|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0 (0)||CHELSEA 3 (0)|
|Date : – 19th September 2021||Kick off : – 16.30|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 60,059|
|Referee : – Paul Tierney (Wigan)||Linesmen : – Mr. Constantine Hatzidakis; Mr. Neil Davies|
|Fourth official : – Craig Pawson|
|VAR official : – Chris Kavanagh||VAR Assistant : – Sian Massey-Ellis|
|Weather : – Rain before game; overcast and warm through match|
|Chelsea kicked off the first half attacking the Park Lane end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 7 minutes
|NONE||Silva 48m 57s|
|Kante 56m 47s|
|Rudiger 90+1m 19s|
|Werner (foul on Bryan) 80|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||1.||Kepa ARRIZABALAGA|
|12.||EMERSON Royal||4.||Andreas CHRISTENSEN|
|4.||Cristian ROMERO ( 6. Davinson SANCHEZ 83)||6.||Thiago SILVA|
|15.||Eric DIER||2.||Antonio RUDIGER|
|28.||Tanguy NDOMBELE ( 29. Oliver SKIPP 62)||8.||Mateo KOVACIC|
|20.||DELE Alli||3.||Marcos ALONSO|
|18.||Giovani LO CELSO ( 11. BRYAN Gil 62)||19.||Mason MOUNT ( 4. N’Golo KANTE 46)|
|10.||Harry KANE||29.||Kai HAVERTZ ( 2. Timo WERNER 70)|
|7.||Heung-Min SON||8.||Romelu LUKAKU|
|22.||Pierluigi GOLLINI||13.||Marcus BETTINELLI|
|2.||Matt DOHERTY||21.||Ben CHILWELL|
|14.||Joe RODON||24.||Reece JAMES|
|33.||Ben DAVIES||14.||Trevoh CHALOBAH|
|44.||Dane SCARLETT||20.||Callum HUDSON-ODOI|
|Manager : – Nuno Espirito Santo||Manager : – Thomas Tuchel|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – 3
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – Hyundai
|Colours : –
||Colours : –
|Kits courtesy of the wonderful Colours of Football website.|
A second consecutive 0-3 defeat in Premier League London derbies meant that the only Zero about this Carbon Zero match was our score, although the side did seem to run out of energy in the second half against Chelsea on a day when Spurs goal-scoring legend Jimmy Greaves passed away.
With the announcement of the death of Tottenham’s record goal-scorer, the second placed goal-scorer behind him appeared to be disinterested in any chase for the great man’s title, with an insipid performance that I would suggest he considers as to why he doesn’t think he will win anything with Tottenham. Little closing down, few runs made to receive the ball and some lazy passing when Spurs were well-placed to attack the Pensioners along with his body language not inspiring those around him, it looks like it will be a season in waiting for a big move and if he plays like this, it is a regret that we didn’t cash in on him during the summer.
Chelsea kicked off after an emotional minute’s applause for Greavesie echoed around the ground. The first half was a good one for Spurs, most of whom seemed keen to get to the ball before a blue shirt and with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg all over the pitch winning the ball and moving it on, the visitors looked nothing more than an ordinary side, who could not produce much of a threat to the Tottenham goal. Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso were working hard to try and find a through pass to set the forwards away, but Chelsea’s set-up was out to be stifling and not attacking, making the game’s moves break down in midfield a lot of the time.
Spurs were cut open in the first minute when Lukaku played Havertz through on goal, but he was tackled and offside anyway, but Spurs hit back manufacturing a shooting opening for Son, but Kane’s back got in the way, when it might have tested Kepa early on. Lo Celso shot wide and when we won a corner just afterwards, he failed to beat the first man, which wasn’t to be the first time in the match. Our set-pieces were pretty poor all game and when Jorginho committed one of a number of bad fouls Kane hit the wall with the free-kick that came from it.
We were still inside the first ten minutes when there was a bit of pinball in our box, which ended when Hojbjerg coolly touched the ball back to Hugo in stark contrast to the chaos that preceded it. Then Havertz tried to volley in Azpilicueta’s header across the Spurs box, but embarrassingly missed it by some distance. Kovacic was the next to lay a late boot on a Spurs player with Royal suffering and needing treatment and we went on the attack when play restarted, winning a corner that was recycled and Dier got a header to it, but it lacked any great power as he was stretching, so Kepa took it comfortably under his bar. When we produced a decent delivery from a free-kick, Son’s quickly taken ball in behind the Chelsea defence from the right was into the area between defence and keeper, but Kane wasn’t alert to it and the ball was put out for another corner. Son played it in, it was cleared and Lo Celso’s shot went off for a throw-in.
Dele played a brilliant pass outside him on the left wing to send Reguilon clear and as he ran towards goal, he tried to play the ball across to Lo Celso in the middle rather than shoot himself and the ball was cleared to Kane, who played it back across goal, where Kepa took it, but only at the second attempt with Royal in close attendance. As Dele played the ball he took a late hit from Mount, which must have been a card in normal circumstances, but obviously the referee was eco-conscious and didn’t want to multi-use his plastic cards today, only producing a yellow late on for a rash challenge (his first) by Werner. Dele was doing a lot of work tracking back and won a header from a Chelsea corner, then was first out to block the follow-up shot from Mount. Chelsea were coming into the game a little more, but Hugo wasn’t troubled too much at this stage, with perhaps the most worrying being a shot from Christensen that flew past the angle of his goal from 20 yards out.
Spurs were passing the ball well, but the 3-4-2-1 Chelsea formation was proving difficult for Spurs to break down. Chelsea had a great chance on the half hour, when Alonso (booed rightly throughout) played a square ball to Havertz in the area. He had too much space and got a shot away, but excellent defending by Cristian Romero saw him throw a long barrier with his hands behind his back to block it. We did manage to get through the Chelsea defence with 33 minutes gone, as Ndombele and Lo Celso linked to put Son in behind into the penalty area, but Kepa came to meet him and both players had treatment before continuing. Dele was defencing again to concede and then defend a corner before Ndombele went down with what looked like having caught a finger in his eye.
Half-time saw various ex-Spurs players being interviewed about Jimmy Greaves and a surprise appearance by Paul Coyte, a man who knew Greaves well, brought a great cheer from the Spurs fans. Steve Perryman made his feelings clear about the N17 Live presenters when he thanked Coyte for his interview in his polite way before saying, “It was a pleasure to be interviewed … by you !”. Images of the great goal-scorer’s art flitted across the screen the way he flitted across the mud-heaps of pitches in his day, but all ended with the ball in the back of the net, something he did over 500 times in his career. An instinctive finisher who had an astonishing burst of pace over a short distance, Jimmy scored all sorts of goal and more often than not passed the ball into the net not blasting it in. His England goal-scoring record of 44 goals in 57 games is an astonishing ratio and it took Wayne Rooney 100 caps to reach the same total. It is difficult to compare players from different eras, but Greaves would stand up to any of the current crop if they had to play in the same conditions as he did. Cristiano Ronaldo versus the Leeds side of the 1970s is something I would like to see.
The second half got underway with the poor performance by Mount resulted in him being substituted by Kante, as the move by Tuchel changed the whole complexion of the match. Immediately, the French international, playing in an advanced role, began opening up space for the visitors with well-placed passes. Within a minute, Silva raked a pass from right to left to find Alonso, who hit a volley from a narrow angle that Lloris did well to push over the top. This corner brought two more and from the second, played in from our right, Silva escaped Dele and powered a header in to give Chelsea the lead. It was disappointing to concede from a corner, when we had defended them so well, but we were still in the game at this stage. However, the tide had turned.
Hugo saved well on his line when Alonso had another effort and then took Rudiger’s soft header with ease. What took the game away from Spurs was a freak goal accredited to Kante somewhat generously. Lo Celso lost the ball on the left, it was played square for the Chelsea midfielder to shoot from 22 yards out. It wasn’t that hard and Lloris would have moved across to save it, but it hit Eric Dier, hit Hugo’s left hand post and trickled across the line with the keeper wrong-footed. It was an example of the bounce of the ball that the away side had after the break and at 0-2 the game had gone.
Spurs had not been closing down in the second half and Rudiger’s run from halfway inside his own half to our penalty area was typical of the lack of pressure, just as it was missing when Kante shot. Ndombele tried a shot from outside the box but it went too high and he was substituted after that with Skipp coming on for him and Bryan Gil for Lo Celso. In the 65th minute, our first real attempt on goal in the second half came when Kane took Son’s return pass and fired a shot at goal from 22 yards and Kepa dived to gather the low shot. Their keeper took a high cross into the box and then went down with cramp. He had hardly been over-worked during the previous 70 minutes, but you can’t make a goalkeeper leave the field if he is “injured” can you ?
With 15 minutes left Jorginho got a powerful header to a corner, but Hugo reached up to turn it over the bar, then Romero made a well-timed tackle in our box to prevent another attempt on the Spurs goal. Two more corners were dealt with and when Lukaku put Werner in, it looked like another, but his poor touch saw Lloris block his shot, then Romero headed out Alonso’s shot and Lloris was quick to recover as Azpilicueta headed Kovacic’s cross back across goal where Hugo pushed the ball away to be cleared. Dier did well to stay on his feet to stop Lukaku’s progress when it looked like he might unleash a shot, then Hugo took a Lukaku header low down on his goal-line, Sanchez blocked an effort by the same Chelsea striker and Hugo made an important save from Kovacic at his near post.
Chelsea had been playing the ball around with no pressure on the player in possession and Tottenham had been looking like a beaten side, with no hope of getting back in the game. From the corner conceded, the ball went to the far post and from the right, Werner has space and time to pick out Rudiger in the middle of the area and his scuffed shot beat Lloris to his right.
So the match did end gamezero for Spurs. It wasn’t quite the “Tottenham got battered” chants that the Wet Spam supporters were singing on the train on our way back home, ignoring the fact that they had embarrassingly had a last minute penalty by Mark Noble saved, when he had been specifically brought on to take it. We ended up with the same points gained on the day, but without having a chance to salvage one. It was another poor performance against one of the sides above us and the lack of attacking threat is a worry. Having won three matches and lost two we now have a goal difference of minus 3. It is a worry that things don’t seem to be working going forward at the moment and with Kane not producing or creating, it’s an issue that needs to be worked on quickly.
The man of the match would have been Hojbjerg on the first half’s play, but without Hugo, we might have been battered, as he made four excellent saves.
Another London derby next week and hopefully, we might have a few more players to choose from and might be a bit more up for the challenge.
The Funky Phantom
There was a minute’s applause to celebrate Jimmy Greaves’ life.
|Newcastle United||1||Leeds United||1|
|Manchester City||0||South Coast Big Club
|West Ham United London||1||Manchester United||2|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||2||Leicester City||1|
Premier League Table 2021-22
|4||Brighton & Hove Albion||5||4||0||1||7||4||12||3|
|8||West Ham United London||5||2||2||1||11||7||8||4|
|15||South Coast Big Club||5||1||4||1||4||6||4||-2|