dier (c), Tanganga, Reguilon (Davies 73), Hojbjerg (Winks 46), Skipp, Dele, Lucas, Bergwijn (Scarlett 80), Son. Substitutes (not used): Whiteman, Carter-Vickers, Omole, Rodon, John, Sissoko, Clarke.

Match data

Goals: Chelsea - Ziyech 16, 49; Spurs - Lucas 56, Bergwijn 70.

Venue: Stamford Bridge.

Weather: Partly cloudy, light winds, 19 degrees.