Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham - Chelsea fight back from a goal down to make it seven in a row!
Chelsea beat Tottenham on Saturday evening having recovered from going a goal down to make a real...
Chelsea beat Tottenham on Saturday evening having recovered from going a goal down to make a real statement of intent this season.
Chelsea versus Spurs in any season is always a massive game. No matter how well or bad either of us are doing, none of us want to suffer defeat to the other as this game means more than the majority of others during the course of a Premier League season.
All the pre-match build up had focused on Chelsea's resurgence in form having won six games in a row, without conceding a single goal; a run that had taken Antonio Conte's team to the top of the League. What would happen if Chelsea was to concede a goal? How would the team that had been playing some excellent football of late react? It was a question that was always in the back of our minds because let's face it, Thibaut Courtois of late had hardly been tested but we need not worry because Chelsea fought back from adversity in such an impressive way in this game, it showed that we are contenders for silverware at the end of the season.
However, and it's important to be 100% honest here (as my Twitter account during the match will reveal - Chelseadaft ), Chelsea were outplayed and could not live with Tottenham for at least two thirds of that first half on Saturday.
Tottenham pressed high, pushed up on Chelsea, played Son right up directly against Victor Moses, at times behind him to give Cesar Azpilicueta something to think about and Chelsea struggled to get any foothold on the game. Time and time again we struggled to string passes together and whereas in recent weeks the man with the ball at his feet had two options to pass to whenever he had the ball, this time it was different and major alarm bells were ringing.
I instantly thought of two things as this was being played out. The first was what happened to us last season when we were faced with opposition doing this to us and how much we struggled. Secondly, our two losses to Liverpool and Arsenal when on both occasions being outplayed in the first half really cost us the game. I was looking for a reaction as quickly as possible and despite it not happening straight away, a moment of magic from Pedro changed the game in an instant.
As that first half played out, I was chatting to mates saying that Tottenham had put so much into the first half by pressing us on every single occasion, that they would run out of steam and the second half would be a totally different game. As Chelsea went in at half time all square at 1-1 I was so pleased because we hadn't played well at all, if anything not even got started because of the way Spurs were playing but the fact that we had a reaction was massive. Any thoughts of last season and those two defeats evaporated in that moment and I couldn't wait for the second half to begin.
As we witnessed, the second half played out exactly as expected, Spurs dropped deeper and the high press we had faced in the first half was non-existent. Chelsea had time and space to knock the ball about and our players were beginning to have much more of an influence. N'Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic were nowhere to be seen in the previous half but now they were dominating their counterparts. Eden Hazard started to become a threat and a problem for the Spurs defence once again but most importantly of all, Diego Costa began to get the better of his markers.
Diego Costa is outstanding at the moment and his work rate for the team on Saturday night was so, so impressive. He may not have had the opportunities to score as he would have wanted but it was his willingness to graft and put the hard work in for his team mates that made such a difference to us. His run down that left hand side, beating two defenders and being able to suck two others across to leave wide open space on the right hand side was good enough, but to produce a cross from what seemed like a lost cause, into the path of Victor Moses who had so much time to line up his low drive that gave Chelsea the lead was amazing.
We could talk all day about the chances we also missed including another pull back from Costa to Marcos Alonso who blasted the ball high over the bar and another for Willian to blast over but it proved not to matter as Chelsea were more than comfortable and played the game out winning a massive three points, maintaining our excellent record over Tottenham at Stamford Bridge and giving notice to the rest of the Premier League that Chelsea are not to be taken lightly this season.
The way we managed to pull ourselves out of a really difficult first half, to stay together, to continue to work hard for each other maintaining our shape, it was so impressive. We really produced a second half performance and result from something that looked to be under massive threat from a really strong Tottenham side.
Plenty of people wondered how Chelsea would react to conceding their first goal in six games and if they would be able to deal with adversity. I can safely say now that Chelsea answered any questions and have taken their place back at the top of the Premier League!
Next up Manchester City away - Come on Chelsea!