A London derby always excites the football fans across the countries. Today was no exception either. Both Spurs and Chelsea offered decent football for 90 minutes, though the match ended in a rare goalless draw.
Chelsea, the defending champions started this fixture as underdogs for the first time in years. Last time they lost 5-3 at White Hart Lane, so Spurs were already in a psychologically advantageous position. Moreover, Spurs are currently the most consistent team in the league (along with Leicester City) and Chelsea, on the other hand, are yet to regain their last season’s form and stationed at the bottom half of the table having lost 7 out of their 14 fixtures, 4 times more than the entire 2014-15 season already.
Tactics and Team Selection:
Pochettino carried on the same high pressing football which earned him huge acknowledgement recently with lots of legs in the midfield. He fielded his team in 4-2-3-1 formation as always. Only change in his last week’s starting eleven was Ryan Mason, who replaced Dele Alli ( missed the match due to suspension) in that identical central holding midfield role.
Mourinho offered a surprise in his team selection dropping his number one striker Diego Costa in bench and fielded a team with Eden Hazard, who is desperately in search of his maiden goal this season, upfront. Cesar Azpilicueta returned to the starting 11 replacing youngster Kenedy at his usual Left Back position. John Terry missed the match due to his injury against Maccabi Tel Aviv midweek. Gary Cahill partnered Kurt Zouma in the heart of defense. Oscar and Pedro both started the match alongside Willian. Matic and Fabregas played in their usual holding roles in midfield.
Spurs played the same high pressing attacking type of football. Dembele did exceptionally well once again. Ryan Mason did well too,though he was later subbed and replaced by Eric Lamela due to an injury. Eric Dier ,Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld were consistent as usual. Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son got their chances to break the deadlock but Asmir Begovic, the Chelsea keeper denied them for quite a few times. Spurs set a new club record remaining 13 matches unbeaten in the league.
Chelsea were more defensive today, and their defense did well once again and managed to keep 3 back to back clean sheets in all competitions for the first time this season. Eden Hazard had the best chance to win it for Chelsea in the 2nd half, though Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris offered an outstanding save to deny Hazard to open his account. Mourinho didn’t play Costa from substitute bench also and the frustrated striker threw his bib towards the manager out of frustration which might create new controversy in coming weeks.
Tottenham : Lloris(c) – Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Danny Rose – Mason ( Lamela 56′) , Dier – Son (Clinton 75), Dembele, Eriksen – Kane.
Chelsea: Begovic- Ivanovic(c), Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta- Matic, Fabregas – Willian ( Kenedy 89′) , oscar, Pedro ( Loftus-Cheek 90+) – Hazard.
|Shots (On target)||9 (4)||5 (1)|
|Fouls (Bookings)||14 (4)||9 (2)|
Spurs boss Pochettino was content with his team’s performance. He stated, ” I think Chelsea will be happy with the point. It is more important to them than us”. Mourinho was happy. For him, “It was the best Chelsea performance of the season, against a dangerous team”.
(You may also like: The highlights of Manchester United vs Leicester City)
Photo by apasciuto