|OPPONENTS||Chelsea at Stamford Bridge|
|DATE||Wednesday 27th February 2019|
Tottenham's defeat at Burnley wasn't quite the result we had hoped
for with a tough week ahead of the side. However, I didn't
suspect that Chelsea wanted to go to extra time in the League
Cup final against Manchester City before losing on penalties and
having the controversy of goalkeeper Arrizabalaga refusing to leave
the pitch when the substitute's board went up with his number on it.
The fact that they now have a game against Spurs might perk them up as an instant opportunity to bury the bad memories of Wembley on Sunday and earlier in the season when Spurs took the points with a fine win. Manager Sarri will be hoping for some sort of result to keep him in a job at Stamford Bridge, but with the players seemingly in revolt, it looks like the return of player power that saw off a number of decent managers. You have to think that at some stage, managers will refuse to take them on and Chelsea's fans will have to be careful what they wish for.
This season started well for the Pensioners, but they have been bumbling along with erratic results, such as a big win over Huddersfield, mixed in with mullerings from Bournemouth and Manchester CIty.
So, what can we expect tomorrow ?
Spurs haven't covered themselves in glory after the Turf Moor debacle, which could yet see Pochettino banished form the touchline. There was little pace or urgency in the play, which you would have thought might have been necessary after Burnley's performance at Wembley. The side were out-muscled and have to be careful that Chelsea don't see their best chance of a win being the return to the Battle of the Bridge and winding things up to such a level that there will be little of football to talk of. Tottenham should be better prepared for such an approach now than back then, but with Dier missing, the heart of the midfield will need to be strong and dominate the likes of Jorginho and Kante.
Obviously Hazard is their main threat, but if Hudson-Odoi plays, he might produce some trickery up the right wing, with players also capable of making an impact in Giroud in the air and Barkley on the floor, if they produce good performances. The defence has it's limitations and Moura could well test their tackling ability with his pace and Son's dribbling might also attract rash challenges. Luiz will target Kane for rough treatment, but a lot could depend on whether Sarri bites the bullet in the hope of a win by selecting Kepa having accepted his apology or punishing him by dropping him for Cabellero. Willy was left standing by Eriksen's dipper at the Bridge when he last faced us, so the memories of the last victory there should feature in Tottenham's mental approach and could cast shadows on the keeper's performance if he is selected.
What chance have Spurs got ? Well, having watched Burnley raise their game against us on Saturday, only to flop to defeat at Newcastle, you can bet that Chelsea will up their game against Spurs despite their loss at the weekend. But then, maybe, it will depend on how much the Chelsea players want to see the back of Sarri.
With all that in mind and
London derbies being hard to predict, this could be the game that
sees the end of our "Undrawable" run.
|PREDICTION||Chelsea 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1|
|Premier League||Kick off 20:00|
Tottenham Hotspur - (0)
Pedro 56m 27s
|Crowd : 40,542||Weather : Dry, mild|
|Referee : Andre Marriner (West Midlands)||Assistant Referees : Mr. Scott Ledger; Mr. Simon Long|
|Fourth Official : Kevin Friend|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Matthew Harding stand in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 6 minutes.|
Luiz (kick on Kane off the pitch) 90+4
Kane (retaliation) 90+4
|Chelsea :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
Cesar AZPILICUETA (c)
Gonzalo HIGUAIN (18
Olivier GIROUD 84)
Hugo LLORIS (c)
Erik LAMELA (18
Fernando LLORENTE 70)
10 Harry KANE
|Manager : Maurizio Sarri||Manager : Mauricio Pochettino|
|Sponsor : Yokohama Tyres||Shirt sponsor : AIA|
|Kit Supplier : Nike||Kit Supplier : Nike|
Tottenham began giving away
a couple of free-kicks around the box, which Chelsea didn’t make
anything of, but, in the fifth minute, Sissoko headed the ball
sideways in his own box, Higuain struck a shot with some slice that
came back out off Lloris’ left hand post with him left standing.
Whether it had anything to do with Pochettino’s outburst at Dean on
Saturday, but referee Marriner was letting a lot go against Spurs,
with Kane and Son twice being fouled without getting anything.
Chelsea even wanted a penalty. When Azpilicueta drove a cross in
that struck Davies’ arm, but it wasn’t an unnatural position and he
was reasonably close. It was a corner and from it, Tottenham messed
up the clearance at the near post and Kovacic scissor-kicked the
loose ball way too high.
Kane’s quick free-kick saw
him break forward and hit a shot that was deflected wide for a
corner. Both sides were giving the ball away unnecessarily,
but a minute before half time, Harry Winks almost replicated
Eriksen’s goal of last season when Kane rolled the ball in front of
him 23 yards out and his shot dipped over Cabellero and rebounded
out off the bar. Then Son out-paced Kovacic and his
cross was hit low across goal with pace and Cabellero didn’t get a
touch, but there was no white shirt on the far post beyond the
defenders in the middle of the goal to finish it off.
When Chelsea kicked off the
second half, Jorginho did what he often does at kick offs and
wrestled Kane out of the way when he was trying to close the ball
down. It took until the 53 rd minute for some goalmouth action, when
Higuain went through and dinked a shot over Lloris as he came out at
his feet, but the offside flag had been raised long before.
Chelsea had just brought Giroud on as a sub and a long ball was headed on by him. Trippier was under no pressure, but as Lloris came out to claim the ball, the right back slipped it past him and into the net with only one player within 20 yards. It was a shocking mess up and one that certainly condemned Tottenham to defeat. And on a night when other teams around us all won, it was the worst ending and with Arsenal on Saturday not the greatest preparation.
To be honest, the Spurs team never looked like getting anything from this game and with late free-kicks all going Chelsea’s way, they ran time down to ease to the three points. Mentality or just a case of the opposition raising their game against us, Spurs failed to produce a performance for the second game running at a time in the season when the results we dug out in previous weeks looked a long way from the way we played tonight.
With some big games till to come, will Pochettino be able to gee them up to finish strongly, despite the title challenge (much as it was) slipping away. We need to secure third place, with other sides closing in on us after the last week’s games.
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|Match programme sponsors||-|
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|What you thought|
Another limp performance with no shots on target just when we needed
to test out a goalkeeper who has been little used and will have
remembered last season, when we won there.
We didn't deserve to win, but the worrying thing is how we are playing and not getting at teams with pace or on the break. Over the last two games we have looked tired and lacking ideas. It could be down to tiredness, with the small squad meaning most players have played most of the games, but against Chelsea, it looked like us who had played 120 minutes and then gone through penalties on Sunday.
Poch needs to exercise his
influence to pick the players up for Saturday and beyond, but I hope
they don't rush Dele back too soon, otherwise it might mean more
|Other scores during this week :|
|Huddersfield Town||1||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||Tuesday|
|Leicester City||2||Brighton & Hove Albion||1||Tuesday|
|Crystal Palace||1||Manchester United||3||Wednesday|
|Manchester City||1||West Ham United London||0||Wednesday|
|League Table 2018-19|
|10||West Ham United London||28||10||6||12||35||41||36||-6|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion||27||7||6||14||29||41||27||-12|
Position before match :
Position after match : 3rd
Position after the mid-week matches : 3rd
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