Chelsea shake off blues with victory over Tottenham
Once Hakim Ziyech’s curling, dipping strike landed in the Tottenham goal, Chelsea never looked back.
Sure, it took until two minutes into the second half to break the deadlock, and the Moroccan was justified in ranking it “10 out of 10”. But the space gifted for Thiago Silva’s header from Mason Mount’s free kick in the 55th minute to seal a 2-0 win yesterday was a snapshot of this most lopsided of London rivalries.
Chelsea should never have doubted that their four-match winless run in the Premier League would end yesterday. Not even with former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte going nine league matches unbeaten at the start of his Tottenham reign before the visit to Stamford Bridge.
It’s now 33 wins for Chelsea against Tottenham in the Premier League era – more than against any other opponent. Not since 2018 has a Tottenham player even scored against Chelsea in the league when the north London side last won this derby.
GOAL RULED OUT
Tottenham will have complaints that Harry Kane was denied a first-half goal when it was ruled out for what appeared to be his slight touch on Silva, before racing through on goal to meet Ryan Sessegnon’s cross.
Victory for Thomas Tuchel’s side shores up a top-four place that was starting to look shaky before winning for the first time since December 26.
Chelsea stayed a point behind second-place Liverpool, who won 3-1 across London at Crystal Palace.
The results will give a flicker of hope that Manchester City can still be caught after the champions were held at Southampton on Saturday to now sit only nine points in front of Liverpool, having played a game more.
While Tottenham are in seventh place, the coronavirus postponements distort the standings. Tottenham fell to 11 points behind Chelsea, but with four games in hand. And Manchester United are only two points ahead in the fourth Champions League place, having played two more games than Tottenham.
What helped Conte slightly was Arsenal being held 0-0 by Burnley yesterday. Arsenal did move above Tottenham into sixth place on goal difference, but having played an extra game.
Tottenham couldn’t recreate the drama from Wednesday night when two stoppage-time goals turned around a game at Leicester to win. And Leicester disappointed again yesterday after Danny Welbeck’s downward header in the 82nd gave Brighton a 1-1 draw by cancelling out Patson Daka’s strike.