By Paul Lagan at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Spurs 0 v Chelsea 3
Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante and a late strike by Toni Rudiger kept Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the season going, overcoming Spurs 3-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The home side started brightly but faded badly, and in the second half, were completely overrun by the west Londoners.
Chelsea, joint top of the Premier League with Liverpool and Manchester United could, and perhaps should have scored more. It was only the top form of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris that kept he scoreline down to a just about a respectable level.
The fact Spurs had a couple of days less to prepare for the match due to their Euro commitments could be partly to blame for the anaemic second-half performance, but much has to be said of Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel’s decisive decision to replace Mason Mount with N’Golo Kante at half-time.
It was inspired as it was the correct thing to do, as the France midfielder transformed Chelsea’s attacking and defensive play.
Spurs started off like a rampaging train – pushing the Blues right back to heir goal line.
A deflected goal-bound free-kick by Harry Kane added to two corners, all within the first five minutes, emphasised how determined the home side were to break the so far this season, solid Chelsea back four.
Chelsea had a glorious chance to score on 15 minutes when a quick counter-attack involving Kai Havertz , Mason Mount and Romelu Lukaku saw in-running Mount shot blocked by Giovanni Lo Celso at the death.
A fumble by Kepa, in for the injured Mendy, almost allowed Spurs to snatch the lead, but the effort, from Kane, was cleared much to the Spain stopper’s relief.
A well worked move I saw Lukaku hold the ball up for Andreas Christensen and the Denmark centre-back, tried his luck from range. But his 20-yard curler went wide of Hugo Loris’s left post on 25 minutes.
After a period of good pressure by Chelsea on 30 minutes, Havertz should have done better from a deep Cesar Azpilicueta cross, but he mistimes his header and the ball went wide for a goal kick.
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel made opted to replaceMount for N’Golo Kante a half-time.
Spurs were unchanged.
Within seconds of the restart, Alonso saw his vicious left-footed far [pst volley, tipped over the crossbar by Lloris.
The Blues piled on the pressure with three quick corners and on the their third, on 50 minutes, was whipped over by Alonso, Thiago Silva out jumped his non-markers and thumped his header wide of Lloris to give the visitors the lead and the Brazilian his first goal of the season.
Alonso should have doubled the lead three minutes later when a lightning quick break saw his volley hacked off the line Eric Dier.
Chelsea total dominance at this point was rewarded with another goal, when Kante, decide to have a shot on 57 minutes.
Dier was the hapless defender whose left leg the ball deselected off and spun towards the far post before dropping over the goal line- Lloris was rooted to the spot.
Spurs boss Nino Espírito Santo decided to make a couple of substitutions – OliverSkipp , and Bryan Gill came on for Tanguy Ndombele and Lo Celso.
To counter his, Tuchel brought on Timo Werner with 20 minutes left on the clock – Havertz made way for his fellow German international.
Lloris kept Spurs in the game with a spectacular save to thwart Silva’s header – again from a corner on 75 minutes.
Werner was fed the perfect ball from Lukaku but the striker failed to get hold of it, as he was running goal wards, and the ball drifted gleefully into Loris’s palms.
Santo brought on Davison Sanchez for Christian Romero.
A thunderous header by Lukaku from a Toni Rudiger cross was again held by Lloris, who was easily the home side’s man of the match.
But he could do nothing with Chelsea’s third goal, when the Blue’s centre-back Toni Rudiger drove a low shot through a melee of players from just inside the penalty area, and beyond the desperate dive to his right by Lloris.
By then many of the 60,059 crowd had drifted away into the north London night.
Teams: Spurs Loris, Reguilon, Romero, Hojbjerg, Son, Kane, Royal, Dier, Lo Celso, Alli, Ndombele
Subs: Gollini, Doherty, Sanchez, Winks, Gil, Rondon, Skipp, Davies, Scarlett
Chelsea: Kepa, Rudiger, Alonso, Christensen, Jorginho, Silva, Kovacic, Lukaku, Mount, Azpilicueta, Havertz
Subs: Bettinelli, Kante, Werner, Chalobah, Niguez, Hudson-Odoi, Chilwell, Ziyech, James
Referee: Paul Tierney
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